How to Improve Clay Soil

Having good soil structure is crucial for growing a healthy garden, but most of us are not blessed with perfect humus (see pie chart below). Often we’re starting with poor soil structure that we need to keep amending over time to achieve that perfect blend of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Recently I helped… Read more »

April To Do List

April on the homestead means the lilacs are just starting to open up, our fruit trees are flowering and there is enough weeding to keep an small army busy. Here are some things on my homesteading to do list this month: Weed, weed, weed! Propagate woody perennials Transplant groundcovers and small perennials Direct sow vegetables… Read more »

Yes! Spring!

To my dearly beloved Spring, I say yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! Welcome to my garden, Spring. I have missed your clean smell after a heavy rain. I have missed the lushness of your flowers. I have longed to see real live tulips once again greeting me after a long day at work. The… Read more »

Spring Row Covers

We are in the middle of a cool, wet spring which is very typical for the Pacific Northwest. Although you can plant several crops outside right now (kale, chard, lettuces, broccoli, etc), most vegetables won’t grow too much until the weather warms up. Thankfully, I have a trick for planting my vegetables outside a little… Read more »

Spring Planting

Spring fever is in full swing and it’s time to get the first round of vegetables into the ground. We recently prepped our garden soil for the season with a thick layer of homemade compost. Juniper and I were both very excited to finally be able to move our vegetable starts into the ground. We… Read more »

Spring Soil Prep

Before you get spring planting fever, take the time to replenish your garden soil first. It’s the best way to ensure you have an excellent harvest this year. Great soil makes a great garden, and it’s something you have to keep cultivating year after year. Vegetables draw lots of nutrients from your soil, which is… Read more »

Frozen Garden

Being homebound all weekend during Portland’s recent snow and ice storm had it’s moments of beauty. Here are a few from the garden. First came the snow – about 6-8″ in a town with few snow plows. The covers blew off my raised beds, which were then blanketed in white. Then came the ice. Freezing… Read more »

My Favorite Winter Plants

It’s the end of January and some of my favorite winter plants are on full display. Keep your eyes peeled for some of these beauties, or perhaps they are already growing in your garden. Every winter I am reminded of the magic that is witch hazel. Although it looks fairly inconspicuous most of the year,… Read more »

January Harvest

It is mighty quiet on the homestead right now and I’m enjoying every chilly moment. It’s my one time of year to get ahead of the garden. Most of my chores of late include cleaning out dead leaves, setting up new trellis for maturing vines, and working the compost. But there are a few things… Read more »