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Seed to Supper


Seed to Supper is a comprehensive beginning gardening course series that gives novice, adult gardeners the tools they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget.

Developed by Oregon Food Bank in cooperation with the Oregon State University Extension Service, Seed to Supper is offered throughout the state of Oregon in collaboration with community-based Host Agencies and Satellite Partners. Clatsop County Master Gardeners Association (CCMGA) is a Satellite Partner.

If you would like to join our email list to receive information about volunteering, host agency arrangements, or enrolling in an upcoming Seed to Supper class series, please complete this form.

For more information email debvanasse@gmail.com.

This curriculum is designed for adults gardening on a budget. While there are no specific income guidelines for participants, we prioritize partnerships with Host Agencies that serve community members living on low incomes.

Classes will cover the following topics: garden site preparation and soil health, garden planning, planting, maintenance, and harvest.

Classes are taught by trained volunteer Garden Educators, typically in teams of two.

Each course series includes approximately 12 hours of class time, typically divided into six two-hour sessions held at the same time each week for 6 consecutive weeks.

Each course has 8-15 participants who commit to attending all classes in the series.

Interactive, classroom-based lessons are designed to be taught indoors during the rainy season in order to prepare participants for spring gardening. The program includes built-in flexibility to incorporate hands-on activities, but Host Agencies are not required to have on-site gardens in order to offer this course.

Class participation, course booklets, certificates of completion and gardening supplies are provided to class participants at no charge.

COVID-19 Pandemic Update 

Due to the social distancing currently in place, OSU has proved the Seed to Supper class in an online form:

Seed to Supper ONLINE

All 2020 and 2021 Clatop County in person Seed to Supper classes are cancelled.  Please read our FOOD SECURITY Blog below for more information on growing food on a budget. 

2019 Seed to Supper Class


Food Security Blog

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  • June 12, 2020 1:35 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

    OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.

    Transplants ("starts") can be expensive, so you want to choose the best. With starts, bigger isn’t always better. A stocky start with deep green leaves and roots that are not twisted around themselves is healthier than a taller plant that’s “spindly” or “leggy” with leaves that are yellowing and a root system that is “rootbound.”

    If the transplants have come from indoors, it can be helpful to expose them to the outdoors gradually (“harden them off”) for a few days before planting them in the ground. Each day, increase the amount of sunlight and wind they get. 

    When your transplants are hardened off, space them in your garden plot according to “footprint.” They will look too far apart, but they’re not. If planted too close, the plants won’t thrive because they’re competing for nutrients.

    Nursery transplants often come with more than one plant in a single pot. If you’re able to gently separate the roots without breaking them (as shown), you can plant each seedling separately. If the seedlings are too hard to separate, choose the healthiest looking plant and cut off the rest at soil level to keep them from competing. If the starts are root-bound (roots stay in the shape of the pot when you remove the plant), gently rough up the roots with your hands before transplanting. Otherwise, the roots may not spread and the plant won’t thrive.

    Transplant starts in early morning or early evening to prevent wilting. Water the starts before transplanting and handle them gently. Dig a hole that is wider and slightly deeper than the root ball. The hole should be big enough that the top of the rootball does not stick up above the level of the soil.

    Mix fertilizer into the bottom of the hole (about ¼ cup organic fertilizer). Set transplant in the hole so that the bottom leaves are at the top of the planting hole. Gently backfill the hole with soil (but do not compress it). Gently water the transplanted starts right away and keep them well-watered during the first week. The soil will settle, so you might want to add more soil to the planting hole after watering.

    Tomatoes need to be transplanted differently. Dig a hole that is deeper than the rootball. Cut off the bottom set of leaves and plant the tomato so that only two or three sets of leaves are above the soil. New roots will form below the soil, growing from the section of the stem that you’ve planted.

    Next up: Watering your garden

  • June 12, 2020 1:33 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

    OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.

    Learning to read seed packets will help you make good decisions when you grow crops from seed. All seed packets list the same basic information: when to plant, how deep to plant, distance between plants, and days to harvest.

    Some crops germinate in relatively cool weather, while others (like corn, eggplant and tomatoes) need warmer temperatures. A soil thermometer will help you make decisions about when to plant seeds outdoors. On the Oregon coast, early planting crops include cabbage, carrots, onions, peas, potatoes, and radishes; by mid-April, our soils are generally warm enough for these seeds to germinate. Keep in mind, however, that clay soils warm more slowly than other soil types. 

    Loosen the soil using a digging fork or shovel, then rake the seedbed smooth to create a loose, even “tabletop” to your bed. To make less work for yourself, spread your compost and fertilizer before you loosen the soil. Mix them in as you work the bed.

    When you sow your seeds, you can choose one of these patterns: row planting, banded planting, and hill planting. Most seed packets have directions for planting in rows. The packet will tell you how deep the rows should be, how far apart to plant the seeds, and how far apart to space the rows. Draw rows in the soil with your finger or a garden tool. Sow large seeds one by one, or sprinkle in smaller seeds. As insurance, sow twice as many seeds as you need—you can thin them later.

    Check the seed packet to see how deep the seeds should be, then cover them with that amount of soil. Covering the seeds should be your last step so that you can see if you missed any spots. To keep your rows straight, you may want to use string lines as a guide. Pound in a stake at each end of the row and tie a string between the stakes—then follow the string as you plant.

    Row planting works for all crops, and it allows for hoeing weeds, but the distance between rows can waste space in a small garden. For banded planting, create a single wide row and broadcast seeds evenly within it. For hill planting, which is a good way to plant large seeds, plant several seeds in a small cluster.

    To avoid the problem of too many seeds coming out at once as well as the problem of seeds sticking to your fingers, here's a simple tip: Crease the seed packet at the front and back so it resembles an open diamond. Holding the packet above the area you want to sow, tap the bottom crease lightly with a pencil so that the seeds dispense evenly at the top crease. 

    How deep to plant seeds depends on the crop—check your seed packet for information. If there are no directions on your seed packet, follow this rule: Sow as deep as 3 to 4 times the longest part of the seed. For instance, if the seed is ¼ inch long, sow it 1 inch deep. If you soil is heavy, you can sow your seeds less deeply and cover them with light potting soil. If seeds are too deep, they may never germinate. If not deep enough, they may wash away or be carried off by birds. 

    Labeling at planting time can help you remember what you’ve planted. Include the date, too, either on the label or in your garden journal. Cut up old yogurt containers or use popsicle sticks as plant tags—write on them with a permanent marker.

    Seeds need moisture to germinate. Mist or lightly water often so that the soil is moist (like a wrung-out sponge), but not soggy. 

    Use a hose nozzle with a mist setting to avoid washing the seeds away. Hold the nozzle above the soil until the water starts to puddle. Let the water soak in, then continue watering until it puddles again. Do this several times for an even watering. Water new seedbeds every day or two until the seedlings are established (more often in hot weather). Let the soil dry slightly between watering.

    Begin thinning when the seedlings’ first “true leaves” develop. True leaves are a plant’s mature foliage—they look different from first leaves. Remove weak, small seedlings, and leave the stronger ones to grow. When you thin, you can snip the seedlings at surface of the soil or gently pull them up by the roots. Water well after thinning to keep the remaining plants from drying out. Thin weekly until each plant has a “footprint” worth of growing space.

    Next up: Transplants

  • June 12, 2020 1:32 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

    OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.

    Before planting your garden, you must decide which crops to seed directly into the soil and which crops to transplant into the garden as plant starts. Seeds can be less expensive than starts, so direct seeding can give you more plants for less money. Seeds will also give you a bigger choice of plant varieties, because most stores have space for only a few varieties of plant starts.

    Transplanting has its advantages too. Many favorite summer crops need a longer growing season than we have in Oregon. Plant starts for these crops are grown in a warm greenhouse, so they get a jump on the growing season. When you transplant them into your garden, you give them plenty of time to produce a crop before the first frost kills them. Also, weeds can crowd out young plants, but transplants are already big enough to get a head start on weeds. You can use your SNAP/Oregon Trail card to purchase vegetable seeds and transplants.

    You can also grow your own transplants from seeds. Starting your seeds indoors is good for annual plants that you want to get a head-start on growing, giving you a head start on annual crops that have a long growing season, like tomatoes & peppers.

    Try to buy only enough seeds for this one planting year. Some seeds can last for several years (three years on average) if you store them properly, but they germinate best in the year stamped on the packet. You can store leftover seeds in a cool, dark place like a closet or basement. Put leftover seed packets in a sealed jar with a drying agent (like a silica packet from a pill bottle) to absorb moisture.

    In order to germinate, or break out of their protective outer shells and begin to grow, seeds need MOISTURE and WARMTH. Seeds also germinate best in loose soil. When growing your own transplants (also called “starts”) use seed starting soil rather than regular potting soil and start your transplants on dates that align with the “planting out” dates indicated on seed packets and in seed catalogs. Plant the seeds in small containers with drainage holes. Water them in, but don’t let the soil get waterlogged. A seed mat—a sort of waterproof heating pad—will help seeds germinate more quickly.

    You can cover your pots with clear plastic so the soil stays damp, but be sure to remove this as the seedlings poke through the soil. Seeds don’t need light to germinate, but after the seedlings emerge, they need a good source of light (sunlight or grow light) for 6 – 8 hours a day. If the light source is weak or distant, the seedlings will become “leggy” as they reach for the light, and they may not be strong enough to transplant.

    Next up: Growing seeds outdoors

  • June 12, 2020 1:31 PM | Ryan Ewing

    A raised bed is any garden bed that is raised above the natural surface of the soil. Raised beds help you avoid stepping on your garden soil. In contrast to big in-ground plots, raised beds help you focus on the areas where plants will be growing, so you save on fertilizer, compost, water, time, and labor. Raised beds also warm up sooner in spring so you can plant earlier.

    The benefits of raised beds can be achieved by mounding soil and/or compost, but the soil will erode over time, becoming prime ground for weeds. To avoid this problem you can build retaining walls of concrete blocks, rocks, or boards (avoid lumber painted with lead-based paint and pressure-treated lumber manufactured before 2002; also avoid creosote-treated lumber such as railroad ties).

    Build your raised beds no more than 3- to 4-feet wide so that you can easily reach the middle from the paths on either side of the bed. If you have more than one bed, separate beds with pathways. You’ll need at least 18 inches for a footpath and 24 to 36 inches for using wheelbarrows and garden carts.

    If filling your beds with soil from the earth, be sure to loosen it well. You can also purchase soil for raised bed, or mix your own with equal parts top soil, compost, and vermiculite.

    For more on building raised beds, see this OSU Extension pdf.

    Next up: Planting seeds

  • June 12, 2020 1:30 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.  OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.

    Soil naturally contains a small amount of organic matter. Adding compost every year increases the organic matter in your soil. When you add compost, your soil can absorb moisture better and hold onto it longer, so you don’t need to water as often.

    Compost also provides habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms and earthworms, which help provide nutrients to your plants. And since soil with compost in it acts like a sponge, nutrients stay in your garden instead of creating harmful runoff in nearby streams and lakes.

    You can buy compost pre-made in bags, but if you make it yourself, you’ll save money while recycling nutrients into your garden. To make your own compost, alternate layers of “green” and “brown” materials in a bin or other container that’s at least 3 feet high, 3 feet deep, and 3 feet wide. Make holes in your container, top and bottom, to allow it to breathe; if you plan to add kitchen scraps, make sure rodents can’t get in.

    Green materials include garden waste (no weeds or diseased plants), kitchen scraps (no animal products), coffee grounds, grass clippings, and pet hair. Brown layers include dry leaves, straw, sawdust, torn paper bags, dry corn husks, and shredded newspapers. The smaller the pieces, the faster they’ll decompose.

    Keep your compost pile damp (like a wrung-out sponge) and use a pitchfork to mix the materials after a week or two, then once a month thereafter. When you can no longer identify the green materials, the compost is finished. For more on making compost, see this free resource from OSUExtension.

    Add 2 to 6 inches of finished compost (either purchased or made yourself) to your garden beds each year. Spread it loosely over the soil. If your soil is heavy with clay, you may need to mix in your compost. For looser soils, you can use a digging fork or “hula hoe” to wiggle in new compost without mixing. For perennial crops like asparagus, artichokes, and berries, you can top dress 2 inches of compost onto the soil surface each year without mixing it in.

    Because some vegetables, like tomatoes, are “heavy feeders,” you may need to use fertilizer to supplement the nutrients in your compost. Fertilizing the garden is important to keep the plants healthy.

    Plants need 16 nutrients to thrive.  Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are important nutrients that are found in most fertilizer mixes. Plants need much smaller amounts of the other 13 nutrients, called “micronutrients.”

    The three numbers on a fertilizer label tell you the percentages of available nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) contained in the product. For example, a fertilizer labeled 15-5-10 contains 15% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus, and 10% potassium.

    For the first 2 or 3 years of a new garden bed, a balanced fertilizer is fine.  Balanced fertilizers contain N, P and K in the same amounts, like 10-10-10. Organic fertilizers are healthy for your garden but can take longer to work than chemical fertilizers, which are like a fast food meal.

    In the first year of a new garden, work organic fertilizer into the soil in the spring, about a month before you sow seeds or transplant. This gives the soil microorganisms time to break down the fertilizer into a form that the plants can use. After a season or two, you can fertilize at planting time without waiting. If transplanting starts instead of growing from seeds, you can fertilize “in the hole” according to package directions. Following package directions is also important when you use a chemical fertilizer.

    Check seed catalogs and seed packets to learn more about the fertilizer needs of each variety. Throughout the growing season, you can “side-dress” with fertilizer by working it into the soil next to your vegetables.

    If you notice a pale green or yellow color and slow growth about 4 – 5 weeks after planting, your crops may need more nitrogen. But don’t apply too much nitrogen to peas, tomatoes, or squash— it can make those plants produce only leaves and no fruit.

    Vegetables grown in containers need fertilizer every two weeks.

    Next up: Garden beds

  • June 12, 2020 1:29 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

    OSU is also offering its vegetable gardening class online.

    For a healthy garden, you’ll need healthy soil. Many problems in the home garden have nothing to do with disease or insects but are caused by poor soil. If you have dry, cracked soil, soil that’s hard to dig, or soil that doesn’t absorb water (or drains too quickly), you may have poor soil.

    Soil that’s “in good tilth” can support plant life.  It’s loamy, easy to dig, readily soaks up and stores water, drains well, and makes a good seedbed. Loamy soil will form into a ball and hold its shape when moist, but it will easily crumble when you squeeze it.

    Clay soil holds more moisture and has less air than sandy soil. It can be harder to work, and it warms slowly. Sandy soil drains better than clay soil, has more air, and warms quickly, but it loses moisture faster.

    Garden soil is made up of air, water, organic matter, and tiny pieces of broken rock. It’s roughly ½ pore space, or empty space between soil particles. Water fills the small pores, and air fills the large pores. If the broken rock is mostly sand, the soil pores hold a lot of air and not much water. If the broken rock is mostly clay, the soil pores hold a lot of water and not much air. Plants and their roots need both air and water to grow.

    Organic matter makes up only a small part of healthy soil, but it’s essential in a vegetable garden. Organic matter is anything that was once living and is now decomposed—or broken down—in the soil. Adding organic material improves both clay and sandy soil.

    In nature, soil microorganisms and earthworms decompose raw organic materials like fallen leaves, plant trimmings, and food scraps until they cannot be broken down further. You can then add this decomposed material to your garden beds as compost, which we’ll discuss in more detail in our next post. Planting in raw organic material can harm your plants, so it must decompose before you use it in your garden.

    Consider testing your soil when you are starting a new garden. A soil test can measure your soil’s pH and the amounts of N, P, K and other nutrients in your soil. Testing the pH tells you how acid or alkaline your soil is. Vegetable gardens are most productive when the soil is slightly acidic between 6.0–7.0. If your soil pH is lower than 6.0 (too acidic), then some nutrients will be less available to your plants. You can raise pH by adding agricultural lime, which also adds calcium to the soil. Apply 5 pounds per 100 square feet of growing area (or more, if pH is especially low).

    N-P-K stands for essential nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If you’ve applied a balanced fertilizer for several years, your soil may already have enough phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen can leach out of the soil quickly with too much watering or heavy rainfall. You may want to test your soil every three to five years to see if you really need to supply any nutrient other than nitrogen. You can purchase inexpensive test kits for pH and N-P-K at local garden centers (call ahead to check availability) or online.

    Vegetables grown in containers will need more fertilizer than those grown in the ground. The soil (potting soil only!) must be refreshed or replaced annually.

    Next up: Compost and Fertilizer

  • June 12, 2020 1:28 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

    After deciding which vegetables you’ll grow and where you’ll grow them, you’re ready to map your garden. A basic sketch of your available space will help you remember important things such as the way the sun moves across your yard and the location of your water source.

    Your basic garden sketch should show the size of your space; the location of your water source; any existing fences, buildings, trees, or walkways that you’ll need to work around; your possible planting area; and the orientation of your garden to the sun (N, S, E, W).

    In pencil (so you can adjust as needed), show where you intend to plant each vegetable. Be sure to consider the “footprint” of your plants at maturity and the height of your plants at maturity. Position taller plants toward the north so they don’t cast shade on shorter plants.

    Thinking about your plants in terms of families will help with crop rotation in years to come. Crop rotation helps to prevent disease, pest problems, and loss of nutrients from the soil. Avoid planting crops from the same family in the same place (or container) two years in a row. When possible, wait four or more years before putting a family back in the same spot.

    Some common vegetable family groups include brassicas (cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower), allium (onions, leeks), root vegetables (carrots, beets, radishes), nightshade (tomatoes, potatoes), legumes (beans, peas), and greens (lettuce, chard, arugula).

    A garden journal or notebook is a good place to keep your garden map. Label it with the year so you can use it to plan crop rotations next year. In your garden journal, you can also include the planting dates for everything you plant.

    Next up: Healthy Soil

  • June 12, 2020 1:25 PM | Ryan Ewing

    Choosing a garden site is as important as choosing the vegetables you’ll grow. All vegetables need fertile, well-drained soil, but a garden also needs to be convenient for you.

    Sunlight is the most important element in your garden. Wherever possible, select a garden site that gets sun all day long. Many vegetables need a minimum of six hours of sunshine. Plants can become weak and sick if they don’t get enough sunlight. As best you can, locate your garden away from trees and large shrubs, which can block sunlight.

    The soil in your garden plot should be loose and well-draining. A gradual slope can help with drainage. When soil doesn’t drain well, it stays wet and cold late into the spring, making it hard to grow early-season vegetables. Standing water is also not good. If your soil is heavy and stays wet long after rain has stopped, you can grow vegetables in raised beds instead. Raised beds will be better drained, and they’ll warm earlier. We’ll talk more about raised beds in an upcoming post.

    Although it might seem counter-intuitive, weeds are a good sign in a potential garden site. They show that your soil can support plant life. The healthier the weeds or grass growing on the site, the better the soil will be for vegetables after you clear the plot.

    As much as possible, locate your garden where there’s good air flow. Stagnant, humid, warm air creates ideal conditions for problems such as tomato blight, mildew on squash, or mold on green beans. On the other hand, try to situate your garden in a place that’s not overly windy. Wind dries out plants.

    As you decide which site is best for your garden, keep in mind the adage “out of sight, out of mind.” You’ll want to be able to easily see or visit your garden every day, making it convenient to plant, maintain and harvest.

    Lastly, match your vision with realities. It's better to start with a small garden plot than to go big and find you don't have the time or energy to care for your vegetables. If space permits, you can always expand later.

    Next up: Map your garden

  • June 12, 2020 1:24 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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.

    Want to grow your own vegetables but don’t have the space? Consider containers! As with in-ground gardening, a wide variety of plants can be grown in containers. Plants grown in containers have a similar growing season to in-ground plants, and they require similar amounts of sunlight.

    But there are also some significant differences. For your container plants to be healthy and productive, you need to pay attention to the 3 R’s:

    Right preparation: When you garden in containers, you’re creating a closed environment for your plants, so your containers need to be appropriately sized for what you’re growing. Plants with big root systems, like tomatoes, need big containers. All sorts of containers can be used—bushel baskets, gallon cans, well-cleaned plastic jugs with the tops cut off—but make sure that your containers have adequate drainage, drilling holes in the bottom as necessary. Seed packets and catalogs can help you determine what size container each plant needs to thrive. You also need to give your container plants the right kind of soil.

    Because soil composition and drainage are critical in these closed environments, you must use potting soil, not soil from the ground or bagged top soil. Because you’ll need to buy potting soil, container gardening can be more expensive than in-ground gardening.

    Pick a site where your container plants will get plenty of sun. Flowering vegetables, like tomatoes and beans, need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Plants with edible leaves, like lettuce and kale, need at least 4 hours of daily sunlight. Plants with edible roots, such as carrots and beets, need at least 3 hours of sunlight each day.

    Right plant selection: Not all plants thrive in containers. Those that do thrive include cherry tomatoes, pole beans, peas, arugula, lettuce, gourmet salad greens, strawberries, kale, spinach, and herbs. As you consider seeds and starts, choose varieties that do well in containers. Look for dwarf, miniature, and container varieties in online seed catalog such as this one from Territorial Seeds.

    Right care: Due to smaller volume, soil in containers dries out more quickly than soil in the ground, so you’ll need to water more frequently. For the same reason, container plants also require more fertilizer. If using soluble fertilizer that can be mixed in water, fertilize every three to four days with a solution that’s half the strength of the recommended mixing ratio. If you use dry fertilizer, fertilize every three weeks. Follow these same principles if fertilizing with organic materials such as compost and blood meal.

    You’ll also need to water regularly, as the soil in containers dries out quickly. On sunny days, you may need to water daily. But don't let the soil become soggy or have water standing on top of it. Many plants don’t like “wet feet.” Water when the soil feels dry and until it runs out the drain holes.

    Don’t put pebbles or marbles into the bottom of your containers; that will cause shallow roots. Instead, elevate your pots on bricks or boards so water can freely drain from the drainage holes.

    After you harvest your spring and early summer crops, you can replant your containers with late summer and fall vegetables, just as you would with an in-ground garden.

    Next up: Location, Location, Location

  • June 12, 2020 1:22 PM | Ryan Ewing

    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

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With the vision of enhancing our environment for generations, CCMGA endeavors to be the best source for quality gardening knowledge on the north coast.

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Astoria, OR 97103

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