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Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 | 0 comments

Landscaping a Steeply Sloped Yard

Landscaping a Steeply Sloped Yard

When we moved into our house earlier this year, there was pretty much zero curb appeal. The yard was a mess of weeds mixed with patches of mulch and irregularly placed sod. It was weird, really, because the inside of the house was updated, so it seemed like the previous owner forgot about the outside. The worst part of the yard had to be the steeply sloped sides, two narrow patches of dirt, rocks and weeds eroding with every rainfall. One side received sun and was somewhat evenly sloped. The other side was mostly shade and had a flatter top and then a steep drop (plus an eyesore of a drainage tube!). We called a few landscapers to get their opinions. Everyone seemed to come to the same conclusion: sod the sunny side and hardscape the shady side. We liked the idea of steps on one side to make it easier to get to the back of the house without going inside. Though seed would have been significantly less...

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Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 | 2 comments

Progress Report: Raised Bed Gardening

Progress Report: Raised Bed Gardening

Back in April I purchased some cedar raised beds for my backyard garden. I’m pretty pleased with the beds and I wanted to share a quick update on how my garden is doing. Here were the two 3×8 beds when I assembled them in April: And here’s the same shot today: Unfortunately, from my original seed planting (arugula, kale, lettuce and broccoli rabe), only the arugula survived. The rest of the seedlings were washed away during the May monsoon season. I got about a month’s worth of enjoyment from the arugula before it bolted last week and had to be pulled up. However, after originally going MIA, the red leaf lettuce recently came back to life and is holding steady even after being picked for dinner a few times. (This is about a bite’s worth of lettuce, but it’s something!) Despite my seedling fails, I’ve had success with other vegetables. In this bed, zucchini, basil, tomatoes and cucumber are thriving. My second bed has herbs and jalapeno peppers (not...

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Posted by on May 5, 2016 | 2 comments

Irises Everywhere

Irises Everywhere

When I moved into my house, the garden was covered in ivy. As I began to remove the ivy, I found treasures underneath, beautiful irises. They look white from a distance, but when you take a closer look they are a lovely shade of light purple. Irises grow quite well in this area. I inherited these purple irises from a neighbor. They were taking over her yard, so she pulled out a bunch and gave them to me! Irises tend to multiply, you can either separate them and place them in other locations in your garden or give the extras to a gardener friend. Irises are quite beautiful this time of year. Walking around Del Ray there are so many types to feast your eyes upon. They come in a variety of colors. They also smell delicious! They bloom around mother’s day (hint, hint) and make a nice...

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Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 | 0 comments

Quick and Easy Raised Garden Beds

Quick and Easy Raised Garden Beds

Since the soil in our yard is pretty much all clay, I decided raised beds would work better than planting directly in the ground. I’ve seen a lot of raised garden beds in the neighborhood — some DIY and some store-bought. I contemplated building garden beds like these, but lacking the time or the tools to do the work, I opted to buy them. My friend Catherine told me about these cedar raised garden bed kits from Vermont. They are pricier than frames you might find at other online garden supply stores, but they are well made and should last a good 10-15 years. Cheaper versions would have to be replaced every few years and probably end up costing more in the long run. So I bit the bullet and ordered 3 raised bed kids (two 3 x 8s and one 4 x 8). I ordered on Monday and by Saturday morning they arrived at my door. It took about 5 minutes to assemble the beds — no tools...

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Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 | 3 comments

REGISTER: 2016 Del Ray Urban Farm Tour

REGISTER: 2016 Del Ray Urban Farm Tour

We’re excited to announce the date for the 2016 Del Ray Urban Farm Tour, Saturday, July 16, 2016. Register today! This 2-hour guided bike tour will take you to several Del Ray “urban farms” where you can: See what types of food you can grow in your own backyard. Learn about crop rotation and companion planting. Get tips on creating the perfect soil. Find out how to safely protect your crops from pests. Meet other people in the neighborhood who love to garden. Get inspired to create your own urban farm. The tour will take place in the morning (9am-11am) and the event is free. Space is limited. For more information about what you can expect, check out this post about the 2014 Urban Farm Tour and make sure you reserve your spot...

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