Vegetable Gardening in Oregon: Myriad of Possibilities

When I came to Oregon for the very first time, I accidentally got a chance to try the locally cultivated tomatoes, called heirloom. Before this occasion, I have always thought that a very sunny and dry climate is the only way to successfully grow this fruit. How wrong I was. 

Even though I went places around the globe, no tomatoes in Sicily or Greece could compete with these luscious, toothsome organic tomatoes, born and raised in Oregon. They were more than tomatoes, they were just food worthy of the gods. It was at this very moment, while enjoying one of the best meals I have ever had in a random Portland restaurant, when I realized Oregon was something special when it comes to natural resources and agriculture possibilities.

The state’s geographical diversity makes it a great spot to have a variety of local products, including grass and legume seeds, field crops, tree fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It’s no wonder why Oregon used to be, historically, the number one producer of various berries, but also grass seed and Christmas trees in the whole country.

Gardening Season About to Begin

Being on the threshold of springtime, it is about time to think about and prepare for the gardening season that is ahead. Those who are experienced in this activity don’t wait for the end of winter to start planning. They plot their gardening master plan around the year. But for those of us who are not experts, spring is the right moment to start awaking along with the nature surrounding us.

When it comes to vegetable gardening, Oregon might be just the perfect spot for developing this skill. Whether you have a large family farm or just a small piece of the garden waiting to be cultivated, this article might be of use to you. 

Oregon is renowned for its diverse landscape – consisting of sun, rain, humidity, mountains, valleys, ocean, lakes, and rivers –  which is why the land for sale around the state, including the land for sale in Lebanon, OR, is sought-after. Its urban and rural settings can fulfill everyone’s criteria.

Depending on the vegetable, planting season in Oregon starts from February and March [asparagus, beets, carrots, broccoli, peas, etc.], and continues through April, May, and June [cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, etc.]. These dates, however, also vary depending on the region, whether it is Coast, Western Valleys, high elevations in central and eastern Oregon, or Columbia and Snake Valleys. 

In the area of Western Valleys, from Portland to Roseburg, including Lebanon, May and June are the best months for starting this activity for the majority of vegetables. In this region, it is even possible to plant watermelons in May.  For those who like to enjoy all of summer’s delicacies, real estate agencies in Lebanon can help you find a perfect piece of land.

Experts say it’s very important to patiently wait for the season to come, before starting planting seedlings or sowing seeds, to avoid its damping off or germinating. Don’t be carried away by one sunny weekend in February, before making sure the time is right for planting. One of the most common mistakes with planting is timing. And we all know that gardening depends on the weather, which is always an unpredictable factor. Thus, buying a soil thermometer is a good option for those who don’t want to take a risk. For warm-weather plants, like tomatoes, for example, you should wait for the soil to be more than 60 degrees.

The Valley of (Garden) Kings

Brokers in Lebanon, OR, and around this area, know very well what keeps good pieces of property in Willamette Valley in high-demand. Its climate is considered to be excellent for gardening, due to its warm summers and mild winters. According to the Sunset Gardening Magazine hardiness zone rating system, the Valley belongs to Zone 6, which means that the season in this zone is quite long, from mid-March to mid-November.

Additionally, Willamette Valley is rich in a variety of fertile, alluvial-type soils. Each one of the most common soils has its own nutritional characteristics, suitable for different plants from Pinot Noir vines to onions. It is one of the reasons why Willamette Valley has always been a magnet for farmers from around the state, interested in growing various breeds. 

It’s up to you which soil and product you will opt for. Whether you are into dry-farming and relying on the moisture stored in the soil thanks to the winter rainwater, or you are interested in simple, native gardening and cultivating plants that are native to this specific area, Willamette Valley may be the place for you. Look for the homes for sale in Lebanon to find the perfect spot.

However, just as with the rest of the world, climate change has affected this area as well, reducing the snowpack, and thus the irrigation water for farmers. The above-mentioned dry-farming may be a temporary solution to this problem, but global warming will remain one of the main issues of future agriculture around the world, and the state of Oregon will not be spared from it. 

Main Steps for Gardening Beginners

If you want your first-time veggie garden to be successful, follow these important steps. However, before implementing them blindly, rethink your home’s planting conditions, as well as your personal goals and wishes. Many markets sell farmer starter packs, with soil, seeds, and beds for planting, to make it easier to start your own garden. 

  1. Choose raised containers: this way, your garden fruits will not depend on the weather, because you will be able to move them around the yard in search of optimal conditions. However, don’t forget to pick the site with the largest amount of light daily, at least 8 hours, preferably sun.
  2. Prepare your soil: mix compost, fertilizer, and mulch together, balancing their nutrition characteristics and your plant’s needs. You can layer them several months in advance and leave them to mix naturally, or you can mix them yourself.
  3. Choose high-quality seeds of the vegetables your family likes and start seeding.
  4. Moisten your soil regularly.
  5. Keep an eye on your garden, for insects, aphids, and slugs.
  6. Finally, try to enjoy the whole process, not only the fruits you get from it. Vegetable gardening may become one of your passions, and not only an exhausting obligation. 

Following these steps will help you be able to make your vegetables as organic as you want, being always fully aware of what your family eats every day. Last but not least, be sure to explore Lebanon, OR real estate market, and look for the houses for sale in Lebanon and its area, with a yard large enough to make your gardening fantasy become real.

From Heirloom Tasting to the Garden Expert

Several years after my first visit to Oregon, I found out that Oregon State University developed a few varieties of heirloom tomatoes, bred specifically for the local climate, which is notorious for being ideal for this sun and warmth-loving fruit. These tomatoes are meant to be sliced and eaten fresh, having a superior flavor and texture, just like I ate them many years ago.

If your passion for high-quality veggies has developed in Oregon, just like mine, then there are not many better places than this Pacific state to try your luck and take a chance with your own veggie garden. Your appetite, stomach, and palate will be grateful for such a decision.