New Tools – Christmas in…April

The tell-tale credit card statement reveals that yours truly has been shopping for gardening tools. It's spring - can you blame me? 

While up north at the San Francisco Garden Show I stumbled upon the Lee Valley Tools booth. Oh dear, be still my heart. Before I knew it, my hands were wrapped around a Clarington Forge digging fork. Sturdy, rugged, hand-made, and for those of us who appreciate a good tool when we see one, beautiful. It was the easiest sale of the day. It ...

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Not a Shred of Evidence

NERD ALERT!  This one is for you. You know who you are.

Question: How do you solve domestic disputes between husbands and wives who have differing opinions about how composting should be done? 

Answer: You get a chipper/shredder and then everyone is happy.

The Problem: You see, I sit squarely on the side of the fence that prefers to chop up all the green and brown bits into small pieces before it goes into the compost bin - because it breaks down faster, and ...

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A Gardenerd’s Wish List, 2010

Each year it is a family tradition to form a wish list in October for holiday gift-giving ease. Inevitably, my wish list gravitates toward garden gear. I'm sure my family is sick of it by now, but when you're a gardener, what else do you need?

It has become a Gardenerd tradition to share the wish list on the blog, not to solicit gifts, but to revert back to childhood and dream big together. Here's what I hope Santa brings this year:

Patriot Electric ...

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MacGyver me this: Broken Watering Can Rose

There isn't much that can't be fixed with duct tape. Garden tools are no exception. While I wouldn't trust a loose-headed pick-axe after wrapping it with several rounds of shiny silver duct tape, I would trust it to fix my reliable yet cheap, plastic Rite-Aid watering can with a broken rose attachment.

Plastic is, as we know, forever. Except in the case when it photo-degrades. Plastic pots or tools become brittle and cracked, and eventually useless for their intended purpose. ...

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Building a Solar Food Dryer

Okay, so you've got a ton of leeks and you've already made a gigantic batch of potato and leek soup that's completely filled up the freezer. Now what do you do with the rest of the leeks (about 10 pounds or so)?  One options is to dehydrate them. Dried fruits and vegetables require no freezer space, no refrigerator space, and no electricity to keep them at the ready for use in the kitchen. In fact, it ...

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Compost Queries

A question came in this week from a Gardenerd student:

"I'm sharing a Biostack [compost] bin with my neighbors in my apt complex and the question was raised on whether or not it's acceptable to put whole fruit, apples, oranges, etc. into the bin. I'm trying to keep the bin simple for people so I am hesitant to tell people to cut up their fruit to help accelerate the composting, but my neighbor thinks they should be. Can you tell me what the ...

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Testing Sunlight

Here's a recent question that came in last week:

"I have lots of shade but some sun in my front yard. Combination of city trees, large bushes I don't want to part with etc. I seem to remember a device that one can put in a spot to determine the amount of sun it gets per day. I want to try to incorporate veggies into the landscape and this would help tell me where. Do you know where I might find this and ...

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