What Does Climate Change Mean For Gardeners?

Climate Change for Gardeners

A few weeks ago the smartest dude I know got a bit maudlin about how warming waters over the Arctic and methane burping forth from the melting permafrost is likely to increase the speed and effects of climate change. (Read more here and here.) This, in combination with the polar vortex in the midwest and the [Continue Reading…]

The Propaganda of the Four Season Chart

Seasonal Charts (6)

You know how those elementary-school season charts always show the four seasons divided into nice equal pie-slices? Usually the season-slices are accompanied by a seasonally appropriate deciduous tree: leaves turning color in fall, bare and snow-studded in winter, leaf budding and flowering in spring and in full green verdancy in summer. The important part is that each season [Continue Reading…]

The Sky Cloche, Or Why Snow Probably Shouldn’t Scare You

In Seattle there is less than an inch of snow on the ground. At my house, further North, we got a dusting. Local media outlets call events like this “BLIZZARD WATCH 2012″ and “SNOWMAGEDDON.” People who went to college in Minnesota or grew up in Maine get their chance to drone on and on about how [Continue Reading…]

Roadtrip! Peppers, Sun, And Locavorism


Because summer refused to come to me this year, I went to summer. Yesterday I drove to Eastern Washington, a region as dissimilar from Western Washington from a gardening perspective as Iowa. I was visiting a friend and, for the first time, stomping around her garden. Lots of wind farms on the drive out. Eastern Washington [Continue Reading…]

What We Look Forward To


Well, last week didn’t really feel like it in the Pacific Northwest, what with the intermittent hail and occasional snow flurry, but spring is fighting the good fight. President’s Day weekend was the traditional time to put your peas in the ground, though in my area the soil was still a bit cold. Did you sow peas outside? Did [Continue Reading…]

Heat Lovers in A Cool Clime: Tomato Dreams and Tomato Delusions


All images in this post are the work of photographer and LA Weekly author Felicia Friesema.  They are used here with her kind permission. Forget sugarplums – at this time of year it’s visions of big, juicy, vine-ripe tomatoes that dance in the gardener’s head. Tomatoes are the quintessential garden edible. The tomato is so culturally ubiquitous – [Continue Reading…]

Lessons From A Year Without Summer

Last year (2010) we had a cool spring and a cool, short summer.  No one had a ripe tomato until damn near September. The heat loving tomatoes, squash, corn, etc. didn’t thrive, and so a lot of gardeners said it was a terrible, terrible year. I disagree!  I had the best year ever for cabbage, [Continue Reading…]