Preparing a garden for a summer vacation

Preparing a garden for a summer vacation

Most years, we spend a couple weeks visiting friends and my wife’s family in Oregon at the end of summer, and my garden has to fend for itself. How to prepare it for my absence? I worked extra hard for this September’s vacation because it was going to be a full three...
Do you know the leaves in your garden?

Do you know the leaves in your garden?

“Did you see any kitties in the backyard?” my mother-in-law asked my son. “No, they were hiding in the avocado tree,” he said. They were. Only it wasn’t an avocado tree. This was a backyard in Oregon. But the leaves of the tree were...
Where to get wood chips for mulch

Where to get wood chips for mulch

It had been about a year since I’d replenished the wood chips throughout my yard and the mulch was wearing thin. I was having trouble finding a convenient source. I started to get anxious. Then a couple weeks ago my neighbor offered a pile that had been sitting...
Updates!

Updates!

Summer is on its last legs, I’ve bought my seeds for fall vegetables, but before we start talking about the next season let’s look back and update some stories about the remarkable past winter and passing summer. Click the title links below and...
Food gardeners are . . . different

Food gardeners are . . . different

I took this picture of a banana peel and an orange rind because they made me realize how weird I am, how weird we are as food gardeners. The banana peel and orange rind were lying on the floor mat of my truck; I was taking them home with me. There was a trash can in...
Custom signs for fruit trees

Custom signs for fruit trees

While I may know the names of all of the fruit trees in my yard, my wife and children don’t, and friends and family who visit certainly don’t. So I started drawing the names of my trees on pieces of wood that I then stuck into the ground with metal stakes....
Teaming with Microbes: a book review

Teaming with Microbes: a book review

A good book changes you. If you looked at my vegetable garden today and compared it to my vegetable garden a couple years ago, one difference you’d notice is the fullness of its beds. Nowadays, I aim to keep plants growing over every square inch of each bed at all...
How to outsmart garden weeds

How to outsmart garden weeds

Weeding the garden is not mindless work. This struck me the other day when my wife was helping in the garden and I saw her do what we all instinctively do to a weed: rip it out of the ground. That’s generally a fine thing to do with a small weed, but this was a...

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