Moving to PNW - What stuff will we miss?

bobkeenan(9)March 12, 2011

Here is Sacramento we have orange, grapefruit, cherry, and lemon trees. Everything grows in our raised bed gardens. Lots of tomatoes. Lettuce but only when its cool. I have not had much luck with asparagus but that's about it. Now we are thinking of moving to either Portland or Port Angeles, WA. What will we miss?

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lisaonbainbridge

I moved from Los Angeles three years ago and I really miss all my citrus trees--especially the wonderful Meyer lemon outside the kitchen window. And tomatoes are slow to ripen--I got none last year.

On the upside, my CSA and the Farmer's markets have delicious tomatoes all summer. All the cool season greens will do better here. And this is BERRY country- blueberries, strawberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and even the invasive blackberries are fun to pick.

Also miss the tropical very fragrant plants that are too tender here--jasmines, etc. But a greenhouse would go a long way toward enabling you to grow the things you miss.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:53AM
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PRO
George Three LLC

indeed you will miss citrus. but you could probably baby a citrus in a greenhouse or in a large container near a shelter.

its more difficult to grow tomatoes in the pacnw but portland is one of the better spots. certainly enough summer heat.

both portland and PA you will be able to garden year round, although there is a long "kale period" from dec till nowish. so you may miss some variety of the winter veggies.

i think your first year, especially if you arrive in june or so, you will just be blown away by the GREENNESS. i lived in SF for 6 years, and when i came back, i just remember walking down the street in portland in awe of LIFE just dripping everywhere- not just in cultivated areas.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 3:57PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

If you're looking for real estate in Port Angeles, your gardening possibilities will be much greater to the east side of the city and at as low of an altitude as possible. Even so tomatoes are definitely marginal here and have a very short ripening season if not in a greenhouse. Cherries are fine here (some varieties better than others). Asparagus is great here. A local farm here in Sequim grows all kinds of kale, cabbage, greens, lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard, root vegetables, asparagus, gooseberries, raspberries, artichokes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, and lots more in season.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 10:08PM
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larry_gene

All of Portland offers pretty versatile gardening, but south and west quadrants of the metro area have fewer hot and cold winds, and less chance of freezing rain.

Asparagus is raised locally. In two out of three years, tomatoes will "come on" in August. Perhaps you like rhubarb?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

As with growing edibles in other regions variety selection can be critical. You often have to plant the right ones to get anywhere.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:46PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

I moved from Sacto area to Seattle. You will miss the sun. And the plants that you liked that won't grow in Cascadia. I doubt you will miss the 100 degree days without Delta breeze. Other than those vague generalities which are almost certain, not enough information to do any more than guess.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:34AM
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gardengal48

LOL!! Dan - that was the first thing on my mind as well.....lack of sun!! Sunny days will be far fewer in number than those you experienced in Sacramento :-) But when they do arrive, they're gorgeous!

Sure there are plants in Sacto that won't grow well here - OTOH, there's a good number of others that prefer the milder NW climate. Other than the citrus (and LOTS of folks grow Meyer lemons here, with winter protection), I doubt you'll miss much.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 1:59PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

You can't go hiking and pick blueberries or huckleberries in CA, either. But I rarely got rained on in the mountains in CA. Ya gotta pick your poison.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 6:04PM
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PRO
George Three LLC

head out on a hike with this:
http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9781551055305

and you can pretty quickly find a whole lot to eat.

thats pretty much a required reference for people living here interested in plants.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:45AM
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nanagarden(8)

I have included a vegetable calendar from Portland Nursery that may give you an idea of our local planting season. Many people garden year round here as I do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Portland Veggie Calender

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 1:06AM
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javan(9b n. coastalCA)

nanagarden, thanks for the veggie calendar. It seems quite accurate to me. Jim

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 2:19AM
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tcstoehr

You will miss the winter and spring sun as it is replaced by the "big gray blanket" for much of the time. You will also miss springtime, we don't have one here. We go straight from a six-month winter to summer. You will also not have very much abusively hot or humid weather. Summer and Fall are pretty nice here, but waiting for the return of sunshine and warmth is agonizing. It's almost April and we haven't touched 60 degrees yet. Many days still under 50.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 9:53PM
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nwkrys(z8 OR)

There is a considerable difference in weather between Port Angeles and Portland. I suggest you make a serious assessment, far less sun in PA, far cooler temperatures.

The NOAA website has a historical info were you can find out the mean, historical highs and lows, days of sunshine etc. I've included the link. If you love the sun, Portland may be a better bet.

We have had a dreadful spring here this year. Constant topic of conversation. We should finally hit 60 in the next couple of days where we typically would have it that in mid February.

Here is a link that might be useful: Western Regional Climate Center

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 1:52PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>You will also miss springtime, we don't have one here. We go straight from a six-month winter to summerHogwash! You make it sound like the intermountain region, try living in Pullman for instance and then say we don't have a spring over here. Non-maritime climates are where winters are forever and springs (and falls) last about a week. Trees that bloom for about a week in continental areas may bloom for weeks in the PNW.

Hybrid roses here may be in bloom at Christmas, by February even the native shrubs are starting to bloom. Local weather scientist Cliff Mass defines the spring here as February to July. Last spring was duller than usual, I've heard the expectation for this year is another poor spring followed by a hot summer and lovely fall.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 12:28PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

>>We have had a dreadful spring here this year.

What are you talking about? Spring is just getting started. We still have at least another four or five months of it to go and you're already making it sound like a done deal already.

I lived in Pullman, and guess what, they have spring there too. Only it lasts three months instead of five. For truly short springs and falls, go east of the Rockies.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 3:30PM
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lucretia1

Defining spring from February to July fits very well with our experience here (east of Tacoma) the last several years. First crocus bloomed the 3rd week of January this year, and the flowering bulbs have been going like gangbusters ever since. The serviceberry looks like it's going to bloom sometime in the next 15 minutes, and the cherry tree buds are swelling.

The short seasons are the brutal ones--really hot summer and really cold winter. Spring and fall are wonderfully long.

We lived in Florida, the Sunshine state, for decades (won't say how many) before moving here, and don't have any problems with "missing the sun". The hardest time of the year for us is mid-summer--the days are so long we get sleep deprived and cranky.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:15PM
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toad_ca(z7b Bellingham, WA)

I moved from Los Angeles 4 years ago July 1st and the only thing I miss--other than a few close friends--is a lemon tree. But I wouldn't move back (or anywhere else) if you paid me. I love it here. I never experienced a real Spring until I came here. What could be better than the Forsythia, Indian Plum, Hellebores, and Daffodils, closely followed by Lilacs, Bridal Wreath Spirea, Rhodies and Azaleas, not to mention plum and cherry trees and tulips. And I'm just looking out my front window for all of this. There's more if I just shift my angle.
It's a personal thing, obviously, but I feel I came home when I moved to the Northwest.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 6:59PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Toads would be expected to do well here.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 12:08AM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Port Angeles is cool and breezy, but sunnier than I used to think. Here's a web page offering a comparison of sunshine between Sequim, Port Angeles, and Seattle for several recent months.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunshine comparison.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 12:32AM
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toad_ca(z7b Bellingham, WA)

@ bboy: "Toads would be expected to do well here."
Ha ha!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Port Angeles, Los Angeles...must be a relationship.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:27PM
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alygal(PacNW z7)

You might miss growing citrus in your garden but...now you get to grow blueberries and raspberries instead.

I came up from the Bay Area in 1989...still love it up here, although this winter has seemed to be particularly rainy. I think we can grow a wider variety of things up here. Think...English/Irish gardens. Good luck with your move and welcome to the lovely Pacific NW.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 8:53PM
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laurell(8 - Washington)

Lilacs grow well here! Learn to love them instead of citrus!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 10:13PM
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