No Dig Gardening

Garden Update; The World’s Most Expensive Tomato

June 7, 2009

firsttomato

Yesterday we ate the World’s Most Expensive Tomato.

Ok, not really, but sometimes gardening feels that way, doesn’t it? When you factor in what was spent on building the raised beds, filling them with hay, alfalfa, manure and compost, buying the plants, building the fences, buying critter repellent, water, and time,  it seems like it would just be easier and less expensive to go and buy a good tomato at the Farmer’s Market doesn’t it?

I have to say though, it is incredibly satisfying to pick that first tomato.
The eggplant, tomato and basil in the photo above all came out of my garden yesterday.
No recipe, just slice and grill the eggplant with a little olive oil. Slice the tomato. Arrange on the plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with chiffonade of basil, fleur de sel, and freshly ground black pepper. I’m not sure there’s anything …

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How to Fill a Raised Garden Bed with the "No Dig" Method

March 26, 2009
The “No Dig” method for gardening is supposed to use less water, take less effort (no digging, no rotatilling) and raise superior vegetables.
Ok, sign me up.
I had two references. One, a story I’d read in the LA times last summer (http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-nodig12-2008jun12,0,55177.story) and the other, the website, http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/
I started saving newspapers about a month ago.
On Saturday David went to Stephen’s Hay and Grain in Glendale and bought 2 bales of Alfalfa and 2 bales of Hay. It’s times like this I’m very happy we have a pick-up truck.

On Sunday morning my mother and I went to Armstrong. We weren’t certain how much compost or fertilizer we’d need so we bought 6 bags of Organic Compost and 6 bags of Chicken Manure/Fertilizer and we figured we’d see how far we get.
We began by leveling out the two rectangular beds, both the walls …

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How Pork Chops Lead to a Garden or, How to Build Raised Garden Beds

March 26, 2009
A couple of nights ago I had the worst tomato of my life. It looked pretty, but it was completely devoid of any flavor. Sorta like blondes. Ok, I take that back. Some of my closest friends are blondes. But you know what I mean…this is LA after all.
Anyway, we’ve had bad luck in the last couple of years growing tomatoes. They grow big and strong, set some fruit, and then start to die from the bottom up, quickly, before the tomatoes can grow and ripen. It looks likes some sort of “blight” and it’s very frustrating. We can’t pinpoint the cause. At first we thought it was the soil, but it happened even when I planted the tomatoes in big pots of fresh soil on my patio. My theory is that it’s the damp, foggy, “June gloom” we get on summer mornings. But I am a glutton …
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