Category Archives: Sustainable Gardening

A Seasonal Offering

This week we added a delightful garland of leaves that Ariceli gathered when she walked her dog in the morning. She took a bright bagful home and sewed them together with a sharp needle and coarse thread (very fine twine would work too), taking one wide stitch through each leaf so they lie flat against the string. The cool, rainy weather has kept the colors vivid so far, but I’m also experimenting with an old technique I recalled from childhood. I’m pressing colorful leaves dry between newspapers, then ironing them between two sheets of waxed paper. I’m pretty sure I wrecked an iron or two with something similar involving melted crayons way back when, so this time I’m using a sheet of packing paper on top to keep from getting wax all over the bottom of the iron. Right? Continue reading

Posted in fall/winter crops, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Battling Weeds With Rodents And Beetles

Once summer harvesting ends, cool season cover crops can restore soil health in the veggie patch. Deep mulches of compost or aged manure can nourish tired beds, but cover crops can do even more. Where new beds or lawns are planned, cover crops can eliminate the need for destructive tilling, acting as living mulch to restore soil fertility and reduce winter erosion. Recent research shows that cover crops can also reduce weed seed numbers by providing cover for seed-eating beetles and rodents.

Ick? Not really; both critters consume significantly more weed seeds when cover crops provide shelter and protection from predators. Purdue researchers found that when beetles and rodents had cover crop protection, the weed seed burden was reduced by as much as 400% compared to fields without cover crops. Surprisingly, the soil cleaning effect continues even when rodents eat high numbers of the beetles. Continue reading

Posted in fall/winter crops, Garden Prep, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Weed Control | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Plants That Thrive On Benign Neglect

Print PDFWorkhorse Plants For Tough Places A few years ago, I was asked to plan and plant beds at the entryway to Bainbridge Island, a new pocket park above the ferry dock. Created by a team of Rotarians and community … Continue reading

Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Herbal Oils And Vinegars

Print PDFGarden To Kitchen: Beam Me In In the Seattle area, the recent heatwave was sadly mellowed by a dense haze of smoke from Northern wildfires. On the worst days, you could taste the tang of burning trees at the … Continue reading

Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Health & Wellbeing, preserving food, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment