Do I need to amend the soil to start a garden in Central Oregon?

Asked September 8, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

I'm moving out east of Bend onto a piece of land that is mostly juniper and sagebrush now. I'm wanting to start a garden and I'm wondering if you know what type of soil is out there and what needs to be done to it to get a good garden going.

Deschutes County Oregon

1 Response

The best place to find out about your specific soil is either asking the NRCS, 541-923-4358, or using the Web Soil Survey at

No matter what type of soil you have, the best thing to do is add amendments: compost! I would suggest to add 3" of compost to your soil and work it in to the top 3" this fall, then repeat that with about 2" in the spring. If you are not in a hurry to get your garden going, you can use green manure crops to slowly build your soil too. Good ones for the fall are triticale and Austrian peas. Knott landfill has a nice soilbuilder compost that would work well.