Northwest Gardening

  April 2020

The Shape of Winter

As predicted by climate change models for the Northwest, our recent winter season arrived later in the autumn, and was highlighted by heavier, more sustained rainfall. We had relatively mild temperatures overall and only one serious snowfall, which melted after … Continue reading

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  December 2019

Gardening in Autumn

Garlic and Shallots Just before Halloween, the early fall rains finally ceased and the clay soil in my garlic and shallot patch on the Skagit Flats dried out enough to be worked into raised beds. The dikes on the nearby … Continue reading

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  October-November 2019

Fall and Winter Plantings

By now, the late August plantings for the next three seasons should be established. The goal is an initial level of plant maturity, established before the first frost, which allows continued slow growth through our relatively mild winter. The lettuces … Continue reading

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  September 2019

A Garden Visitor

I recently invited a retired entomolgy professor, Bob Gara, from whom I had recently taken several courses at the Anacortes Senior College, to tour my garden. He had previously identified from a photo the flying beetles on a Russian thistle … Continue reading

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  August 2019

Field Days

During the past month I attended two field days at the WSU Agricultural Research Station in Mount Vernon. The first was hosted by the Bread Lab for a tour of their extensive wheat, rye, barley and buckwheat test plots. The … Continue reading

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  July 2019

Garden Visitors

Over the years I have been fortunate to have the advice and frequent garden visits of a local retired nurseryman, who stays active doing multiple vegetable gardens to supply fresh produce to local churches and nonprofits. We compare notes: his … Continue reading

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  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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