Is Cheap Seed Hurting Your Garden? Germination Rate, Vigor, and Why You Should Care

Seed Germination

Sometimes, cheap seeds just cost too much. I’m going to explain why in a second, but first I want you to imagine for a minute that you are pulling up to a gas station to fuel your car. There are two pumps, and each will dispense different fuels. Pump A sells fuel that costs $7 [Continue Reading…]

That Time They Let Me On TV (Modern Homesteading on Growing a Greener World)

Growing_Greener_World_Modern_Homesteading

You may remember that back in September I had the amazing experience of hosting the Growing a Greener World TV crew so they could film my garden and we could talk about modern homesteading and family. In case you missed it, here’s the TL;DR: super talented TV people came to my house to put me [Continue Reading…]

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

seed_storage_4

This post was originally published January 23, 2012. I’ve slightly updated my own seed storage method (below), and we’ve welcomed a ton of new gardeners to the fold in the last three years, so I thought it was time to revisit seed storage basics.   I am getting a lot of questions about seeds right [Continue Reading…]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: January 2015

To_Do_Jan_2015

January means one thing when you are a gardener: a mailbox stuffed to bursting with seed catalogs. With a stack of seed catalogs and well-thumbed gardening books by our side, and ground that’s still too cold and wet to work, the name of the January game is planning and letting your imagination run wild. I [Continue Reading…]

August Garden Photo Tour

I planted this peach this spring, and it's already ripening a few delicious fruit.

On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s nearly September. Summer can’t be this far along, can it? On the other, I am shocked that we probably still have 4 to 6 weeks of reasonable growing conditions before fall really, truly shoulders aside summer. This has been the best summer I can remember for the [Continue Reading…]

Can You Seal A Pond With Clay Kitty Litter? Part 2

"Welcome to my pond, ladies."

So we’ve proved you can use clumping cat litter to seal a pond because clumping cat litter is made of bentonite clay. Now, how do you actually do it? In my first post on this, many people pointed out that actual sodium bentonite clay was available at farm supply type stores. I struck out finding [Continue Reading…]

How And Why To Make An Eco-Lawn

Eco_Lawn_2

I’ve talked before about how “right sizing” my patch of grass really changed my perspective on “evil, non productive lawn” to something almost like fondness. Well, my thinking on lawn has shifted yet again, and again for the better. We recently converted to an eco-lawn mixture and these days I find myself downright loving my [Continue Reading…]

Homestead Collage: An Overview of My Garden

Homestead Photo Collage

I have had several readers say they need an overview to get themselves kinda settled in to where everything is in my yard. I went up on the roof and took some photos, but that didn’t quite explain how all the various components work. So I turned to the lazy garden planner’s best friend, Google [Continue Reading…]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: July 2014

IMG_4098

Well, hot damn. And I do mean hot. Without bothering to get my butt off this couch where I’m drinking club soda and sweating a lot, I’m going to estimate that this has been the most summery summer I’ve seen in at least 8 years. Oh, sure, because it’s Seattle there is always the possibility of [Continue Reading…]

July Garden Photo Tour

IMG_3962

I haven’t shown you guys the garden in awhile – it’s looking great this year because we’ve had more sun and heat than is typical. That’s pushing ripeness and growth rates higher. Result? Super lushness and happy gardener! I snapped quite a few photos so I’m trying a new thing and turning them into a [Continue Reading…]

{Reader Question} Help! Garden Anxiety!

IMG_3300

Sophie wrote to me a few days after I posted this photo on my Facebook page. She wanted to know if my garden had always looked this healthy. Hello! Quick question! Do you feel like your garden always looked this nice and healthy? Or did it take you time? Time to improve the soil, learn [Continue Reading…]

5 Ways To Save Time In The Garden

Less Time Garden

Ah the simple life. Sounds so placid, doesn’t it? All those simple pleasures: home-grown food, warm earth between our toes, the cluck and baa and buzz of backyard animals, the happy smells of a kitchen much used. So why does this simple life seem so freaking complex sometimes, huh? That’s the part no one talks [Continue Reading…]