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...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: October 2012

To Do October 2012 (7)

This month, if you do nothing else – nothing – get your garlic in. With my eyes all wonky there is a very good chance that I will only be able to do (or delegate) a very limited number of things in the garden this month. My top three priorities are : garlic, garlic and garlic. Plan & Purchase: [Continue Reading...]

When and How To Harvest Broccoli and Cauliflower

How and When To Harvest Broccoli and Cauliflower (22)

You’d think that the hard part would be getting the seeds to germinate and coaxing that little seedling to grow. But time and again I see gardeners stumble just at the finish line: harvesting. All season long plants have been tended and, just at the big, edible moment of payoff, the gardener hesitates: “Is it [Continue Reading...]

August Garden Photo Tour

August Photo Tour (29)

Early August and I’m not jumping for joy at the heat-lover yields I’ve been getting. A couple of eggplants, a half-dozen almost-ripe cherry tomatoes, a few small summer squash and one good red pepper. But it’s looking like maybe, just maybe, a harvest is around the corner. And until then, I’m doing great on potatoes [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: August 2012

Music Hardneck Garlic

My life-long gardener neighbor is in her 70s and she tells me this weather is unlike anything she’s ever seen before. But she says that every single month. That’s gardeners for ya, always distinguishing among the 50 shades of gray. I refer to the subtle variations of sky color in Seattle, of course. Why, what did you think [Continue Reading...]

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

Garden Tic-Tac-Toe (3)

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...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: July 2012

Screen shot 2012-07-02 at 8.28.02 AM

Beginning of July and everything is soggy with occasional gloombreaks. Typically, Pacific Northwest gardeners are feeling really cheated right about now, having made it through Juneuary and confronting a July that’s not yet delivering summer. Try not to worry – this is all about expectations. Every year we expect summer to run from June to September, and [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...]

The Garden In June: Photo Tour

Garden Tour - June 2012 (49)

In a garden, some years things go smooth(ish) and some years things are a little bumpier. The biggest bump I’ve run into this year is cabbage maggots which decimated a full bed of nearly-sized-up broccoli and did a number on a few other spring brassicas around the garden. The root maggots, combined with a few [Continue Reading...]