soil fertility
How to Improve Clay Soil

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...
Spring Soil Prep

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...
Winter Compost Maintenance

Winter Compost Maintenance

There is one garden chore that doesn’t take a break in the wintertime: making compost. It’s a good excuse to get outside, get some exercise and prepare for the springtime garden. I have loved our three bin compost system, which gives us ample space to process all the garden waste, kitchen scraps and used chicken...
Prepping Beds for Winter

Prepping Beds for Winter

The days are growing darker and there is a bite in the morning breeze. Before the first frost hits, which for Portlanders is around November 15th, the homestead needs to be prepped for winter. We have had some fierce rain and wind storms already, so when we had a clear weekend I jumped on my...
Three Bin Compost System

Three Bin Compost System

That brown stuff my veggies are planted in isn’t “dirt” – it’s “soil”, a substance teeming with life from the millions of microorganisms at work. They give my plants the nutrients they need to thrive. But those veggies are greedy with how many nutrients they need, which means I need to provide them steady supplies...