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I'm just getting started on my first vegetable garden so forgive the noobie questions. I live in Southern Oregon and having a hard time finding a list of fruits and vegetables, and the correct time to begin planting. Is there a schedule out there?

Also, a lot of sites I'm finding are showing the harvest times, for example, August to November. Does this mean plant in August and harvest in November, or does it mean, plant at some point and they'll be ready for harvest sometime from August to November?

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5 Answers

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Local newspapers and master gardener groups are a place to look - they may have websites of pamphlets/booklets. Here's one for Eugene (see note below):

http://www.eugeneweekly.com/springplantingguide/index.html

Also your local agricultural university (not sure if that will be U.Oregon, or if you have an "A&M" as it were) will usually have very extensive local crop guides. As well as viability, cropping, harvest times, they will also cover common regional issues such as pests.

Note: I don't know Oregon that well having only visited for about 1hr, but there is probably more of an east-west variation in climate than north-south. You have the coast, the Cascades (altitude) and then probably a rain shadow.

Finally, that harvesting range is just that - plant earlier, and that is when you would typically harvest.

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Excellent. Thank you. –  Joshua Belden Sep 19 '11 at 18:19
    
Very good point about the east/west difference over the north/south. Portland to Ashland are probably very similar, but Klamath Falls to Ashland to Coos Bay would be wildly different. –  thursdaysgeek Sep 19 '11 at 22:51
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When I first moved here Steve Solomon's book, Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, gave me an excellent introduction and featured a nice month-by-month overview for year round gardening here in the Pacific Northwest.

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The links in the other answers are great starting points, but experience will be your best teacher. The best advice I've read is to keep a gardening notebook. At a minimum, write down when you plant, the problems you encounter, and when you harvest. (You can also write down how much you harvest, which is helpful for figuring out how much you should plant next year.)

When planning the season, look back at past notes to figure out (a) how much to plant, (b) when to plant, (c) when to expect to harvest, (d) how to prevent problems that you've encountered in the past.

In this answer to a related question, I listed a strategy for figuring out your own planting schedule. Using this and your notebook, you'll be able to figure out a schedule perfectly customized to your own backyard.

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The following (plus a lot more) is available via Oregon State University Extension Service:

Even though I don't live in your area of the country, I'm going to subscribe to some of the (video) podcasts they produce.


Good luck! and enjoy your garden

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Oregon's Agricultural Extension Service has the best Extension Service web site I've ever seen!

When you look in seed catalogs, you'll see they give a number of days from planting to harvest for each variety.

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