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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Saturday Linkages: Controversy Edition

Gardening Homegrown polenta? Floriani corn plants deliver ‘amazing flavor’ http://fw.to/2ju3QtE The High Line in Person by Susan Harris http://gardenrant.com/2013/08/the-high-line-in-person.html?utm_source=feedly … Knocked Out—and not in a good way by James Roush http://gardenrant.com/2013/08/knocked-out-and-not-in-a-good-way.html?utm_source=feedly … Hackin’ Open Tech Forever: permaculture/open tech startup: http://boingboin...

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Saturday Linkages: DIY Coffee Roasting and That Crazy Rhubarb Lady

...r.html … HOWTO: Ultra-cheap Sous-vide – Boing Boing http://boingboing.net/2013/08/11/howto-ultra-cheap-sous-vide.html … Nature Biology, Antifragility, and Nature http://goo.gl/fb/VQHx3Garden Centers Sell Bee-Attractant Plants with Pesticide Residues Toxic to Bees http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=11566 … Want your kids to play outside? Rip out the lawn! by Garden Rant » good read http://gardenrant.com/2013/08/want-your-kids-...

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How to Deal With Thrips on Stone Fruit

...ern flower thrips overwinter as adults in weeds, grasses, alfalfa, and other hosts, either in the orchard floor or nearby. In early spring, if overwintering sites are disturbed or dry up, thrips migrate to flowering trees and plants and deposit eggs in the tender portions of the host plant, e.g. shoots, buds, and flower parts. Thrips are often attracted to weeds blooming on the orchard floor. To prevent driving thrips into the trees, do not disc...

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Cat Litter Compost, Installment #3

...veats, cat litter composting works pretty much like regular composting. Keep the pile moist. Keep an eye on it, fix it as necessary. Let it sit for two years at least before you spread it. And then spread it around non-edible plants, or under fruit trees. The fruit trees won’t uptake anything nasty. It’s totally do-able and I’d do it again. But I’d rather do it again in a larger yard, where I could have a big, accessible c...

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Hornworm meets alien!

...parasitic wasps devour their host but in order to overcome the caterpillar’s defenses, mama wasp injects a virus before laying her eggs. How do you create habitat for Cotesia congregata? Adults feed on nectar producing plants and, of course, you need to make sure you keep a few hornworms on hand! Thanks to Jeff Spurrier for posting this video in Facebook....

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Saturday Linkages

...e-an-inte.html Horticultural myths: http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda chalker-scott/Horticultural Myths_files/ Where Laundry is Garden Art http://bit.ly/JdNs33 Video: Alphabets Heaven beat music and “Private Life of Plants”: http://boingboing.net/2012/05/14/video-alphabets-heaven-beat-m.html Carpenter builds incredible egg-shaped treehouse hidden from view on Crown land just yards from… http://bit.ly/IkAM7w Wood fired ovens...

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Roundin’ up the Summer Urban Homesteading Disasters

...by racoons and the other that never fully matured before the vine crapped out. The immature squash was still edible, but bland. Moral: winter squash just ain’t space efficient. Next year I’ll tuck it around other plants and trees rather than have it hog up space in my intensively planted veggie beds. Luscious compost tomatoes. Unintentional Gardening I built a cold frame this spring so that I could get a head start on propag...

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Are Raised Beds a Good Idea?

...ng they look so poorly *only* because they are raised beds. That pair of beds has produced very well in the past, but has some sort of soil problem now–one which we can’t figure out. So I wouldn’t agree with labeling the picture “raised bed fail”– it’s more of a gardener fail. It may have something to do with the fact that they are raised, that the soil texture has deteriorated over time due to the elevat...

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Spore 1.1

...kly basis, according to the performance of Home Depot stock. If the Home Depot stock does well, Spore 1.1 gets watered. If Home Depot stock does poorly, “Spore 1.1.” goes without. Because Home Depot guarantees all of their plants for one year, if one rubber tree dies, another will be substituted in its place....

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