Staking Tomatoes with Concrete Reinforcing Mesh

...p heavy I staked them deep into the ground with some rebar I had laying around. Long wooden stakes would work just as well. You could also choose to grow shorter tomato varieties. The San Marzano tomatoes in the middle of the picture above are half the height of the other two and way more productive. Another staking option is to buy Texas Tomato Cages for $99 for six 24-inch by 6-foot cages. The advantage with the Texas cages is that they fold f...

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Ridiculous New Parkway Planting Rules for Los Angeles

...f you want to grow any of these plants taller than 2 inches or ones not on the list you’ve got to submit drawings, apply for a permit and pay at least $400, possibly more. Ironically, the cover of the guidelines shows a picture of a mature yarrow plant of the sort you’d have to go through the permit process to grow under the new guidelines. If anything the city has it backwards. After all, I doubt many homeowners are going to get down...

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Slaughtering Turkeys for Thanksgiving

A noble Royal Palm tom. This photo by Kevin Saff. The rest are ours. This post is not for everyone, so we’ve concealed most of it behind the jump. This week we helped our friend, Steve, slaughter and dress four turkeys for Thanksgiving. There will be pictures, so those of you who are interested can get some idea of what the process involves. Steve is an especially conscious carnivore, because he raises and slaughters all the m...

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EDC Part I: Multi-tool and Knife

...quent posts will detail the other things I tote and the complex contents of Mrs. Homegrown’s purse. For years the centerpiece of my EDC was the original Leatherman “Pocket Survival Tool” like the one in the picture above, a gift from Mrs. Homegrown back when I worked in video in the early 90s. Last year I broke the file off of it and finally lost the tool while re-doing our greywater system. I replaced it with the cheapest Leat...

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Kelly’s “EDC”

...w items that would be useful in an emergency. At Erik’s challenge, I unpacked my bag for the camera, editing only the garbage. The laptop (far right) is often in the bag, and was when I unloaded it, so it’s in the picture, but I don’t consider it an EDC and leave it at home as much as I can. The notebook on top is usually with me, though. Row 1 (closest to the bag): This row I think of as my true EDC, in that I’d find thes...

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I like my chamomile stressed

...tting all it’s energy into making lots of feathery green foliage–not flowers. My entire chamomile crop is presently netting me less flowers than one or two abused volunteers would. That sad little plant in the top picture may have to become my harvest plant. Uh, very pretty. But where are the flowers? The lesson here is to know your plant, and to pay attention when you’re prepping your garden. I amended that soil on...

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Vegetable Garden Update: Too Much Salad

It’s amazing what you can grow in just a 4 foot by 8 foot area. From top to bottom in the picture above: Escarole mix: Misticanza Di Indivie E ScaroleLettuce: Lattuga Quattro StagioniChicory: Cicoria Variegata Di CastelfrancoDandelion GreensSwiss Chard: Verde Da Taglio Approximately half the bed is devoted to salad makings. Combined with another 2 foot by 4 foot area of arugula elsewhere in our yard, we’ve had a whole lot of salads...

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Advances in Gardening Series: The Perennial Herb Bed, Patience and Plant Spacing and Breaking Your Own Rules

...place them in reference to their full size. And that size always sounds impossibly big, but in fact, it is is true. My perennial herb bed above does not follow this advice on conservative spacing. You can’t see from the picture, but this area (which is about 9′ x 6′) is planted with a rose geranium, culinary sage, white sage, yarrow, rosemary, lavender, aloe, lots of thyme and a sick native rose which is probably not going to ma...

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Our Happy Foot/Sad Foot Sign

...ood is wedged between the villages of Silver Lake and Echo Park, but technically it belongs to neither. It’s real name is Edendale, but no one knows it by that name, even though Edendale was the home of the first motion picture studios. If we claim we live in Edendale, we get blank looks, so we’re forced to either assert our property value by claiming we live in Silver Lake, or our cool quotient, by claiming Echo Park. Usually we just...

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