vegetable garden

How to Use Companion Planting to Your Advantage

How to Use Companion Planting to Your Advantage

Companion planting is one of the many tools gardeners can use to grow amazingly productive and healthy vegetable gardens.

Companion planting is essentially planting crops together that support each other in some way. For example:

  • Planting onions, leeks, rosemary, or sage near your carrots will help repel carrot flies.

  • Planting aromatic herbs like dill, sage, peppermint, and rosemary with cabbage family plants supports the cabbage family plants.

  • Planting summer savory with green beans helps deter bean beetles and also improves the flavor of the beans.

8 Worry-Free and Remarkable Tricks to Managing Water in Your Garden

8 Worry-Free and Remarkable Tricks to Managing Water in Your Garden

Watering your garden can look drastically different depending on your local climate. When I lived in Portland, OR, the majority of precipitation fell in the winter months, leaving the summers completely dry (with almost guaranteed beautiful weather all summer long - perfect for vacationing!). But for gardeners, this posed a problem. Either you needed to plant a xeriscape garden or plan to water your garden regularly.

In this blog post I’m going to talk about a couple different non-traditional watering techniques and some on-site water-saving techniques. The water saving techniques don’t necessarily mean collecting the rainwater in a container; instead, you can actually store rainwater in the soil!

How to Grow Enough Garlic For a Year

How to Grow Enough Garlic For a Year

I get so excited when September arrives and I can plant our annual garlic crop. Why? I'll be completely honest with you. Garlic is one of the easiest crops to grow, plus it fills the empty garden spaces left by my summer veggies. Here are a few suggestions for growing enough garlic for your household.

How to Eat Well From Your Garden in Early Spring

How to Eat Well From Your Garden in Early Spring

I've found myself grazing in my garden already this year.  I am thrilled to see some of my greens returning after being eaten to the ground by slugs as seedings last fall and surprise returns from my arugula, spinach, and collard greens.

Yesterday I snapped a few pictures as I grazed in the afternoon sun, hungry for fresh food, despite the lunch I ate a couple hours earlier.  Perhaps it's the change of seasons or my body's desire for more greens, but I made my way around my backyard (mostly in a squat) snacking on anything edible. It was one of the most delightful snacking experiences this year.  

What's snack-worthy this time of year, you ask?  A surprising amount of greens.  Here's what I have growing right now:

How to Build an Herb Spiral in Your Landscape

How to Build an Herb Spiral in Your Landscape

When I took my permaculture design course in 2010, there were a few permaculture design elements that seemed easy to incorporated into most gardens.  Herb spirals are one of them. 

Our backyard is designed with a lot of big looping curves, creating wonderful nooks and crannies for seating areas, play areas, veggie gardens, and the perfect spot for an herb spiral.

What is an herb spiral?  Herb spirals maximize garden space by coiling up a linear garden space into a mounded spiral.  Built with some elevation, herb spirals offer various micro-climates.  Each side of the spiral receives a different amount of sunlight and the soil moisture fluctuates as it moves down and around the spiral. 

 

Where is the Best Place to Grow Your Veggies?

Where is the Best Place to Grow Your Veggies?

...Where will you grow your vegetables?

A client recently looked at me a little sideways when I said she could plant her veggies either in raised beds or directly in the ground.  "You can plant them directly in the ground?  But what does it look like?" she asked

I've never thought twice about my decision to plant directly in the ground, for two reasons.  First, in-ground beds are endlessly flexible and could be changed every season if I wanted; and second, it's less expensive to just plant directly in the ground.  Here are some pros and cons to raised beds and in-ground beds.

Photo Inspiration From Gardeners in West Africa

Photo Inspiration From Gardeners in West Africa

...A Photo Blog Post

One of my favorite thing to do in Mali was visit gardens.  In the vast sea of sand and mud-brick homes, the colors of the vegetable gardens seemed more vibrant than usual.  Here is a series of farm and garden photos from my nearly two years in Mali, West Africa (2007-2009).  Enjoy!

From Parking Strip to Planting Strip

From Parking Strip to Planting Strip

5 things to know before planting between the sidewalk and the street

Have you ever wondered what to do with the strip of earth between the sidewalk and the street?  It's often called the parking strip, but I prefer to call it the planting strip!  This space can easily be turned into a beautiful garden that welcomes you home...