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?

howhardisthat_brassica

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

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…]

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…]

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

May In The Garden (28)

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…]

Seed-Starting Challenge, Urban Farm Magazine Giveaway & Blog Link-Up

Urban Farm Magazine

Annette, friend and co-author of the Urban Farm Handbook, has organized a 12-months-of-urban-farming challenge on her blog Sustainable Eats. Participants learn, do, share and can win great prizes for taking the challenge. Take The April Seed Starting Challenge The April challenge is all about gardening, and I’m challenging NW Edible readers, Urban Farm Challenge participants [Continue Reading…]

Potato Chitting Problems: Pale Shoots

Potato Chitting: White Stems (7)

When I placed my order for seed potatoes with Irish Eyes this year, they asked when I’d like my potatoes shipped. Based on my zip code, they recommended a date a few weeks hence. “Oh, no, just send them now,” I said, “I like to chit them before I plant them.” Ah, hubris. So my box of [Continue Reading…]

March Photo Tour of the Garden

March Photo Tour (31)

March in the garden is a time of transition. I’ve always thought there was a sort of irony, that as weather just starts to warm up and the gardener finally starts to feel spring in her heart, we enter the leanest months of a year-round vegetable garden. The earliest fall-sown greens and overwintering brassicas are [Continue Reading…]

Seedlings Started Under Lights vs. On A Windowsill

Seedling Comparison

In early February I started some broccoli seeds the way I normally do, under a bank of full spectrum fluorescent light tubes. At the same time, using the same seeds, the same seed potting mix, and an identical pot (a 6-cell starter tray of 72-sized-cells), I started some broccoli seeds for a friend. She took her [Continue Reading…]

How To Ripen Peppers in the Pacific Northwest

Mid-September - many peppers ripe and harvestable

What Peppers Want Peppers are not difficult, but they are picky. In this way they are just like my 18 month old son: as long as he’s doing exactly what he wants he’s the most easy-going boy in the world. But stop him from smearing peanut butter on the cat and suddenly he’s screaming like he’s [Continue Reading…]

The 5 Best Vegetables To Grow With Kids

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I wrote the article below for the website of a local magazine called ParentMap about a month ago. It’s all aglow with the joys and benefits of gardening with kids, and these are many. But I gotta tell you, this past weekend I turned around to see my son standing in the raised bed I’d just been [Continue Reading…]