Organic Gardening

Rehab Raised Beds Inside and Out

density-1024x768Raised-bed hoops and row covers can help you protect crops from harsh growing conditions and winter cold.
Second gardens are always better than first gardens.  When those first gardens were your raised beds, then maybe it’s time to raise the bar.  Bigger, better, and more prolific are garden characteristics that all gardeners want, so perhaps it’s time to rehab and expand in preparation for next year’s summer garden.
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Heirloom Vegetable Seed Saving

IMG_1049These ripe heirloom vegetables contain seeds that are ready to harvest and store for the next year.
Seed saving is easy, saves money, and ensures that your seeds have come from a reliable source (your garden!). Smart seed saving requires that you (1) allow your seeds to fully mature, (2) clean your seeds properly, (3) store your seeds correctly, and (4) know exactly what you […]

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BLACK GOLD® Garden Amendment Guide

Black Gold® amendments cover everything from basic coir, to premium peat moss, compost, and earthworm castings.  Each has an important application in your garden and landscape planning. For product basics and best uses, follow this simple guide.
BLACK GOLD® Just Coir
BG_JSTCOIR-2cu-FRONTFew natural amendments hold water and air as well as coir. It is recommended as an amendment where extra organic matter and increased water holding capacity are needed. […]

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Windowsill Salad Greens for Indoor Growing

Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.
Windowsill greens, such as small lettuces and micro-greens, are fast-growing and gratifying.  Growing them indoors is a piece of cake, as long as you have good sunlight, quality soil, the right watering regime, and some gardening know-how. Start with the right greens, master some […]

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Late-Summer Seed Sowing

chard-kaleLacinato kale and Swiss chard are two great crops for fall growing.
It’s absolutely counterintuitive to plant anything in August or September, but intuition is not always right.  Go against your instincts, and sow cool-season seeds right now.  Do it soon, and you’ll get your fall and winter garden started just in time.
Starting Fall Vegetables
If you’re a beginner and have never grown food outside the strict summer […]

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Succeed with Container Vegetable Gardening

IMG_0679This season we experimented with planting ‘Little Baby Flower’ watermelon in big tubs, and they are doing great!
Lots of container vegetable gardens fail. Why? It often comes down to size, quality, and water. The size of the container and vegetables, quality of the soil and fertilizer, and watering regime must be right for productive veggies. Get these factors wrong and your growing efforts will be compromised.
Container growing is […]

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Preparing the Garden for a Hot Summer

Lantana, colorsAn excellent summer bloomer for heat is Lantana camera.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have had record high temperatures already this spring. When the temperature is 100° F in spring, it is HOT!  Not that our weather pattern is ever predictable, but this year it seems to be even less consistent. With our mild winter temperatures, record rain, and a summer forecast as being hot and dry, our plants may suffer without […]

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Everything about Growing Dahlias

Dahlia 'Park Princess' - CopyDahlia ‘Park Princess’
Dahlias come in all forms, from monolithic 12” dinnerplate monsters to tiny 2” pixie pincushion blooms, and colors—pretty much any shade except for true blue. So, you can never love just one. They thrive in the cooler seasons of early summer and fall and offer a botanical extravaganza of floral beauty with over 50,000 named cultivars and 20 wildly diverse forms. (Visit the American Dahlia Society (ADS) website […]

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The Biggest and Best Beefsteak Tomatoes

BCTomato-Janets-Jacinthe-Jewel-TS156-web‘Janet’s Jacinthe Jewel’ is an exceptional and unusual large beefsteak offered by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (Image care of Baker Creek)
The bigger the better! This statement rings true with tomato breeders and heirloom collectors seeking to find bigger and better monster beefsteak tomatoes that don’t shirk on taste, productivity, or disease resistance. For many summer gardeners, nothing tastes better than the simple pleasure of a sweet beefsteak tomato slice drizzled with olive oil and […]

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Raised Beds: Respecting the Law of Return

densityGardening at high density in raised beds draws proportionately more nutrition from the soil over the course of each season.
If you’re growing vegetables in raised beds, you must respect the Law of Return.  This law states that nutrients extracted from the soil by growing plants must be compensated for by tilling their dead remnants back into the soil or fertility loss will result.  Because plants are often grown more densely in small or raised beds, […]

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