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Grow Your Own Food

Program Contact: Alex duPont, Master Gardener Program Coordinator
360-395-2367 •

WSU is an equal opportunity provider. If you need a reasonable accommodation or language access to participate in an event, please contact Alex duPont, Skagit County WSU Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator, at or (360) 395-2367 at least two weeks prior to the planned event. Language access services, such as interpretation or translation of vital information, will be provided free of charge to limited English proficient individuals upon request.

Getting Started


Anyone with a sunny piece of yard, deck or balcony, or even a window box!  If you can grow a lawn, you can grow food.


There are plenty of easy-to-grow vegetables.  See some recommendations from Master Gardeners below.  Plant only what you like to eat.  Be realistic.  A 4’X4′ garden bed could keep you in salad greens or squash all summer, but it is not enough room to grow corn or pumpkins.

Skagit County has a short growing season.  Make sure to consider days to harvest (noted on the seed packet) when selecting what to plant.  Also note the spacing recommended on the seed packet.  If plants are too close together, they have to steal nutrients from each other.


Do you have a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day?  Do you really need all that lawn?  Consider converting part of your yard into a garden.  Gardens and lawns require similar care.  They both need good soil, sun and water.  Vegetables just require a little more attention.  Containers can make gardening very flexible.  Also, plant some veggies in with your flowers.


In the Skagit Valley, May is magic.  Depending on where you live, March gives us our last hard freeze and some vegetables can be planted/transplanted in March and April.  However, frosts are typical in the area through early May.  Most vegetables are sensitive to frost, so May is when you will really start gardening.  Check out the Planting Calendar extracted from the WSU Extension Bulletin on Home Vegetable Gardening in Washington, which is a great all-around veggie gardening guide.

Consider winter gardening too.  There are a number of vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, broccoli and kale that are planted in mid-summer and can be harvested throughout the winter.


Supply your family with fresh, healthy vegetables throughout the season.


Start with a plan for your garden!  Decide how much and what kind of space you will have.  Do you want to plant directly into the ground, raised beds, or containers?  Do you just want salad veggies in between flowers?

Keep your garden manageable.  Raised beds can extend the season and protect from rabbits, snails, slugs.  Use a cold frame, floating row covers, or tunnels to extend your growing season and protect from insects such as cabbage moths. The options are endless.  If your space is small, consider vertical gardening for vining vegetables like cucumbers, pole beans, and some squashes.

More Vegetable Gardening Resources

Find out how to build a garden, prepare your soil, and plant seeds and started plants successfully. Learn what grows well in our Pacific Northwest climate.

Need help?

Click here to contact the Skagit County Master Gardener Plant Clinic. Let our Master Gardeners provide science based recommendations to solve your gardening problems.

Gardening Publication Library

Click here for articles and publications that will help you grow your own food.
A self-guided journey through local gardens, family-owned farms, markets, bakeries, eateries, artisanal producers, farmstays, and experiences of the magical Skagit River Valley & Salish Sea.