Joel In The Garden

'Gardening and farming is a hobby for optimists'

'Gardening and farming is a hobby for optimists' »Play Video

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

EUGENE, Ore. - The lottery's been drawn, and new gardeners are welcome to begin planting something good to eat at community gardens in Eugene.

But while some plots are still covered, others are showing new signs of life.

“Gardening and farming is a hobby for optimists for sure,” Adam Cole said. Cole works at Down to Earth garden store in Eugene.

It's still cool out, but now is a great time to plant some onion sets. They're relatively cheap, and you can find them in white, red and yellow varieties. You don't have to plant them all at once, but if you wait until late spring, they likely won't get quite as big.

“It's cost effective. Seeds are always more cost effective, but they're quite a bit more work and take a bit more protection. But onions should go in now for the next month or so,” Cole said.

If you're planting some new seeds for the first time, labeling is important. Not only will it keep things organized, but it'll help you avoid ripping out any young plants that you might mistake for weeds.

“If you want to be more systematic about it, if you ever want to do your own breeding, or if you just want to make sure you get the best out of what you've done, it's good to label,” Cole said.

It's also an opportune time to plant some seed starts. And you can create your own seed starters using old paper towel or toilet paper rolls. Just cut the bottoms, fill them with potting mix and add your seeds. When the weather warms up, you can plant them directly in the ground.

If you’re growing plants from seed, you should allow the seedlings to harden off for at least a week by putting them outside in direct sunlight for a few hours a day. Once they’re hardened off, you can plant them directly into your garden.