Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many people are concerned about food security. Under normal circumstances, the Clatsop County Master Gardeners Association would be partnering with host agencies to offer the Seed to Supper program to increase food security.
As a substitute for in-person programming, we’re offering a series of posts on starting a vegetable garden. This science-based information comes from the Seed to Supper program, developed by the Oregon Food Bank. During these difficult times, the Oregon Food Bank welcomes your donations.
Before you create a planting plan, you’ll need to decide what you want to grow. If you don’t currently have a garden space, plan for a community garden plot.
First, make a list of which vegetables you enjoy. You want to grow food that you like to eat.
Next, consider what’s realistic. What grows well in our climate? Lots! But not everything! See page 7 of the OSU Extension pdf “Vegetable Gardening in Oregon” for a chart showing what you can realistically plant in our region, along with planting dates.
Think, too, about what’s cost effective. For instance, herbs are quite expensive at the store, but they cost little to grow. Other high-value vegetables include carrots, beets, parsnips, leafy greens, and kale. Less cost effective are vegetables that require a lot of space for their yield, like winter squash and pumpkin.
Speaking of space, that’s another consideration. Some vegetables, like tomatoes, have a bigger footprint (36” x 36” for tomatoes) than others, like leeks (4” x 4” footprint). Look up each vegetable on your list in an online seed catalog such as this one from Territorial Seeds and make a note of the growing space required for each. Note also how high each plant grows; this will be important as we consider issues of sunshine and shade.
Next up: Consider Containers