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 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...]

5 Ways To Use Coffee Grounds In The Garden

5 Ways To Use Coffee Grounds In The Garden

At a certain point I might as well admit that we drink a rather obscene amount of coffee. It’s almost all frugal, brew-at-home type coffee, but still: that stuff ads up. Luckily, the grounds are almost as valuable as the liquid coffee, and we save them for use in the garden, thereby getting the most [Continue Reading...]

Which Seed Starting Supplies Are Worth It? And Which Aren’t?

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As a gardener, there is no end to what you could spend your money on. Take seed starting – what do you really need? Are those peat pellet kits really worth it? Can you start your seeds in yogurt tubs, or is that somehow not….correct? Here’s my opinionated opinion on what should get your money [Continue Reading...]

Plant Sex: Open Pollinated, Hybrid and GMO Seeds

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Plants have sex and make babies. Oh sure, not in exactly the same way you or I do, but I understand it’s very satisfying if you are a plant. How’s your 7th Grade Biology? First of all, and I don’t want to shock you here, but flowers are a plant’s reproductive organs. Flowers are how [Continue Reading...]

How To Pick Your Vegetable Seeds Without Going Crazy

How To Pick Vegetable Seeds

“Last year I just planted and prayed, stuff worked or didn’t. Now I have seed catalogs and am so overwhelmed I don’t know what to order. Should I be picking stuff based on the shortest growing rate and that’s all? This is crazy!” -Reader Question Feeling Seed Catalog Crazy? Right now, like most gardeners, you [Continue Reading...]

Infographic: How Hard Is It To Grow That Brassica?

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Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, mustard greens, oh my! I get asked, “so, how hard is that to grow?” a lot. I made this infographic to answer that question, as I see it, with regards to my favorite winter vegetable family, brassicas. This is based on my experience in a maritime climate that is generally [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

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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...]

The Garden In June: Photo Tour

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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...]

The Spring Garden That Wasn’t: A May Photo Tour

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This is a very strange spring. I have foot high corn and foot-across squash but hardly any of the typical spring crops. There’s a few heads of lettuce, and peas of course, but for the most part when I should have been most focused on putting in more complete spring garden I was instead mucking [Continue Reading...]