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Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 | 0 comments

Secrets to a Successful All-Year Garden

Secrets to a Successful All-Year Garden

Earlier this week, we took you on a tour of JC’s backyard garden where she and her family grow fruit and vegetables pretty much all year long. Today we’re back to show you how they keep everything going into the winter months, plus we’ll divulge their secret to ensuring large harvests of fruit each year. As JC pointed out on the tour, there are many vegetables that enjoy the cold weather — kale, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, arugula — and some of these even taste better if grown in the cooler months. But once the first frost appears, cold weather plants need some protection too. JC’s DIY solution is overwintering with garden fabric and thick c-shaped wire frames. She firmly sticks the wire frames in the ground (about a foot or so apart), drapes the fabric over top, and secures the sides of the fabric to the ground with bricks or rocks. As long as the plants are covered when the temps are low, they will thrive in the winter....

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 | 0 comments

JC’s All-Year Urban Farm

JC’s All-Year Urban Farm

We met JC last year when her garden was one of the standouts on our 2014 Urban Farm Tour. JC was gracious enough to invite us back for a fall gardening workshop for DIY Del Ray readers. Not only did we learn what vegetables we can grow in the fall, we also walked away with tips for how to keep our gardens going all year long — yes, even right here in Del Ray. Our tour started with the front of JC’s property where she grows enough fruit to satisfy her family of four. Strawberry plants create a lush groundcover in the fall, with delicious strawberries making an appearance in the spring. If you want to limit your amount lawn mowing, grow strawberries. Did you know birds have no interest in sour cherries? Apparently so, we learned. But they do love strawberries and figs, so plan to net those if you want more for yourself. JC admits she didn’t get to enjoy as many figs as she wanted this...

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 | 0 comments

Register Now: Fall Gardening Workshop

Register Now: Fall Gardening Workshop

If you’re looking for tips for how to garden beyond the summer season, you’ll want to register for our Fall Gardening Workshop on October 17 at 4 PM. JC Herz, one of the featured gardeners on our 2014 Urban Farm Tour (standing below in the red shirt), will open her home for the afternoon event. JC will walk us through a variety of topics including: Types of vegetables you can grow in the fall; How to use wire hoops and garden fabric to overwinter certain cold-weather crops; Plant structural supports (e.g. trellises, stakes); Succession planting; and How and when to plant crops to make the best use of limited space. JC will also share her experience with pickling and making jam. And as an extra bonus, her husband John will talk about beekeeping. The will be plenty of time to explore the garden and ask questions. Space is limited and registration is FREE. This event will occur rain or shine — in case of severe weather, we will try...

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Posted by on May 18, 2015 | 0 comments

Creating a Permaculture Herb Spiral

Creating a Permaculture Herb Spiral

Herb spirals are a permaculture structure, created of stone or brick in a circular pattern. They provide micro-climates for different types of plants and they are habitat for beneficial insects. I learned about herb spirals from Michael Judd’s book Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist. The idea of the herb spiral is to create a type of raised bed where the bed rises in a spiral rather than being flat. I made my herb spiral with bricks because I had a lot of them from the former homeowner’s landscaping. I placed cardboard at the bottom since I was working on grass. Then started to lay the bricks. I will admit that it took several tries to get the spiral just right. At first, I made it too narrow so that the internal swirl was too close to the sides. I had to remove several layers of bricks and start the outer curve over so that it was wider, leaving more room in the middle. Once I got the first...

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 | 0 comments

A Garden Consult with Love & Carrots

A Garden Consult with Love & Carrots

I’d love to be able to claim that I know exactly what I’m doing when I garden, but truth be told, it’s been mostly luck if I get something to grow. We’ve tried various vegetables over the past several years — some worked well like last year’s broccoli, but others like the lettuce I planted two seasons ago withered away after a week or so in the dirt. Determined to improve my gardening skills, I met up with Meredith from Love & Carrots, an organic gardening business whose goal is to “take the intimidation out of home gardening.” They provide a range of services from a personal consultation to design work to full-service garden maintenance. (Psst — We’re doing this post with Love & Carrots as part of a giveaway which we’ll announce tomorrow!) Meredith came over on a weeknight for my consult. After I told her about my past gardening successes and failures, the first thing she did was take an accurate sunlight reading using a solar pathfinder....

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