Download this free printable seed packet template and use to store the seeds you save from your garden.
How to start seeds indoors
March is prime seed-starting month for many gardeners. Not only can we direct seed (plant outdoors) some of our cool-season veggie crops like arugula, Asian greens, broad beans, corn salad (mache), collards, kale, peas, spinach, and radishes, but we can also start many of our warm-season crops indoors for transplanting out once the weather warms. […]
Garden tasks: how to turn the compost
One of the best ways to get great compost in a hurry is to turn it regularly. Turning (mixing or aerating) your compost pile adds air to the mix, which speeds up the process of decomposition and prevents your pile from becoming stagnant. It also gives you a chance to assess whether your pile is […]
A hanging basket story
A couple of weeks back, I received my yearly trial pack of Proven Winners annuals: a giant box filled with six new introductions. Here they are, clockwise from top left: Superbena® Royale Chambray (Verbena hybrid), Golddust™ (Mecardonia hybrid), Lucia™ Lavender Blush (Lobelia hybrid), Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso™ (Petunia hybrid), Slightly Strawberry™ (Anisodontea hybrid), Superbells® Blackberry […]
Pilfering my archives: Christmas gifts you can make now!
It’s snowing like mad right now (a rare treat here on the Wet Coast), which has nudged me, grudgingly, into thinking about the holidays (I know, I’m a little late to the party). I’m thinking, specifically, about crafting and decorating, and about the different ideas I’ve covered here over the years. Here’s a roundup of […]
How to ripen green tomatoes
Ready or not! Here I come… The rain started today, signalling the end of what was a beautiful stretch of sunny days. Figuring that my tomatoes had probably seen the last of the warmth, I harvested the lot of them. Did you know that placing a ripe banana in a paper bag with your green […]
Growing shiitake mushrooms
Me, the day before Lila’s birth, preparing to drill holes for shiitake mushroom plugs. (I also lifted rocks and pushed a car that was out of gas that day; I figured that at 12 days overdue, it couldn’t hurt). I’ve been wanting to grow my own mushrooms for a long time now, even listing them […]
Soil pH and nutrients: amending your soil organically
Ever wonder what these funky little kits are for? Before planting in the spring, I like to do a quick soil test for pH (soil acidity or alkalinity) and nutrients (your basic NPK, or, nitrogen, phosphorous and potash [potassium]). I just use an inexpensive testing kit from a local nursery, although if you want a […]