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Growing Jerusalem Artichokes

Back in December, we planted a handful of Jerusalem artichokes (a.k.a. sunchokes) that had sprouted in the refrigerator. Having never grown them before, it was an experiment (as is much of what we do here at Gardenerd). We knew them … Continue reading

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Easy Patio Garden

One of my Santa Monica College students wanted to put in a starter garden to try out her new found skills on a small scale. She didn’t want to invest in landscaping or permanent raised beds just yet. After a … Continue reading

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Front Yard Veggies in Manhattan Beach

We got one step closer to our goal of replacing all lawns in Los Angeles with useful growing spaces. The Winship family had a front lawn that
wasn’t serving them, and it was the only area of their property that had full sun for growing vegetables (as is the case with many homes).

I met with them to discuss what they wanted in a vegetable garden: raised beds, enough room to grow herbs, and something they could …
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First Winter Harvest 2009

After a few days of rain, the garden is basically on autopilot. There’s no need to water, and the plants somehow grow overnight on their own without any help
from the gardener. These are the days where we actually don’t have to do anything but harvest.

Even though we’ve been harvesting since late October, Monday the 21st was the first day of winter and therefore the harvest that day was indeed the first official winter harvest. Since we

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Drought Tolerant Design and Veggies

While I was co-teaching a workshop up at the Esalen Institute earlier this year, I met Jesse Carmichael and his mom. They were taking the class together and found it to be a bonding experience to learn about gardening together.  When I got home, Jesse called me and asked if I could design a vegetable garden for him. 

Interestingly enough, what started as a simple vegetable garden evolved into a full-fledged drought tolerant front and back yard landscaping project.  Here’s what it looked like before:


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A Season of Orach

It’s sort of mean that we can’t grow salad greens in the summer here in So Cal.  It’s too hot and they bolt to seed so quickly.  I’ve tried growing lettuces under shade cloth and that helps a lot, but it’s nowhere near as delicious as fall-grown salad greens.  One way to combat the heat is to grow slow-bolt or heat tolerant varieties.  Another is to try something completely different.

Enter Orach Mountain Spinach. 

I know I’ve talked about this fantastic green before, but I’m going to expound on the wonders of Orach again because this year was particularly …
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Taming of the Asparagus

I’m a little bit of a late bloomer.  Or maybe it’s just that I get used to looking at – or stepping over – something that’s in my way and then I don’t do anything about it for a long time.  It’s kind of like that pile of laundry in the middle of the room.  It doesn’t go away, but you start to ignore it – so it really isn’t there any more, right?

This was the case with the wild patch of asparagus in the raised beds.  We’re at the end of our second year, which means that …
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What’s Working…and Not Working

This season has been an interesting one.  I’ve had luck this year with plants I’ve tried (and failed) to grow for the past 11 years.  At the same time, I’ve had trouble this year with plants that do well consistently … Continue reading

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Veggies in a Pot

A couple months ago, I got a call from a mother of two who was looking to plant a vegetable garden in her back yard.  The problem was that they had recently remodeled the yard, installing a large stone patio that pretty much ruled out a vegetable garden.  The yard was beautiful will all of its new improvements, and it seemed to me that planting in containers right on top of the patio would be our best option, especially since that spot got more direct sunlight than any other part of the yard.

After a consultation, Michelle decided to shop for some nice …
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Cornell’s Vegetable Variety Site

I stumbled upon a site this week that is a must see for home gardeners.  It’s a site to register the varieties of whatever vegetables you are growing in your garden so that other gardeners can find varieties that grow well in similar climates and visa versa.  Okay- it’s hard to explain, but just check it out:

http://vegvariety.cce.cornell.edu/

I registered a few of my favorite tomato varieties as well as some varieties that didn’t do well in my coastal area.  This can become a very useful resource for planning your next garden.

Enjoy!

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