How to Plant Tomatoes

It is time to get those tomatoes in the ground! I pulled out almost everything in my late spring bed – all the bolted celery, arugula and mature onions – and replaced them with healthy young tomato starts. There are a few things you can do when planting your tomatoes to make them extra happy…. Read more »

From Spring to Summer

I can’t tell you how many people I have heard gushing about the amazingly sunny spring we are enjoying in Portland… How much they love being outside again… How it’s so overdue after a gray winter… Meanwhile, I’m the curmudgeon wishing for showers in the forecast! It has turned out to be one of the… Read more »

Baby Fruit

A home orchard is the best way to savor the delicious sweetness of summer fruits. I would argue that it is just as much fun to watch the baby fruits develop as it is to devour them when ripe. It’s like Christmas as a kid – the presents were that much more fun because of… Read more »

The Case for Boring Vegetables

My first years of gardening really focused on the divas of the produce world: tomatoes, pepper, eggplant and melons. Those are the plants that want a hot climate (something the mild NW can barely provide) and lots of water. They are the plants we garden nerds coo and crow over with one another, talking about… Read more »

Awakening Garden

April has stirred the garden to life and I wanted to share some of those signs of beauty with you this morning. Of course there is a lot to be done this season, but this moment in time reminds me that there is a lot to cherish as well. By June we will be swimming… Read more »

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 »

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