Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you garden?
My garden is located about 20 miles north of Seattle, not too far from Puget Sound.

What zone are you in?
My garden is in USDA Hardiness Zone 7B, and Sunset Climate Zone 5. I personally believe that USDA Hardiness rankings become only moderately helpful west of the Rockies, and lose their helpfulness almost completely west of the Cascades. To put it in perspective, 7B is the same USDA hardiness as Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL but how, when and what Maritime NW gardeners grow is very different from Southern gardeners.

How big is your garden?
We garden a generous one-third of an acre. Roughly one-quarter of that, or perhaps 3,700 square feet including lots of paths and non-bed area, is used primarily for edibles. Additional perennial plantings that do double duty as ornamental and edible (blueberries, elderberry, etc.) are scattered around yard.

Do you grow all your own food?
Oh, goodness no! We grow almost all of our fresh-eatin’ vegetables (still working on carrots and in the winter we might pick up a few things in the store) and probably one-third of our fruit, depending on the year. We supplement the produce that we preserve by sourcing pickling cukes, canning tomatoes and assorted heat-loving tree fruit from Eastern Washington farmers. My primary source for preserving produce is Valicoff Family Farms. We also buy most (but not all, because we live in the real world) of our meat, poultry, seafood, grains, dairy and sweeteners from local and/or trusted sources.

When should I plant my tomatoes (I live in Seattle)?
I write monthly garden To Do Lists that will will be broadly appropriate for gardeners in the maritime Northwest, although every gardener will need to determine their exact timing for their own latitude, altitude and microclimate.

Check out the To Do Lists for detailed info on what should be planted each month, including tomatoes. If you want an overview picture of what I do in the garden each month, the Year Round Vegetable Planting Guide in the Downloadables section will give that to you.

When should I plant my tomatoes (I live in Atlanta)?
I have no idea. Sorry, but I can’t claim any expertise in growing edibles outside the Pacific Northwest. I hear rumors of places where peppers overwinter and tomatoes take over garage walls and need to be shielded from late afternoon heat. I have readers who live in places where they easily grow watermelons and sweet potatoes. But none of these things happen where I garden. I highly recommend looking up your local university cooperative extension program for growing guides tailored to your region.

Can I link to or use your post on my site?
I love spreading the word about this blog and the joy of edible gardening, and having other bloggers and journalists share links to this site helps tremendously. Link all you want! Please remember that all content on this site, including original images and writings, is protected by copyright. Quoting small portions of my writing on your site is fine, but reproduction of entire posts or substantial portions of them without permission isn’t. Interested in re-publication rights? Contact me and let’s talk!

Can I write a guest post for your blog?
I do very few guest posts, and generally I solicit them from the authors. While I am willing to consider guest posts, the topic has to be spot-on for the Northwest Edible audience and of an appropriate tone, length and style. I will not run a guest post written to sell or promote Your Great Thing, so please don’t ask.

What type of camera do you use for the photography on your site?
Bwaaaa Haaa Haa! Whoo boy, sorry, but every time I get this question I have to laugh. I don’t have any fancy-pants camera or anything. I take pretty much all my photos with my iPhone. It’s not the most recent one. One or two generations back. Sometimes the pictures are respectable. But when that happens it’s mostly luck.

I’m a blogger too. I hate AdWords type advertising, too, but I want to make some money for the hours I spend on my blog. So…uh…how’s that Tip Jar working out for you?
The Tip Jar isn’t going to pay for any vacations, but it sure makes me feel good. A few times a month someone drops in a few dollars, usually between $2 and $5. Very occasionally someone tips me more than $10 and I feel like I’ve just won the lottery. If you are relying on your blog for income, a Tip Jar is probably not going to provide it unless you have a huge and generous audience. But if your goal is to occasionally buy a seed packet and think, “Hey, my readers bought me those squash seeds because they value the content I create!” then it’s very emotionally fulfilling.

What are the details on your blog?
This is a self-hosted WordPress blog built on the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. The theme is Fabric, with minor look-and-feel customizations by yours truly.

You wrote “panty” instead of “pantry” and other typos.
Yeah, that happens. Posts get written at midnight. Mistakes get made. Spellcheck ok’s the word “panty” when I meant “pantry” not realizing how silly it will seem when I say I’m keeping apricot preserves in my panty (true story). I do go back and edit, double check and reread everything before I publish it, but it’s just me. There is no copy-editor, no proof-reader, no publisher. So, I beg your patience and your understanding when typos happen. Your (kind) notation alerting me to typos is appreciated, but don’t be a jerk about it, ok? Let’s just keep in mind that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words are up on this site that are exactly what they should be.

Why did my comment not appear or get deleted?
If your comment didn’t appear, it probably got caught in the fantastically awesome spam filter I use which is run by Akismet. If you’ve noticed that you aren’t required to prove you aren’t a robot or do trigonometry before you can leave a comment, thank Akismet.  I generally have 1000s of comments in the spam queue and I just don’t have time to sift through them. I’m sorry if your legit comment got caught. If you think this happened (and if you included a URL in your comment it’s more likely that it did) email me and I’ll see what I can do to find your comment and get it published.

If your comment was deleted it’s almost certainly because you came onto my site and acted like a dick. Sorry, life’s tough that way. I love constructive debate and am happy to see productive discussion from multiple viewpoints here, but if a comment is just hate-filled spew, directed at me or my readers, I delete it. For more information of my philosophy of comment moderation, see here.

How Do I Subscribe To Your Blog?
To have posts, tips and updates delivered to your email inbox for free, click here, enter your email address and complete the subscription request. Thank you so much for subscribing!

I’m really offended because there is swearing on your site!
Sorry to hear that. Before you take the effort to email me and tell me how offended you are because I occasionally use swear words in my posts, please consider that it’s a very big internet and there are many websites out there that will be a better fit for your language preferences.

Many people enjoy the content on this site just the way it is and, in fact, most of my most popular posts contain a little salty language. If you don’t enjoy this site, that’s okay. You don’t have to read any of the content or utilize any of the many tools, planning guides and resources I make freely available here.

What is Wheaton’s Law?
Wheaton’s Law is an internet axiom developed by professional geek Wil Wheaton that says: “Don’t be a dick.” And that’s pretty much the comment policy around here. For more information, see Mr. Wheaton explain his own law, here.

Did I fail to answer your question?
Let me know and I’ll try to get it answered for you. Thanks so much!