Soggy Spring

Can we just be done with this rain already? It has been a wet, wet start to March this year and I’m not loving it. February was the second wettest February in recorded History! Let me repeat that for you… Just kidding nobody wants a repeat of that. (See what I did there?)

NOAA just told me there are hazardous weather conditions in my area, with an increased risk of landslides due to the heavy rainfall over the last few weeks with projected heavy rainfall continuing at least for the next several days. Like, WHAT?!? Now, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and I love the climate here. I enjoy the range of seasons that we have here. I don’t think I’ve ever been a place I consider more beautiful than the Pacific Northwest, but I am seriously ready for a little sunshine.

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Winter Woes and Garden Chores

There are a lot of great things about Winter; the holidays, family time, good food, hot chocolate by the fire and so much more. There is also a lot I don’t love so much about Winter, like the fact that it’s cold all the time, and muddy, my chickens don’t lay as often and I’m not harvesting anything from my garden, but it still requires maintenance.

Even though I’ve lived in the Pacific North West my entire life, and I love it here, I even enjoy the rain occasionally but I’m not much of a fan of gardening in it, or in freezing cold temperatures. So unfortunately when Fall hits my garden ends up neglected for much of the Winter. It’s not that I don’t have good intentions, but between the weather, the upcoming holidays and my ever mounting pile of DIY house projects it’s easy to let the garden fall by the wayside.

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Saving Seeds Series: Radishes, and Seed Giveaway

Part of the joy I get from taking an active part in my family’s food system is watching the miracle that is a seed turning into food we eat. As I strive to become more responsible in our personal food cycle it has always made sense to save as many seeds as we can instead of purchasing new seeds every year, especially when it has become so hard to know which companies are embracing ethical and sustainable practices. Saving your own seeds will also give you a jump on the following year’s garden as you can start seeds inside before most stores are stocked up in February or March.

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Summer Stress

The weather has been ridiculously hot around here for the last several weeks (high 80’s to low 90’s), and according to weather reports it’s supposed to “cool down” to somewhere in the mid 80’s to high 70’s for the next few weeks. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life and I’m used to one hot week mid-summer, so this extended hot weather has been problematic for a few reasons. First off, the plants all need more water because they are drying out quicker, and the weeds have begun to take over since it’s been so difficult to get out in the hot sun and spend time in the garden.

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Edible Garden Art: Part Two

I can’t believe how fast the garden has changed in the last few weeks. First off, if you follow me on twitter or instagram you know I still haven’t caught the mole that’s been making appearances in our yard. Even better, the bait I set in the traps attracted ants so now I have moles and ants, which reminds me why I did almost exclusively container gardening last year. I heard Cayenne pepper will get rid of ants and possibly deter the moles as well so I think I’ll give that a shot. We have tons of bees around here too and it seems like every year we have to knock a new hive off of our eaves, but the plus side is they help with the ants. I actually saw a couple of bees crawling into anthills in our backyard this week. It was totally bizarre to watch. The rest of the good news is that almost everything is growing well and It looks like the mole really only messed with the carrots. There were tunnels all around the carrots and very few of them have sprouted so I’ll be planting more soon. This time I’ll be using the carrot seeds I have instead of buying more seed tape, although I’m pretty sure it was the mole, not the tape that was the problem because the beets and radishes all sprouted well.

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Edible Garden Art: Part One

Last year we had our garden in our backyard and as much fun as I had there wasn’t enough room for everything I wanted to grow this year. We have always kept the front garden bed full of flowers because we want to keep the front of our property looking nice and I’ve been afraid of neighborhood animals eating the crops. We live near a wildlife ravine and I’ve seen wild rabbits around our neighborhood. To grow everything I want to this year I decided to dig up our front garden bed and start over. I still want our garden bed to look nice so I’m planting my own garden art.

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DIY Vertical Garden

I love to garden and grow my own food, but I also want a beautiful yard so the more I can grow in less space the better. Container gardening has been a fun experiment for me this year. I love the idea of container gardening because it’s easy to keep track of what I planted where, and if I need to move my plants to get more, or less sun I just pick up the pot and move it! To really maximize the space I’m growing in I decided to try and make my own vertical planters. There are numerous vertical planters on the market, from the hydroponic Tower Garden (which we own and love) to plain stack-able planters. The Garden Tower is another great product, but it’s expensive and if you want more than one it can add up quickly. I made one vertical planter for lettuce, herbs and broccoli and two planters to hold my strawberries I was relocating. All together I spent less than $5 on the three planters using many items I already had around my home, but if you need to purchase all or some of the materials your planters might cost up to $10 each.

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