Harvesting Garlic

Growing your own garlic is such a joy, and harvesting it can be even more fun. Each October we plant what turns out to be a year's supply of garlic in about 7 or 8 square feet (using the Square Foot Gardening method). Then we nurture the bulbs through winter and into spring. In late spring, which is May or June here in Los Angeles, the foliage starts to turn brown and die back. We cut ...

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Bountiful Harvests from Neighbors

Sometimes the best things in life are free - and from your neighbor. That seems to be a theme this week. While my garden may still be launching into its productive phase, some of my neighbors' gardens are already there.

At my community plot the lady to my left is overrun with ripening blackberries and, as of last week, I've been given permission to harvest as many as I please. Since I've been dying to find a ...

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Propagating Lavender from Cuttings

Here's a question from a former student: "Hey Christy,, I took your Organic Gardening Class at SMC a few months back and I am well on my way to creating my first Organic Garden! I was wondering if you had any information on starting plants from cuttings. We have a giant English Lavender plant next door and I'm not sure how to start a plant by cutting. Thanks Christy! Gurie

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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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First Summer Harvest

Even though we've been harvesting squash for awhile now (see "Zucchini Anyone?"), it doesn't really feel like a summer harvest until the tomatoes start showing up.  This week, it's official!  They're red and ready to start pickin' at the Gardenerd test garden. 

Although, to say that they're red would be discriminatory.  These heirloom tomatoes are ripening in nearly every color of the rainbow.  Red is almost passe with all the delectable heirloom options out there. 


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Zucchini Anyone?

Often when people leave for vacation, they experience a pleasant surprise of a thriving garden when they return (as long as it's being watered while they're gone).  My clients often report that just a week away produces a huge growth spurt in their gardens.  I've had this experience myself.

Recently though, I'd like to say that I went away on vacation, but the truth is I just got lazy and didn't check in on the zucchini for a few days.  Oops...


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Late Spring Harvest

With a tiny bit of rain drizzling down this morning, I harvested a few things from the garden.  It's very exciting on a number of levels. 

The first requires a little story: I didn't plant eggplant this year - I planted it last year.  It was attacked by flea beetles early on and in fall when the time came to clear the raised bed, I decided to leave the plants because they were showing signs of new growth.  So they overwintered, and when spring came they had grown to a very respectable size.  Then they flowered and set ...

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Houston, We Have Some Squash

I admit it, I went a little crazy.  I was determined to have a successful squash crop in the wake of last year's squash catastrophe.  So I planned for extra, you might say.  This season, at Ocean View Farms, I planted Delicata and Butternut Squashes.  While at the Gardenerd Teaching Garden, we planted zucchini, patty pan, yellow crookneck and pumpkin. 

The First round of zucchini and patty pan squash were eaten by birds.  So were the second round.  So then we planted seeds indoors to make sure nothing went wrong.  That did the trick.  Meanwhile, the pumpkins and ...

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Mega Garlic

Garlic was one of the very first things I planted when I started gardening 16 years ago.  There's something about the magic of putting a clove in the ground and getting a bulb back at the end of the season that made me want to try it immediately.  That first year, my boyfriend and I planted garlic cloves in unamended clay soil (clearly we didn't know anything about compost at the time).  We watered it every day and watched it grow.  7 months later, we harvested what has become the best garlic I've ever grown in my life.  ...

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