Joel In The Garden

Feed your garden while it slumbers

Feed your garden while it slumbers »Play Video
Onions and garlic are some of the first garden plants to emerge in the New Year

Watch Joel in the Garden on KMTR NewsSource16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays

EUGENE, Ore. — Many gardeners are leaving their plots covered until the last threat of frost is over.

But now can be a good time to study up and plan for next season.

And there are places in Eugene where you can take gardening classes and find nutrients for your flower bed.

It's still the middle of winter, but some flower bulbs are starting to appear. Onion and garlic plants are starting to sprout.

While many plots remain covered, experts say now is a good time to give your soil a boost.

“For those people who maybe haven't added any nitrogen to their garden areas, we do have a couple composts that'll added a little bit of nutrients,” Tom Campbell said. Campbell is the commercial sales manager at Lane Forest Products.

Yard waste and discarded Christmas trees are piled high at the Eugene biomass company. They'll soon be ground up and used in a variety of composts.

“Something like our veggie boost, we put fertilizer in it, organic fertilizer so that you have something in there ready to go so when you're ready to plant, you'll get some of the results that you're expecting,” Campbell said.

Coffee is another simple ingredient you can mix into your soil. Discarded coffee grounds are frequently available to patient gardeners.

“Some of those are just the small little kiosks you go into and you can just see if you can leave a couple five gallon buckets and come back some time during the week and pick them up,” Patty Driscoll said. Driscoll works on the compost specialist committee for Lane County Extension.

Or you can enrich your mind by logging some classroom time. The Lane County Extension Service has begun its master gardener series, but just because you missed a few classes doesn't mean you can't play catch-up.

“We do it in the winter time because that's kind of when people are not as busy. Usually June, July, August are really, really busy,” OSU Extension’s Ross Penhallegon said.

The classes range from pruning fruit trees to spotting plant diseases. The master gardener classes are $25 each to attend. The night class series, which was set to begin this week, has been postponed until September.