Even though it’s not quite time to start planting everything outside here in Central Oregon due to freezing temps most nights, it’s never too early to start planning what you are going to plant and where. Here are some tips for plants that grow well here in Central Oregon, plants that grow well together, or in close proximity of each other, and some natural ways to rid off bugs and pests that may make your garden their new home this summer. We are Zone 6, which you can refer to when choosing plants that we haven’t listed.

What Grows Well Here-

Tomatoes- Because tomatoes love heat and direct sun, they do very well here during the summer, just be sure to water every day- every other day. Check to be sure that the specific variety will do well in whatever area you are planning on planting, but you should just be fine as long as they get lots of sun.

Peppers- These love the sun and warmth, just like tomatoes, so they also do well here.

Basil- These full sun plants will pretty much get as big as you let them, and will provide endless leaves for cooking, as long as you cut the buds off when they start to flower.

Lavender- This will come back year after year, making it a Central Oregon favorite for many. Plus, the bees love them and their cuttings bring that familiar, calming smell to any room.

Butterfly Bush- These shrubs will need their space to grown, but love full sun and put on beautiful colorful flowers.

Coneflowers- Also known as Echinacea, these flowers are tough, love the sun, and attract butterflies, bees, and birds. When cut, they make beautiful additions to a wildflower arrangement.

Sunflowers- The great thing about sunflowers is, they’re so easy to grow, and if the seeds drop out during the fall, more will come back next year, all on their own. They love full sun, and are not too finicky about being watered every day.

When buying plants or starting seeds, check the label to be sure they will do well in the growing zone you are in, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from an employee at your local garden and farm store, or join a garden group on Facebook in your area to get advise from others near you.

Companion Planting (plants that grow well together)-

Tomatoes- Tomatoes grow WELL near: basil, asparagus, carrots, celery, onions, lettuce, parsley, and spinach. They do NOT do well with: Cabbage, beets, peas, fennel, dill, and rosemary.

Peppers- Peppers grow WELL near: basil, onion, spinach and tomato, and do NOT do well with: Beans, as they spread and take over/ suffocate the pepper plants.

Cucumbers- Cucumbers grow WELL near:  beans, celery, corn, lettuce, dill, peas, and radishes. They do NOT do well with: Sage, and other aromatic herbs.

For more Companion Planting tips, Click HERE to check out Farmer’s Almanac list.

Natural Pest Control-

The best way to start your garden, is do what you can to prevent bugs from coming and wanting to stay to being with, and maintain throughout the growing season. Some ways to do that are: clear out extra foliage, dead leaves, and keep foliage dry, meaning if possible, try to water soil around plants, and not soak the plants. Another great option that many farmers use, is beneficial insects, like: lady bugs, praying mantis, lacewings, and hover-flies, which you can buy at some garden stores, or order online and sprinkle in the garden.

For soft-bodied insects, like aphids, mites, mealy bugs, you can make a mixture of 1 tablespoon of canola oil, a few drops of ivory soap, and a quart of water. Pour into spray bottle, mix well and spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves, the oil suffocates the bugs.

There are plenty of home remedies for pests, depending on what you are dealing with. HERE is more info about pest control from the Earth Easy site. If you are not able to get rid of them with stuff you have at home, go to your local garden store and get advise, and if possible, take a photo of the bugs, or go online first, that way you know what you are trying to get rid of and can be pointed in the right direction.

If you have started your seeds, or plant starts, snap a photo, and tag us on social media, we would love to see!

Happy Planting!
The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty

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