Flowers from Vegetables

...ace” and making my garden “unproductive” but the rewards outweigh any inconvenience. New gardeners are often surprised to see what amazing flowers different vegetables make. People with no connection to food plants whatsoever may not even know that vegetables make flowers, so it’s fun to show them a carrot flower, a squash blossom, a bean flower. My new favorite garden flower comes off an old Italian chicory plant left to...

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Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands

...dering the flow of water from the highest point (which for most people will be the roof) to the lowest point in your yard and then simply figuring out simple ways to get that water to percolate into the ground to nourish your plants. We’re especially fond of his method of hijacking street gutter runoff and directing it with a small improvised check dam into a dug out basin in the parkway. We’ve watched our neighbor’s lawn wateri...

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Saturday Linkages: Basil Downy Mildew, Bees and Grow Lights

...ewolfpack.com/2014/06/navajo-teen-harnesses-solar-energy-wins.html … Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: http://www.furtherfield.org/programmes/exhibition/seft-1-abandoned-railways-exploration-probe-modern-ruins-1220 … When Plants Get Metal: Part 2 | Popular Science http://po.st/RXw4JD  In SF, empty lots now can be designated agricultural zones: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2014/06/18/empty-lots-now-can-be-designated-agricultural-zones/...

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Adopt an Indigo Plant in Los Angeles

...iment with shipping them directly to you in the mail for the cost of postage. I have zero real world experience with this but have been reading up on the process and believe that it is possible. There is no guarantee that the plants will arrive alive, but I’ll do all that I can on my end to ensure safe travel! Remember, this is an experiment! If we fail this year, we’ll try again next year! Please grow along with me! Graham We’r...

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Picture Sundays: The Backyard in Spring

Thank you Mrs. Homegrown for the amazing planting in our reworked backyard. Version 4.0 of the garden in 16 years? This afternoon I sat down in one of those red chairs and admired the view. We really need to get around to profiling a few of the plants Mrs. H selected. In the meantime here’s a closeup: Now I need to get around to building the garden shed . . ....

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Decomposed Granite as Mulch: A very bad idea

...ppy succulents and crabgrass, the flippers are long gone. I’ve got a big issue with DG as mulch. In order for DG to look good, it’s got to be compacted and soil compaction is really bad for plants, including hardy natives and succulents. It stifles the life of the soil, and does not build new soil. And eventually, the plastic will fail, and the weeds will come through (some come through even when the plastic is new), and whoever is le...

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Straw Bale Garden: What I Learned

Straw bale garden–April on the left, November on the right. The straw bale garden I started this spring has been one of the most successful vegetable gardens I’ve ever planted. In fact it’s still producing well into November. Here’s what I learned from the experiment: Plants that suck up a lot of nitrogen, like squash, do well in a straw bale garden. My tomatoes flourished but, due to the high nitrogen, made more leaves...

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Top Ten Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

...to put it politely, is non-linear. If I were to overcome that cognitive flaw and plan out how much and where things should be planted I’d have both a steady supply of produce as well as a more attractive garden. 5. Not labeling plants What kind of okra is that? I have no damned idea. Too bad when I want to plant it again next year. All it takes is a sharpie and a plastic knife to fix this problem. 6. Not keeping a garden diary The two mo...

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Saturday Linkages: Tall Bikes, Za’atar and So Much More

Growin’ Why Your Supermarket Only Sells 5 Kinds of Apples http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/heritage-apples-john-bunker-maine … Taming the Wild Thyme: A Visit to a Za’atar Farm in Lebanon http://ow.ly/kqeoi  New Farmer’s Almanac for 2013: http://boingboing.net/2013/04/21/new-farmers-almanac-for-2013.html … Plants as Education: Kit Brings Gardening Back to the Masses http://dornob.com/37885/  Fortrait #4 “Su...

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It’s Calendula Season!

...#8217;m using it right now to treat my sunburn–which is what made me think of this post. But outside of this, it’s an all around useful herb.  Here’s a couple of profiles to check out if you need convincing: Plants for a Future;  University of Maryland It takes about 60 days for Calendula to reach maturity from seed, so if it’s spring where you live, now is a good time to plant it. Note that Calendula is a happy volunteer....

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