The Keep It Simple Guide To Cloches

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Here in the Maritime Northwest, year round growing is easier and, to my mind, more rewarding, with season extension techniques. Perhaps the cheapest and easiest semi-permanent option for season extension is the low tunnel cloche. With a low tunnel cloche, any garden bed can be turned into something like a very petite hoophouse with some [Continue Reading...]

How To Right-Size Your Lawn: In Defense Of (A Little) Turf

How To Right-Size Your Lawn

Something amazing has happened. I no longer loathe my lawn. For nearly ten years, I have hated my lawn, and muttered curses at the landscaper who insisted that, “with small kids, grass really is the easiest thing to maintain,” before hydroseeding everything in sight. Lies, damn lies. I am no shirker. In fact, I like physical work. [Continue Reading...]

Boom, That’s A Garden Plan

NW_Edible_2013_Master_Garden_Plan

So the past week my kids have taken turns with the sickies. First the girl spent a week coughing her lungs out, then just when she had recovered enough to return to school, the boy spent a night puking all over me. Good times, good times. So, what does this have to do with gardening? [Continue Reading...]

Year Round Vegetable Harvest Presentation – Sat, February 2nd

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Hi guys – sorry about the lack of posts this week. I’ve got two sick kids at home and a list of posts almost done as long as my arm. But, I did want to share that I’ll be giving a presentation about year round vegetable gardening this Saturday, February 2nd, at 10 am in Edmonds, [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Succession Planting and Year-Round Gardening Really Work

Garden Succession Planting

The problem with year-round garden planning is that you are being asked to work in 4D, when most of us are accustomed to only planning things in 2D. When planning your upcoming crops, you have to think about the spacing of the plants (width and depth, the simple 2D dimensions of a paper world) and [Continue Reading...]

Is Growing Your Own Food Worth It?

Front Bed: August

“Is growing your own food worth it?” When I get asked that question, people are talking about cash-in-hand not harvest-in-hand. They aren’t saying, “Is it worth it to have the very freshest sugar snap peas?” or, “Is it worth it to see your child poke a bean seed in the ground?” because there is, clearly, [Continue Reading...]

And Then The Ugly Happened

Ugly Garden Early Winter 2012 (11)

You haven’t read much about gardening on this site for almost three months. That’s because I haven’t been doing any of it. My garden is really ugly right now. It is inadvisable to leave your garden completely unattended for almost three months because if you do then the Ugly happens. I have done almost nothing [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...]

Add An Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe Board To Your Garden

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I saw a photo on Facebook yesterday of an outdoor tic-tac-toe board with stone markers. It was so adorable, and so totally do-able that I immediately ran outside to make my own garden tic-tac-toe game. This project was super fast and easy, required only stuff I already had kicking around, and the kids love it. Gather [Continue Reading...]

The Ugly Side of Urban Homesteading: Screening Storage Areas with Pallets

Pallet Screen (5)

Perhaps your garden, like mine, has a dumping ground area. Some place where random bits of lumber, useful but not in-use buckets and lengths of rebar mingle with weeds, neglected tools and a compost bin that’s seen better days. That’s the Ugly Side of Urban Homesteading – it’s when a focus on reuse and the [Continue Reading...]

DIY Concrete Mesh and Rebar Trellis

Concrete Mesh Trellis (5)

Last April 2nd I took these photos of my newly-constructed Half-Ass Hugelkultur Beds. Today, just shy of three months later they look like this. Can I get a woot-woot for hugels? Other than the massive attack of greenery, one of the biggest changes in this planting area are the twin concrete mesh trellises we installed [Continue Reading...]