To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: June 2014

To Do May

This year is moving so fast I’m terrified I’m going to turn around twice and miss an entire month. It’s June, the plants seem about 2-4 weeks ahead and I feel about 2 weeks behind. I’m already picking ripe cherries, the tomatoes have little proto-fruit on them and the beans are about to hit the [Continue Reading…]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: May 2014

May To Do In The Garden

May is a month of promise – amnesia about last year’s failures has taken hold and it’s easy to convince ourselves that this will be the year everything goes right. Weeds will never germinate, pests and diseases will not visit us, perfectly ripe produce will leaps forth like Athena from the forehead of Zeus and [Continue Reading…]

DIY Non-Toxic Weedkiller That Works

Weed Killer

There are situations where you want certain plants dead, but hand weeding is difficult or counter-productive because it will bring fresh seeds to the surface to germinate. This may be a situation for an herbicidal spray. I approach this topic with hesitation, because some of you stopped reading at the second sentence and are right [Continue Reading…]

The Time In The Garden Formula

Time In The Garden

I have developed a formula which I think allows us to estimate how much time and labor a food growing piece of land will take. Size of Land x Diversity of Plantings x Intensity of Management = Time and Labor required! Now, there are no units associated with this formula, so it’s not going to [Continue Reading…]

Bee Friendly Gardening In The Pacific Northwest

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Seems like some people insist on not knowing what they’ve got till it’s gone. And that’s kinda how it is with bees, and pollinators in general. Most of what we think of as food is highly dependant on our pollinating insect friends.* All fruit, tree nuts, squash, seeds for most vegetables, chocolate… Oh, never mind, I don’t [Continue Reading…]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: April 2014

To Do April Garden

It’s April. Spring, persistently, nudges out winter, but the weather back and forth at this time of year can be trying to the gardener who eager to get out there and sink their hands into soil. Here in the Northwest we have it easy compared to much of the nation which remains buried in the [Continue Reading…]

{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…]

Andean Root Vegetables for the Pacific Northwest and Beyond

How To Grow Andean Root Crops

Today’s post comes to you from Bill Whitson. Bill is the co-owner of Cultivariable Seeds, an independent breeder and supplier of seeds and plants, specializing in Andean vegetables and other unusual and hard-to-find edibles for the Pacific Northwest. He was kind enough to put together this incredible primer on cultivating oca, yacon, mashua and ulluco for folks [Continue Reading…]

Understand Thermal Mass To Be A Climate Zone Hacker!

Themal Mass, Gardening, Climate Zones

Picture yourself on a beach. It’s late August and you’re sinking your bare feet into the sand. You can feel the warmth of the sand on your toes. It’s not just warm, it’s downright hot. It’s starting to be uncomfortable, so you wiggle your feet a few inches down into the sand where it is [Continue Reading…]

10 Tips to Simplify Your Spring Planting

Simplify Spring Planting

It’s spring, the very beginning of the gardening year, so why do some folks feel like they are already behind? This is a crazy time of year for the gardener, I totally understand. Between seed starting, transplanting and soil prep, it’s easy to feel like you just can’t keep up. Here’s a few tips to keep it a [Continue Reading…]

If You Give A Gardener A Book, She’ll Wonder About A Swale

If You Give A Gardener...

It’s really amazing how quickly a week can slip by with barely a post written. It’s not that there isn’t anything to write about. Au contraire. There is so much to write about, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start with my shoulders. Cause, damn, they are sore. I’m no stranger to a [Continue Reading…]

Fruit Trees: Summer Pruning vs. Winter Pruning

Fruit Tree Pruning

To grow the most varieties of fruit on my small suburban lot, I am experimentally trying a technique called Backyard Orchard Culture developed by the fruit tree-growers at Dave Wilson Nursery. Proponents will tell you Backyard Orchard Culture or BYOC (“Bring Your Own Cherry? Citrus? Cherimoya?”) is a great way for space constrained gardeners to [Continue Reading…]