{Reader Question} What Fruits And Veggies Will Grow In Shallow Soil?

Stagnogley

I have 1-foot high raised beds on my concrete soil. It’s really is that hard, filled with rocks and impossible to dig. I put in 2 grapes on a little arbor. What fruits and veggies will survive in such shallow soil? Thank you for any help you can share. – Sharon Hi Sharon. The quick [Continue Reading...]

Those Kooky Permaculture People: An Avocado Tree Grows in Seattle

Avocado seedling

Look, I’ll be honest: sometimes the Permaculture community makes claims that seem….well, kooky. Grow pineapples in Seattle? With enough heat-sink big rocks, we can do that! Plant invasive weeds all over your garden? Heck ya, that’s nature’s own deep mineral mining company, right there! Build weird snake-shaped ponds that act as giant solar reflectors to increase [Continue Reading...]

Is This The Most Attractive Veggie Garden Ever?

Livestock Tank Planters (5)

Looking for a gardening system that brings crops to you with little or no bending, reduces weeding to a bare minimum and is so cute it puts cat videos on YouTube to shame? Steven and Bea, readers from Williams, OR emailed me last month to share their “Pedestal Planter” technique for growing bumper crops of [Continue Reading...]

Don’t Buy These 5 Williams-Sonoma Agrarian Products

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Last week Williams-Sonoma branched out from French dishwear, excellent knives and seasonal high-end cocoa mix into urban homesteading gear. With the launch of their Agrarian line, Williams-Sonoma now sells gardening gear, chicken and bee keeping supplies, seeds, edible plants, fruit trees and preserving supplies. Some people in the hardcore DIY community (you know who you [Continue Reading...]

Stop Ripping Up Your Lawn To Grow Veggies

It’s a badge of honor among urban homesteaders to say, “I’ve ripped up my whole lawn and put in a garden.” Stop doing that. No, seriously, I would now like to explain why you should not actually rip up your lawn, and I’d like to start with a little soil science. Bear with me, this’ll [Continue Reading...]

Total Potato Fail

I am having the darndest time with the easy plants this year. The beans, the peas, the broccoli, the berries, the onions, the beets, the lettuce, the squash, the artichokes…all thriving, but the crops you just can’t mess up? Well, they’re messed up. The garlic went tits up due to white rot and my potatoes are [Continue Reading...]

Birds Eye View: An Overview Of The Garden

I talk a lot about my garden, and if you are kind enough to read this blog, you know a lot about my garden. A reader asked me to put up a garden map or layout to make it more clear how all the parts of “my office” come together. It is still a great [Continue Reading...]

Keeping Dry: Securing Tunnel Cloches

The past few days in the Seattle area have been so lovely, I think the weather Gods are apologizing for the veritable monsoon of rain that dumped on us two weeks ago.  If you are not in the Maritime Northwest, you might be shaking your head right now, saying: “Seattle is called Rain City for [Continue Reading...]

The Asparagus Needs To Move Just A Hair To The Left

It started with this idea that everything would be much more attractive and efficiently laid out if only there was a dedicated space for perennials. My asparagus was doing well, hanging out in a big sandy berm that used to form a sweeping naturalistic border across one side of the veggie patch. It flowed in, [Continue Reading...]

Raised Beds and False Economies

False economy is when you think you are saving money but you aren’t. One of the classic false economies is when you buy a lot of something (say, broccoli at Costco) for a very low per-unit price but then due to spoilage end up throwing away half of what you buy. The effective per-unit cost [Continue Reading...]