The Book Burner and The Bermuda Grass: How To Become Your Garden’s Gardening Expert

Last week I wrote a post encouraging people to smother their lawn instead of ripping it out before planting veggies. There’s some solid soil science reasons why I believe my suggestion to sheet compost the hell out of your sod is a good one, and I stand by the post. But apparently there’s this thing [Continue Reading...]

How To Cull The Weak

Tomato Seedling Thinning (8)

Classic new gardener problem: you successfully grew a seedling. You planted it and nurtured it from a little seed and – life doing what it does – it’s flourishing, putting on layers of healthy leaves and growing up well. And now you have to kill it – on purpose. You have to murder your seedling so that other, [Continue Reading...]

Planning For A Year-Round Harvest: When You Need The Big Picture

Northwest Edible Year Round Vegetable Planting Guide

The detailed month-by-month lists are great and all, but sometimes you need the overview, the synopsis, the big picture. This is particularly true at the beginning of the growing season, like now, when all the little details are popping up: what plants do I grow? How many? How long till I can eat them? Where do [Continue Reading...]

Worst Soil Amendment For Tomatoes?

Tomatoes in Self-Watering Containers

Rachel Shadoan is a writer of exceptional wit. I know because she posted a story of gardening loss on the NW Edible Facebook page that was both so terrible and so hilarious that I read it twice. I asked for her permission to share her tale of tomato-growing woe (and lessons learned) here. This story appeared originally on Rachel’s [Continue Reading...]

Seed Organization For Gardeners With Too Many Seeds

NW Edible Seed Inventory Organization Database

On Monday I talked about seeds for beginners. Well, after a season or two of growing from seed you may become (like many of the commenters on Monday’s post) a Gardener With Too Many Seeds. You have become a G.W.T.M.S. when you have file boxes dedicated to your seeds and you debate with yourself every season [Continue Reading...]

Seeds For Beginners: Saving, Storing and Organizing Your Vegetable Seeds

Seed Organization

I am getting a lot of questions about seeds right now. A friend came over to tour the garden and said she was thinking of using seed this year – a first for her. Another friend asked if she could use last year’s seeds. Once you graduate past a few patio tomato plants (not that [Continue Reading...]

The Sky Cloche, Or Why Snow Probably Shouldn’t Scare You

In Seattle there is less than an inch of snow on the ground. At my house, further North, we got a dusting. Local media outlets call events like this “BLIZZARD WATCH 2012″ and ”SNOWMAGEDDON.” People who went to college in Minnesota or grew up in Maine get their chance to drone on and on about how [Continue Reading...]

Photo Tour Of The Winter Garden

Second Crop of Sprouts almost ready to harvest

This has been such a mild winter. My chard and lettuces are still going strong, along with some herbs I never would have thought to be harvestable in January, like cilantro and lemon verbena. It’s such a treat to be able to harvest this kind of food rainbow in the dead of winter.   Scenes [Continue Reading...]

Grow Your Grub Podcast Interview

Put a little gardening chat on while you wrap those presents or bake those cookies or spin that dreidel. (Or, hey, while you dance in Celtic colors around an ash yule log – I’m not here to judge.) This time of year is so busy, we all need to multitask. So while you’re attending to [Continue Reading...]

25 New Year’s Resolutions For The 2012 Garden

This morning a crust of frost danced over the uncovered raised beds and painted the grass with mercurial shine. The garden sits placid and independent under the chill of winter and it seems a bit easier to carve out those chucks of time to reflect upon the year almost past, and the year that is rushing towards [Continue Reading...]

Garden Fresh Produce For Thanksgiving

In the Maritime Northwest, with only the most basic of season extension techniques, you can celebrate Thanksgiving as a true, local harvest festival. Kale needs no protection, and looks glorious bathed in crackling frost. Chard won’t make it unassisted through a snap of real cold (teens/low-twenties around here) but protected by a cheap plastic tunnel [Continue Reading...]

5 Ways To Be A Better Vegetable Gardener Without Lifting A Shovel Or Spending A Dime

1. Order seed catalogues. Amateur gardeners buy seed packets off the rack at Home Depot. Serious gardeners place orders with trusted seed houses. Once you’ve placed a major order with Territorial, Johnny’s, Irish Eyes, or your favorite regional seed seller, you’ll be on their list and – soon – on everyone’s. This isn’t a bad thing. Seed catalogs [Continue Reading...]