It is certainly true that this winter is uncertain. I’ve seen cherry blossoms in January, and earlier this week, buds were covered with snow. While I expected an ominously early spring, our changing forecast makes me think we have some time before we sow seeds into the soil.
The perfect time to plan
Winter is a perfect time to plan for our future gardens, and I encourage you to take some time and design a detailed document laying out what you hope to grow and where. As you do so, consider the amount of light a plant needs, as well as the plant’s desired soil pH and temperature. Seed packets and planting calendars are great resources, and the latter gives you a good idea of the appropriate time to start seeds or transplant starts. Portland Nursery also provides a free and handy calendar, and we love to do consultations – helping you design and execute a garden that produces throughout the season.
When it’s not so frigid, this is also a great window to prune fruit trees, and to prune back roses or any dead growth on other perennials (think Shasta Daisies, Lavender, ornamental grasses, etc). The forecast does show a slight rise in temperatures, so give us a call if you’d like a pruning coach, or if you’d just rather we climbed the ladder and did the work ourselves!
Finally, as you plan for the warmth’s abundance, consider growing something you haven’t before! Or give your garden at least one more purpose. This could mean growing flowers for insects or medicine for your home pantry. So many medicinal plants do well in Portland. Things like Tulsi, Chamomile, Echinacea, Rosemary, Thyme, Ashwagandha, and Oregon Grape Root are relatively easy to find, easy to grow, and offer a myriad of health benefits! You can find a great supply of medicinal seeds and starts here, and a good selection of local starts at Naomi’s and the People’s Co-Op once the season turns.
So stay warm, stop chasing the weather report, and enjoy the passing winter.