Effective August 23, 2021, Indoor Masking is Required in the State of Washington Regardless of Vaccination Status per State Government.
Teresa Schmidt | 03/23/2015 | Insider Blogs, Seasonal Travel, Spring |   

Get Ready for Spring Gardening at Joe's Gardens in Bellingham

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

Get ready for a riot of color when you approach the entrance to Joe's Gardens, a Bellingham landmark farm, produce stand and garden center that first opened in 1933. Joe's Gardens offers a huge variety of high quality vegetable starts, herbs, flowers, bedding plants and basket stuffers. And the service can only be described as "old-fashioned"—where the staff goes the extra mile to explain how and when to plant, which varieties they prefer and, as I observed, will check all the lettuce start flats to find one with a single plant for a senior customer.

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

I had a great time walking the farm with Nathan Weston, who with his brother Jason took over running Joe's Gardens from their parents. Their dad, Karl, started working at the farm when he was 12, and learned the business from founders Joe and Ann Bertero.

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

This time of year, it's all about vegetable plants, flowers and perennials. The greenhouses are full of starts and the beginnings of what will be full, lush flowering baskets.

Joe'sGreenhouse Joe's Greenhouses  Joe's Greenhouse 2

Staffers stay super busy, planting seeds and transplanting starts, moving plants around as needed. They make the plants work hard—nothing is babied around here! Before they get too used to the greenhouse, where it's warm and cozy, plants are moved out and into the real world. And this happens every 10 days (talk about turnover!).

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

Tomato seeds are planted in flats of 1,000 to 2,000, and then move into their own little pots.

[caption id="attachment_22979" align="aligncenter" width="520"]Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers Top: planting starts; hundreds of pepper plants. Bottom: tomato seedlings; tomato starts in the cold frame[/caption]

Cold frames hold tomato seedlings that were recently moved out of the greenhouse, and are acclimating to outdoor conditions, so they can grow hardy stems and leaves. The cold frames are a little old school and labor-intensive (they get hot, they get cold, they need insulation on cool nights, and they're back-breaking), but Nathan says they're worth it, because they result in stronger, healthier plants. And that's exactly what Joe's customers have come to expect.

[caption id="attachment_22982" align="aligncenter" width="520"]Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers Pansies![/caption]

Good to know: everything you buy from Joe's has been thoroughly tested, so you know it's going to be successful in your northwest garden. If they'll plant it in their own fields, you can trust it, too. I brought home a box full of starts, including dinosaur kale, red and green romaine (because Nathan says it's even more nutritious than kale!), spinach, peas and French Crisp lettuce, which is slow to bolt and has a long shelf life. In fact, Nathan jokingly referred to it as "bachelor's lettuce," because it can stay in the fridge for a while. That works in my house, too.

[caption id="attachment_22978" align="aligncenter" width="520"]Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers Beautiful herb and garlic starts.[/caption]

Field crops are getting started, with peas, spinach, beets, carrots and lettuces. In a few weeks, more planting will commence. Most of what goes in the field actually starts from seed in the greenhouse.

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers  Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

Peas and lettuce are already established in the field, in perfectly straight rows that Joe would thoroughly approve.

Starting in May, farm-grown produce is available, with beautiful lettuces and tomatoes, plus carrots, broccoli, corn, swiss chard, peas and lots more. Up until a few years ago, most of what was grown at Joe's was sent to local grocery stores for retail sale, but now the majority of crops are picked and sold right here at the farm stand.

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

Later in the year, you can pick up handmade garlic braids, fall squashes, cider, apples and pumpkins. Any time of year (except winter, that is) you can find beautiful plants and produce from great people at Joe's Gardens. Stop by for garden tools, compost and soil, too—I promise you'll be glad you did!

Note: Vegetable seeds and plants in soil cannot be transported from the U.S. into Canada.

[slideshow_deploy id='22998']

Joe's Gardens, Bellingham Garden Centers, Vegetable Starts, Gardening Supplies, Bedding Plants, Flowers

Joe's Gardens, 3110 Taylor Avenue, Bellingham WA 98225 360-671-7639 Joe's Gardens on Facebook [mappress mapid="66"]

Where else can you find garden starts in Whatcom County?

Community Co-Op Downtown:1220 N Forest St., Bellingham, WA Cordata:315 Westerly Rd., Bellingham, WA

Good's Nursery and Produce 2620 Northwest Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225

Terra Organic and Natural Foods (in the Bellingham Public Market) 1530 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225

Haggen Stores: Fountain District Shopping Center: 2814 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA Barkley Village: 2900 Woburn St., Bellingham, WA Sehome Village: 210 36th St., Bellingham, WA

Fred Meyer: 800 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 1225 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham, WA

Vander Giessen Nursery 401 East Grover St. Lynden, WA 98264

Whatcom Farmer’s Coop (Having a Garden Center Event on March 28, 2015!) Bellingham: 3500 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 Blaine: 1733 H Street, Suite 700, Blaine, WA, 98230 Fairhaven: 3125 Old Fairhaven Parkway, Bellingham 98225 Lynden: 119 17th Street, Lynden, WA 98264 Ferndale: 1720 LaBounty Drive, Ferndale, WA 98248 Nooksack: 104 Nooksack Avenue, Nooksack, WA 98247

Growing Veterans Farm Garden start sale on April 13 (tentative date, check back here for any changes) 6458 Martin Place, Lynden, WA 98264

This great organization "empowers military veterans to grow food, communities and each other."

Sunseed Farm (and other vendors) at Bellingham Farmers Market (opens April 4) Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham, WA

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990
Visiting?

Places to Stay
Itineraries
Getting Here
Sightsee
Read Blogs
Engage!

Events
Photo Contest
Move Here
Attend
Contact Us
Tourism Talk

Industry Resources
Join as a Member
Media Inquiries
Host Groups & Events
About Us
Site by Drozian Webworks
©2021 Visit Bellingham Whatcom County