Northwest Gardening

  May 2019

Fire Season, Again

Earlier this year, I attended a lecture by a fire ecology professor from WWU. on the upcoming fire season in the Pacific Northwest. The talk was presented by the Friends of the Forest, the local environmental group that originally helped … Continue reading

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  April 2019

Surviving a Winter Storm

During the two weeks of snow cover in February, it was a welcome sight to find winter-hardy flowers and frost-resistant vegetables surviving our mild martime version of a “polar vortex.” The saving grace for the plants was the absence of … Continue reading

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  October-November 2018

The Other Half of Gardening

Appropriate to the fall season, the squirrels are rushing about the tops of the Douglas firs, sending a bumper fall crop of cones to the ground, where the bushy-tailed rodents will harvest and hide the seeds before the rains return. … Continue reading

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  September 2018

The Autumn Turn of the Year

With the coming of fall, the garden enters its third major seasonal shift. After the plantings of early and late spring, and the harvest of summer, autumn is the time of final plantings before the onset of winter. In late … Continue reading

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  August 2018

Summer Sun

The sun has finally kicked in, with midday temperatures in the 90s in the outside air, not to mention escalating readings inside a tall grow tunnel, where I struggle to keep crops cool by opening all the side vents and … Continue reading

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  July 2018

July is Second Spring Time

It’s July. You think your garden is all set for the summer: the tomatoes are blossoming and setting fruit, first potatoes are about to be dug, broccoli is heading up, and the pea vines are reaching the top of the … Continue reading

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  June 2018

Gardening With Wildlife

One of the first chores of spring is to let a few winter-hardened brassicas, such as kales or collards, go to seed. The early flowers attract native bees and the cultivated honey bees, as well as the now commonly over-wintering … Continue reading

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  May 2018

Planning for Change

The fertile flats of the valleys west of the Cascades were formed over geological time by river flows and frequent floods. The clay soils and cool climate of the Skagit Valley, situated at the same latitude as Northern Europe, are … Continue reading

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  Oct/Nov 2017

Harvesting the Garden

With the arrival of fall it is time to harvest the last of the summer vegetables in the garden, set up protection for the fall greens recently planted, and put in over-wintering cover crops. And finally, sow garlic by the … Continue reading

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  September 2017

A Winter Fortress

September is the turn of the year from expansive heat and sun to the oncoming cool rains and cloudy days. I often think of the oncoming fall season as the slow start of a gradual siege that begins in the … Continue reading

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