Seed Starting Basics

Starting your vegetables from seed is not for the faint of heart, but it can be really rewarding for those willing to put in the time and effort. The primary advantages of starting seeds are choosing from a wider range of vegetable varieties, having more control over the size and vigor of your plants, and… Read more »

How to Thin Raspberries

Our fence is lined with ever-bearing raspberries, a wonderful addition to our edible landscape. Just as the name implies, ever-bearing raspberries will give you a continual harvest throughout the summer and fall. They do well in our Pacific NW climate and are a carefree addition to the homestead. The berries deteriorate quickly after harvest, which… Read more »

Time to Wake Up

It’s still pretty grey in Portland in late February, but a careful eye in the garden shows signs of spring at every turn. Here are some promises of spring I am noticing in the garden. Our flowering quince shrubs have buds at the brink of opening. Quince will mostly set fruit on woody stems developed… Read more »

Winter Blooming Witch Hazel

It’s the beginning of a new gardening season and already I see blooming plants that I wish I could make room for in my garden. On a recent afternoon, I took a tour of my favorite local nursery to admire their many varieties of winter blooming witch hazel. You will generally find three varieties of… Read more »

2013 Vegetable Garden Plan

My gardening ambition grows with every year, increasing the pressure to maximize every inch of gardening space. Climbing peas and beans grow on teepees among the fruit trees and berry bushes, while squash and melons lumber along the ground shading the soil. Aside from these space-gobblers, most of our vegetables are grown in four gorgeous… Read more »

January Harvest

It has been a cold, dry January thus far – at least it seems that way to me. Some of the crops that typically overwinter uncovered have been barely hanging on. This chilly swiss chard is one example. The plants are still alive, but we won’t be harvesting them until it warms up enough for… Read more »

Spraying Fruit Trees

Last year, I was disappointed to learn that my gorgeous Puget Sound Apricot tree had a terrible case of blight. Early spring leaves looked like they had been pricked all over with tiny pin holes. Then the fruit began to develop with a thick scab. Still, the tree managed to put on some nice growth… Read more »

A Very Special Persimmon

Persimmon trees are valued as much for their brilliant fall color as they are for their delicious, flavorful fruit. They are said to be the most popular fruit in the world because they are the most popular fruit in China. In fact, persimmons are very popular in most countries outside the US. We planted a… Read more »

Plants for Winter Interest

I took a stroll through my local plant nursery recently and was impressed with their collection of plants for winter interest. It can be a dreary time of year, but the following plant jewels will make your garden still seem alive and kicking. A design key to keep in mind is the balance of color… Read more »

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