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Never mind those recent snow flurries—spring has officially arrived. And as branches begin to bud, and birds to sing, it's time to start thinking about gardening. Now, Central Oregon isn't the Willamette Valley. One does not simply toss seeds over one's shoulder and return a few weeks later to find verdant greens emerging from the effortlessly fertile soil. Fortunately, there are plenty of upcoming opportunities to turn your thumb from black to green.

Spring Break Open Garden Work Days

In the spirit of "try before you buy," the Environmental Center is opening up its Learning Garden to newbies and experts alike to help get its garden beds up to snuff for the growing season. Many hands make light work, and lesson the likelihood of you royally screwing up anyone's rutabagas. Dress for the mess. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27, 10 am - 4 pm. The Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas Ave. Free.

OSU Master Gardeners Spring Gardening Seminar

Ready to take it to the next level? A daylong seminar with 16 classes to choose, everything from saving seeds and plants for pollinators to permaculture and compositing. A number of the courses also qualify for Master Gardner recertification if you're really serious about the whole gardening thing.

Saturday, April 18 from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, Middle Sister Building, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond. All-day package with four classes plus lunch $48. Individual classes $10 in advance.

Once you've got the hang of it, consider securing your own garden plot. If you rent, or lack the yard space for an at-home spot, a number of community gardens are accepting new members soon.

Hollinshead Community Garden

Open plots are available at this community garden, but they are expected to go quickly. For your best chance at securing a plot, arrive early and stake your place in line. After registration, dig in for a two-hour work party to kick off the gardening season. Bring your own tools, gloves, and weather-appropriate attire.

Saturday, April 25 from 9 am to noon. Hollinshead Community Garden, 1237 Jones Rd. $25 for 10x10 plot, $35 for 10x15 plot.NW Crossing Community Garden

Registration for garden beds opens May 2, but it's never too soon to start scoping out your spot, since registration for open beds is first come, first serve. But before you can put your name in the hat, you have put in some elbow grease at the season opening work party.

Saturday, May 2 at 9:30 am. Northwest Crossing Community Garden, corner of Northwest Crossing Drive and Clearwater Drive in Bend. $30, $25 for seniors.

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