With spring just around the corner – well, it’s here in some states – I thought it would be a perfect time to share some simple tips for gardening, what to start with, how to manage it and what works best for beginners.
Courtesy of chef/gardener/instructor Dan Brophy of Oregon Culinary Institute – the only independent culinary school in Portland – here are five tips to help get your garden off the ground:
1. Now is the time to start tomato, pepper, and eggplant from seed. You’ll have more choice of plant varieties by choosing your own seed. Some varieties will thrive better in your micro-climate.
2. Check with local Master Gardeners or County Extension for specific suggestions.
3. Tomato, Pepper, and eggplant respond best if gentle bottom heat is provided for the 1-2 week period necessary for germination.
4. After the 1st set of true leaves appear, transfer plant into individual peat pots.
5. Transfer plants only after “hardening off” (gradually exposing plants to sunlight, wind, etc). I wait until soil temps are at least 50 degrees F. Remember, tomatoes respond best to full sun!
One extra tidbit from Brophy: "Best of luck! Two things money can’t buy, true love and homegrown tomatoes."