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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Plant Your Garden

"Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds." – Thomas Jefferson

Planting a garden can be easy as peas. According to the National Gardening Association, 35 percent of American households had some kind of kitchen garden in 2009. Add to that number and help reclaim our food system by growing some vegetables in your backyard or in a container. Figure out the what, where, when and hows of your garden with the following resources:


Scrolling through seed catalogues can be an enjoyable experience on its own: the plush colors of a royal burgundy bush bean, the eccentric patterns on a tigerella tomato, the bulbous shape of a lemon cucumber; who knew our staple vegetables could come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors?

Part of the fun of planting a garden is planning what to grow. During a rainy Portland winter day, curl up with a seed catalogue and let your imagination run wild.

Some recommended organic seed suppliers:

High Mowing Organic Seeds

Johnny's Selected Seeds

Portland Seed Library

Seeds of Change

Seed Savers Exchange

SE Portland Seed Bank

Territorial Seed Company

Uprising Seeds

Oregon organic seed suppliers

Save your seeds

Cornell Cooperative Extension: How to Save a Vegetable Seed

Organize or participate in a seed swap!

Tool Libraries

Tools can be expensive. Don't let that stop you; it's not necessary to have your own.

Visit a tool library near you:

North Portland Tool Library

SE Portland Tool Library

Seasonal and Regional Crop Information

Timing is everything. Your ground is ready and beds are made, but before starting your seeds, it's important to know what's best to plant and when in the Pacific Northwest.

These resources will help you plan for a fresh supply of produce in your garden year round:

Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening Guide in the Pacific Northwest (by OSU extension)

National Garden Association Vegetable Planting Guide

OSU Extension Monthly Garden Calendar

Portland Nursery Veggie Calendar

Keep Your Plants Healthy: Pest, Weed and Disease Management

Part of gardening is not being in control. Whether you're growing inside or outside, your plants are fair game for sliming slugs, foul fungi and intrepid invasives. Not all unintended garden guests are bad - some insects and plants can complement the health of your crops. If you do see a budding problem in your bed, for the health of your soil, the critters living in it and you, the consumer of homegrown vegetables, it is important to use environmentally sound methods pest, weed and disease management.

Here are some resources for natural or organically approved weed/pest/disease management:

ATTRA's pest management data-base

ATTRAs resources on methods of weed and pest management

Grow Smart, Grow Safe: Metro's Consumer Guide to Lawn and Garden Products

IMPedia: resource database on integrated pest management

OSU Don't Let Bugs Beat You to It:

Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook

Multnomah County Master Gardeners

Ask a Multnomah Master Gardener:

Hotline: 503-445-4608

Resource webpage