Joel In The Garden

Spring in the garden: Time to plant

Spring in the garden: Time to plant »Play Video
Plant now for summer berries

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

EUGENE, Ore. - After a rainy start to March, the garden is coming to life.

My pruned raspberry canes are showing new growth, but the snails and slugs are waking up as well.

Greenhouses in the Willamette valley have a large inventory of both pansies and primroses.

“All of these are fairly inexpensive and they're going to give you a lot of color for the money,” Vern Johnson said. Johnson is the owner of Johnson Brothers Greenhouse in Coburg.

But Johnson cautions, a few sunny days can be deceptive. A few days of sun doesn't necessarily mean all of these flowers are ready to go into the ground.

“There's not too many choices during this cool, wet weather because a lot of plants, it's just too cold and we still run the risk of a hard freeze yet or multiple frosts,” Johnson said.

Even if you're not quite ready to turn a shovel just yet, the time to put a pen to paper is right now. The deadline to get in on the community garden lottery is coming up fast.

“We do currently have 70 plots that are available. And many of them in highly desirable locations,” Chris Girard with the City of Eugene said.

Johnson says many desirable veggies can be planted right now, including peas, onions and garlic.

“Your brassicas; cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Those can go in now, they can handle the cold. And some of them will thrive,” Johnson said.

Now is also a good time to add compost, so I'm adding coffee grounds for nitrogen while I wait for more sunny days.

People can apply for a community garden plot at the Eugene Parks and Open Space office at 1820 Roosevelt Boulevard.

The deadline to apply is Monday, March 17.

The plots will be assigned during the lottery on March 24.