Organize Your Gardening Like You Mean It – 2012 Garden Journal

Because I share a steady stream of tools, checklists and spreadsheets with NW Edible readers, I have been accused of being highly organized. In truth, organization, like a clean house, does not come naturally to me. I’m natually more of a project-oriented, creative type, and the discipline of structure and routine is something I have [Continue Reading...]

How To Cull The Weak

Tomato Seedling Thinning (8)

Classic new gardener problem: you successfully grew a seedling. You planted it and nurtured it from a little seed and – life doing what it does – it’s flourishing, putting on layers of healthy leaves and growing up well. And now you have to kill it – on purpose. You have to murder your seedling so that other, [Continue Reading...]

Planning For A Year-Round Harvest: When You Need The Big Picture

Northwest Edible Year Round Vegetable Planting Guide

The detailed month-by-month lists are great and all, but sometimes you need the overview, the synopsis, the big picture. This is particularly true at the beginning of the growing season, like now, when all the little details are popping up: what plants do I grow? How many? How long till I can eat them? Where do [Continue Reading...]

Seed Organization For Gardeners With Too Many Seeds

NW Edible Seed Inventory Organization Database

On Monday I talked about seeds for beginners. Well, after a season or two of growing from seed you may become (like many of the commenters on Monday’s post) a Gardener With Too Many Seeds. You have become a G.W.T.M.S. when you have file boxes dedicated to your seeds and you debate with yourself every season [Continue Reading...]

Seeds For Beginners: Saving, Storing and Organizing Your Vegetable Seeds

Seed Organization

I am getting a lot of questions about seeds right now. A friend came over to tour the garden and said she was thinking of using seed this year – a first for her. Another friend asked if she could use last year’s seeds. Once you graduate past a few patio tomato plants (not that [Continue Reading...]

Sowing Peas in Guttering: Wherein I Grudgingly Admit This Technique Rocks

Every American gardening book I own says you absolutely must direct sow peas because they loathe root disturbance. Every British gardening book I own advocates sowing peas early in the season in a length of guttering. They always use this exact phrase – length of guttering – and whenever I read it, my internal dialog [Continue Reading...]

Seed Starting 101: When You Didn’t Quite Get To It – Quality Nursery Seedlings

You may be looking around the gardening web right about now thinking to yourself, “Oh, shit. Was I supposed to start a bunch of seeds last month? Is it time to be transplanting my seedlings out?” Well, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, as I do, congratulations! Your procrastination has totally paid off. Our [Continue Reading...]

What Am I Going To Do With These Tomato Seedlings?

Despite my limited success with tomatoes, I have yet again found myself with a whole gaggle of seedlings.  I’ve got three flats of tomatoes and peppers; I think there’s 26 individual tomato plants. Goodness knows where I’m going to put them all this year. I’m thinking of trying grow bags placed up on my black asphalt-shingled roof. There’s [Continue Reading...]

Taking Control in the Garden

Apparently we’ve been thinking about control a lot the last few weeks over here. Erica’s post about my employer’s likely buyout talked about what can prepare for and her reflection on gardening and kids discussed those things we just don’t have control over. Last Wednesday, after a day that felt completely out of control, something reminded me [Continue Reading...]

Seed Starter’s Roll Call

Late March is the busiest time of year under my seed-starting lights. I’ve got assorted tomatoes and gypsy peppers up and growing right now. The tomatoes are nearing pot-up time but the peppers are slower to get up and go. I’ve also got brassicas which are pouring out and over their small 72-count cell-packs. It [Continue Reading...]

Homemade Biodegradable Pots From Toilet Paper Tubes

Our household generates plenty of toilet paper rolls. We’ve switched to cloth on just about everything else, but I’m not ready to make our house a TP-free Zone just yet (sorry, No Impact Man).   I save up toilet paper rolls (by the simple means of not emptying the powder room garbage nearly as often as I should) [Continue Reading...]

Seed Starting 101: Up-Potting

If you are new to growing seedlings, you might want to start by reading the previous posts in this series: Seed Starting 101: Key Components To Healthy Seedlings and Seed Starting 101: A Step-By-Step Visual Guide To Growing Seedlings At Home Occasionally your seedlings will outgrow their containers before you are ready to move them out [Continue Reading...]