Answer: The growing season is cooler, but a little longer than you've experienced in the past. In the Portland area, you can plant cool-season crops (cabbage, lettuce, spinach, etc.) in early April. Warm-season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash and corn can go into the ground the first of June. If you select varieties with short days to maturity, you'll be able to harvest everything by the end of October, about two weeks before the first frost of the season. Your local Cooperative Extension office can provide a list of veggie varieties that grow well in your area. (Phone 503-725-2000)
Roses are susceptible to many fungal diseases during the cool, wet summers normal for the Pacific Northwest. If you want to grow roses with the least amount of effort, choose disease resistant varieties. Again, the extension office will have a list of the best performers in your area. You'll find a wealth of local gardening information through them.
Good luck with your new garden!
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