LINCOLN CITY — Now that spring is in the air and the sun is shining more, it’s a great time to get out in the garden and get to growing something good to eat this summer and fall — regardless of experience level.
The Lincoln County Master Gardeners will be holding their annual spring plant sale on May 18 at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Newport, where veterans and beginners alike can choose from a variety of plant starts that have been selected by the Master Gardeners.
“We grow them, in particular, with the coastal climate in mind,” said Claudette Schroeder, a Master Gardener of 12 years. “So when people, if they don’t want to grow them from seeds, themselves, then we have the perfect opportunity for them to get the starts and then they can talk to Master Gardeners there. We also have handouts that we give them.”
Gardening on the coast can be a struggle for green thumbs who have moved from inland, but it can also pose a challenge to those who move from one house to another on the coast and change microclimates.
“The most important thing is for people to be aware of the environment that they’re planting in,” said Schroeder, “because it can be very different if you’re right up against the ocean as opposed to a mile back, or even a couple of blocks back.”
Even different sides of a house provide different growing conditions. Schroeder recommends south facing walls, with taller plants closer to the wall and shorter plants further south so that light reaches all the plants. And while some plants, like tomatoes and peppers, may require extra care or accommodations Schroeder says that on the coast, “you can grow almost anything, as long as you’re willing to provide what it needs.”
Schroeder has some key tips for beginners: grow what you like to eat, only grow a few different vegetables to start with and look at your plants every day.
“You don’t need to have 23 different vegetables in the garden and not have any idea what they’re doing,” she said. “(Start with) just two or three vegetables, get to know those vegetables nicely and what their needs are.”
For anyone struggling, however, the Master Gardeners are there to help. To contact the Lincoln County Master Gardeners helpdesk, call 541-574-6534 ext. 57414 or email [email protected]. For more information on becoming a master gardener and a calendar of upcoming events, visit orcoastmga.org.