This year the Port Townsend Co-Op has established, on site, a nearly 1,000 sq. ft. space for a demonstration garden. What follows is a detailed analysis and physical description of the site. For those of us not completely familiar with the details of the microclimate of this specific geographic area the text does make for interesting reading.
This, by the way, makes it our 8th garden and the third for the calendar year 2021 … thus far!
Port Townsend Food Co-op
414 Kearney St
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Jefferson County Food Bank Farm and Gardens
Size: 977 sq feet
Access: SE side of the Food Co-op. A public trail runs the length of the garden. In between the Food Co-op and the parking lot for the Penny Saver.
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Climate Type: Cfb (temperate oceanic climate)
Climate Analogs: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand;
Bogotá, Colombia; Bordeaux, France; Dublin, Ireland; Melbourne, Australia; Vienna, Austria
USDA Hardiness Zone: 8b (15 – 20F)
Rainfall: 19.33” per year
Snowfall: 2” per year
Precipitation days: 138 days a year
Sunny days: 205 sunny days a year
Average First Frost: November 23
Average Last Frost: March 6
Average Growing Season: 291 days
Average Aug High: 74 F
Average Jan Low: 38 F
Elevation: 30 feet above sea level
Existing Site Conditions: an overgrown demonstration garden. The front area has gone slightly wild, with many deer resistant perennials growing extremely large. It is not maintained well. A new deer fence just replaced an old one surrounding the back half of the garden, where annual vegetables were grown. The garden is next to a public area where a lot of the town’s transient population spend their time. Some people experiencing homelessness also spend time in this area. The irrigation was in terrible condition, and was ripped out. The Food Co-op will pay for all irrigation to go into the garden.
Soils: the garden was placed on terrible soil, so it was raised and filled with high quality soil. Soil fertility will need to be a consideration if wanting to keep the soil healthy long term.
1. To create a clean, edited garden of deer resistant perennials in the front half of the garden. This will create a visual, sound and wind barrier for patrons of the Food Co-op who are enjoying the patio.
- To create a demonstration garden that highlights the work of the Food Bank Farm and Gardens, the Master Gardeners, and Growing Groceries through various signage. In addition, a sign could be put up educating the public of the various food security options available in Jefferson County. The fenced in vegetable garden in the back half of the space will serve as the demonstration garden.
- It will be important to keep in mind that this is a windy location that blows salt wind off the water. Plants will need to be wind, and maybe even salt tolerant. In addition, the non-fenced part of the garden will need to be deer resistant plants, because deer are a huge nuisance.
Deer Resistant Plants
Onions, Leeks, Chives, Garlic Asparagus, Lemon Balm, Sage, Dill, Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, Lavender, Artichoke, Rhubarb, Parsley, Taragon
Yarrow, Bleeding Heart, Cat Mint, Lamb’s Ear, Daffodil, Hellebore, Columbine, Coneflower, Marigold ,Juniper, Coreopsis, Russian Sage
After serious volunteer work (seen below), the above photos show this hidden gem of a garden in its initial stages of production. Taken in mid May 2021, the center photo was taken facing East. For orientation note a bit of the fencing visible just below the wind sculpture in the center picture.