The Hardiest Vegetables For Winter Gardening (Why I Love Overwintering Cauliflower)

Overwintering Cauliflower

Overwintering cauliflower is right up there with giant kohlrabi as one of my favorite cool-season crops. I just want to share a quick before and after to show you how my overwintering cauli’s survived the recent Seattle cold snap. Now, keep in mind I am a Zone 7 gardener – cold is relative. In my [Continue Reading...]

How To Grow Your Own Garlic

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Since garlic at the market is usually pretty cheap and available year-round, it doesn’t occur to many people to grow their own. But garlic is a seasonal crop that tastes much better when it’s truly fresh – just harvested garlic is amazing. The big plump cloves have a strong garlic pungency but are also almost [Continue Reading...]

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...]

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...]

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...]