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Old 12-29-2009, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
74 posts, read 175,926 times
Reputation: 38

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Will be settling in out there in about 2 weeks, and already thinking about a small garden this spring. When is generally considered the best date to start planting so that I will be safe from any frosts/freezes? Any good early spring veggies that do well out there?
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,995 posts, read 18,889,531 times
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Buy Steve Soloman's book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades. You will need to have a cloche for most veggies in the spring to keep the ground warm enough.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:28 PM
 
Location: oregon
826 posts, read 1,496,965 times
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Hi
Welcome to our valley..I'm a marion county master gardener , the rule of thumb here is to start working the soil maybe in march when the soil starts to warm..After the 15th of may is when is really safe to start planting flower bed and early vegies.
The plant sales start in late april and well into spring, the nurseries are great places to shop and people wonderfull help too
I will send you a direct message with other info in it..
Warning oregon has a hard time giving birth to spring so be patient.
We are glad you here...
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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Most of the native soil in the WV is gnarly silty clay -- better for making pottery than for growing vegetables in. If you want to simply plant seeds in the ground, wait for them to geminate in situ and tend the seedlings, you'll probably end up with a lot of half-grown runty plants by the time of the first frost. Most people put in a cool-season garden in mid-spring followed by a warm-season garden in late spring. There are separate planting schedules for cool and warm-season plants -- peas go in at least two months before tomatoes and peppers. Those who want to get plants in as early as possible will follow all of these strategies to get a head start:

1. Build raised beds with humus-rich soil that doesn't need to be worked (working wet soil destroys its structure, and well-drained soil will be warmer and ready to plant earlier in the spring).

2. Start your seeds indoors beginning at the end of February and harden them off in cold frames.

3. Cover your raised beds with a cloche until at least mid-May.

There are people who do some gardening year round and are even now harvesting greens from the garden for winter salads. A lot of it just comes down to how much effort and expense you're willing to put into it. Making your own soil helps a lot. Willamette Valley clay is hard to garden in. My first year in Corvallis, I just got big heaps of cow manure from the OSU dairy barn and planted directly in that. They didn't do so well the first year, but the second year after it tamed down a bit, the beds were very productive.

One thing you'll have to get used to is the late displacement of seasons. Most years, summer doesn't really come until about the second week of July, after a long spastic spring. September and October, then, are the main months for harvesting tomatoes.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
74 posts, read 175,926 times
Reputation: 38
Thanks for the advice. I have quite a collection of Earth Boxes that I have accumulated over the years and am bringing up from Florida. It's hard to grow a garden down there also with all the bugs that eat everything you plant, or the deer coming around. I may the first year just build the soil up as you say, and plant mostly with my Earth Boxes.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:03 PM
 
Location: oregon
826 posts, read 1,496,965 times
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I have long narrow flower beds and lots of pots,grow my tomatos in pots with great success.
My soil here was ok in 03 when we the house but I soon found a cool product at a nursery on Cordon rd by Master nursery called Bumper Crop Organic Soil builder and oh does it work..The worms love it..Over the last 4 years I've added some every year and even took my faith mantis and tilled it in..Its a great product for any use..In most places my soil is soft enough to stick you finger joint deep..
It just takes a lot of time and about the time you think you have your yard the way you want it you get a bright idea to change everything.............
MD, plan to go the Portland Garden and Patio show at the convention center, its over valentines weekend this year, just a cool show to go too..
Have a happy new year everyone
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:13 PM
 
Location: 'Shangri-La 'mountains west of Wolf Creek, Oregon
12,828 posts, read 9,113,410 times
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Sometimes in spring around April-May i use 5gallon plastic buckets (drill holes in bottom, put in some 3/4 minus shale gravel) on my deck. I plant cherry, sweetie, romano, beefsteak tomatoes & strawberry plants,etc. Use a shock additive when you put small plants in dirt.

If some nights are still frosty i made a framework above plants & cover with plastic poly, or something heavier if needed.

Trees pop up out of the soil here. I use some soil & some potting soil in buckets.

I use steer manure. a few times i've added some mushroom compost or chicken manure. I use some Miracle Grow.

I get a lot of sweet tomatoes, berries...YUM YUM. At times cover with plastic black netting keeps the birds out. Deer don't come on my deck much...

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Old 01-01-2010, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,247 posts, read 6,107,249 times
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I am no master, just a distracted working stiff who keeps trying...

In any case, I agree, May is the time to plant out, but you can start indoors well before that.

If you are considering the Willamette Valley, you will probably be surprised to learn that some warmth-demanding plants (tomatoes, corn) can struggle. The best luck with tomatoes I had up there (I live in Southern Oregon, which is warmer) was when I planted on the south side of my house where the cats had peed all winter. Bumper crop! Never had any luck with corn, but as I say, I am a struggling hack.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,995 posts, read 18,889,531 times
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My tomatoes go crazy in my garden, but I do plant on the south side. We always have a good crop and I too am a struggling hack.

Mamh thanks for the tip on that amendment. We do need to work our soil at our house so I'll check into that. Is it at Terra Gardens?
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:34 PM
 
Location: oregon
826 posts, read 1,496,965 times
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yes, its terra gardens.I buy al my potting soil and the soil builder there.
this past spring i daaaaaaaaaaa accidently fill my two big pots with all the soil builder,
boy did my cherry tomatos go crazy, mine are on the south east side of the house..I buy them at the master gardener plant sale the 1st weekend in may..
MD, for this california transplant its mind boggling at out savy and crazy about gardening people are up here...Its such cheap therapy....
Off to watch the duck game
happy new year
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