No Dig Gardening

Summer Garden 2012

May 29, 2012
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I seriously debated whether or not I wanted to spend the time, effort and money to do a garden this year. In the past we’ve built raised beds, I tracked every expense to see if it’s worth it, and last year only planted half a garden. This year, even though I was a bit late in getting started, I decided to jump in all the way and plant every bit of space in our raised beds. With a little help from family and friends we got the beds ready in a weekend.

We went with a modified version of the no-dig method this year. Instead of hay, alfalfa, compost and fertilizer, I substituted organic garden soil for the compost and fertilizer. Last year we lost a lot of soil in the boxes to various digging creatures and general decomposition. The hay and alfalfa break down every year so …

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Garden Update; Checking the Yields

August 16, 2010
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It’s nearing the end of the summer and I’m wondering just how much has my garden produced after all the blood, sweat & tears (and water and money) I’ve poured into it. So far, the results have been pretty good (see below). It’s not done producing yet, though it does appear that some of the plants are nearing their end already.

 Below are my harvest totals as of 8/15/2010. I tried my best to keep track (even made a spreadsheet) but I’m sure I missed some of the pickings so it’s safe to assume the actual harvest is slightly larger.

I’m going to do some research as to actual cost of these items if I were to buy them in a store or at the farmer’s market and in a future post will total and compare with what we spent on building and planting the garden with the yields and …

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Garden Update-Have I Won the Battle?

June 4, 2010
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I may not have won the war, but I may have won the battle, at least for now. It seems like my monsters have found other places to dig besides in and around my garden beds. I like to imagine them frustrated; “What are these boards and bricks and rocks doing in my buffet? Let’s go somewhere else...”

As for my plants, they seem to be doing well. I’ve been able to remove the caging off the eggplants and squash and the effect was amazing. The zucchini doubled in size overnight. I am not exaggerating. It doubled. It was almost as if it was singing, “Born free....” and stretching it’s arms toward the sky.
Yes, both the animals and plants talk in my garden.
The tomatoes seem to be happy and two of the plants have quite a few green tomatoes on them. I harvested my …

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When Does “Growing Your Own” Become Too Expensive?

April 6, 2010
Thumbnail image for When Does “Growing Your Own” Become Too Expensive? When does growing your own vegetables become too expensive? I'm not sure I can answer that question but it's a valid one to ask. Every year I grow a garden and every year I'm sure I spend more on the garden than if I bought organic vegetables from the farmer's market. So this year, I've decided to track everything I spend and then everything I yield to get a realistic picture. This doesn't mean I'll stop, even if it's more expensive, but it's important to recognize that not everyone may have the means to (be it space, time or money) to have their own garden. Go to the post to keep reading about what I've done so far...
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Getting Ready to Garden & Meyer Lemon Giveaway

March 21, 2010
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Weekends like this remind me how truly blessed those of us are who live in Southern California. Say what you will about traffic or smog, you really can’t beat the weather. It was almost 80 degrees on the first day of Spring, while many parts of the country were still under a blanket of snow. It almost makes a girl feel a little guilty to have so much sunshine and year-round citrus.

We’ve had some unusually wet and cold weather this year, but once it turned warm the urge to get outside and plant came on with a vengeance. Even though it’s early March, it’s time to get the summer garden going here in Los Angeles. While many people in the US can’t plant until May or June, we need to start planting now because in July and August, at least where I live, it’s so blazin’ hot the vegetables …

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Quick Mid-Summer Garden Update

August 5, 2009
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This is 2 day’s haul from the garden last week. In the photo are 4 different types of tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, an eggplant, a zucchini, and a cucumber. Was the no-dig method successful? Yes, I think so. Did it work for everything I planted? No, but I learned in the process and will be better prepared for the next go-round.

As of today, parts of the garden are still in full swing and others are winding down. I still have some Black Truffle and Brandywine tomatoes (which I think cross-pollinated because I’m now getting big, fat, dark tomatoes) and the zucchini and eggplant look like they are getting ready for round two. Other tomatoes are starting to wither and the green beans never really could survive the aphid onslaught.

I’m starting to think about what to plant for my “fall garden.” Any ideas of what would be suitable for …

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