Now is the time here in Central Oregon when people are starting to get their outdoor gardens going, or they are already planted and getting good and established in the ground. Here’s some tips for keep your plants happy all summer, whether you are growing veggie plants, or just flowers for the bees.
Keep wet- We all know how dry our skin can get here in the High Desert, so imagine how your plant feels sitting in the sun and heat all day. A good watering at least once a day for plants in direct sun is important. Feel the soil around base of plant, and if dry, water, if still a little moist, check the next day, then water.
Protect from critters- Even if you have never seen deer in your yard, it’s surprising how sneaky they are, and will come gobble your plants and flowers down without a trace. Also, this year we are protecting our garden from a whole new critter-rock chuck. They have never been an issue until this year, and I am hearing that from other growers as well, so make sure your plants are in a fenced garden. You can use some tall stakes or a wood frame with chicken wire or mesh, and make sure there’s no way they can easily get in from under!
Fertilize- Even though plants will grow on their own, sometimes they need a little extra boost, especially in our short growing seasons. If your flowering plants are just not putting on flowers yet, you can find a special fertilizer for that plant. Same goes with veggie and fruit plants. Just go to your local yard and plant specialist, like Lowes or Home Depot, and someone can point you in the right direction, just follow directions on the container.
Keep away from foot traffic- If you are starting a designated garden area, make sure to put it where people and animals are not walking, and where animals are not use to doing their business. Think about creating a raised bed, where it’s harder for animals to try and get into.
Make cover- You just never know when the temperature will drop overnight here in Central Oregon, so have a plan if it does. A large plastic cover, much like a greenhouse is good for big and small gardens, just cut to fit correct size, and make sure it will be supported by something like stakes, or piping in the middle or around plants, so it doesn’t smash them. This is good to have for the later season growing plants, and to expand your growing season.
If you are currently growing, snap a photo and tag us on social media!