Whole Life Integration: Tips To Simplify Nearly Everything In Your Productive Home

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A reader emailed me this past weekend and in a few sentences got right to the heart of why getting started with productive home- and garden-keeping can be so dang challenging. Hi Erica, I’ve been working on getting a garden going and redesigning my life, but the current life really gets in the way.  Lots [Continue Reading...]

Three Simple Steps To Bring Beneficial Insects To Your Garden

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You want beneficial insects. All the cool kids have them. Beneficials can protect your crops from “bad bugs”, pollinate your fruit, and have intriguing bug sex on your flowers (and some times, on your beer bottles). But how do you get our beneficial buggy friends to party at your house? Most gardeners know that certain [Continue Reading...]

The Garden in Pictures: Late June

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I’ve been out in my garden a ton lately, getting the fall crops going, transplanting the last of the summer crops, and in general attempting to tidy up from a year of garden neglect. Here’s where the garden stands as of late June 2013. Things are starting to really fill in. Many of my beds [Continue Reading...]

Free Seminar: Year Round Vegetable Gardening – Sky Nursery

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Hey local peeps! Two important (and related) announcements! First, I am a featured farmer in the new book Backyard Roots by photographer/author Lori Eanes. My little backyard homestead is one of thirty-five West Coast gardens and backyards farms in the book, each well described and gorgeously photographed. If you have plenty of “How To Grow [Continue Reading...]

How To Grow The Most Delicious Strawberries

Super Delicious Strawberries In Five Easy Steps

It’s strawberry season in the Northwest. Every year around April I give in and buy a plastic clambshell full of gorgeous berries trucked up from California. Winter’s been long, you see, and those berries just look like perfection. And every year, about two months later, I taste my first homegrown berry and I remember what [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: June 2013

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For the first June in four years it actually feels like we may get a real summer. Ladies and gentleman, start your tomatoes! (Well, actually, you needed to start them three months ago, but maybe if this unusual Northwest sun keeps showing up they’ll really start ripening fruit for us?) Plan & Purchase: Shocking, isn’t [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: May 2013

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Apparently we here in the Northwest are getting the heat the rest of the world is lacking. It’s downright summery these days! So, with sun on your shoulders and soil rapidly drying out beneath your feet, what needs to be done in the NW Edible Garden in May? Plan & Purchase Warm season edibles-tomatoes, peppers, [Continue Reading...]

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 Spot And Avoid A Crappy Seedling

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So, it’s the time of year out here in the Maritime Northwest where periodic nice days start to happen. A few legitimately sunny Spring days in Seattle send thoughts to the veggie patch, and gardeners everywhere start running to buy plant starts. This can become a caveat emptor situation pretty fast, because baby plants are, [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...]

How To Make A Heavy Duty Potato Cage

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Every year about this time gardeners start inflicting all manner of experiments upon the humble spud. We drop them into burlap sacks, grow pots, wood towers, mesh towers, tire towers, garbage cans, straw bales and more. We attempt the Square Foot method, the Ruth Stout method, the Hilled Row Method, the Plastic Mulch Method. The [Continue Reading...]

How To Use Pee In Your Garden

How To Use Pee In Your Garden

If you can get over the ewwww factor, pee-cycling your own urine into the garden makes good sense. Fresh urine is high in nitrogen, moderate in phosphorus and low in potassium and can act as an excellent high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer or as a compost accelerator. Components of Urine The exact breakdown of urine varies depending on the [Continue Reading...]