raised bed with cement edging

How I Prepare Raised Beds for Early Spring Planting

The weather over the weekend was glorious and full of spring’s promise. As previously mentioned, I took advantage and dove headlong into my early spring to-do list. In a typical spring I charge straight into these chores and make mention of them in passing, but rarely get into the nity-gritty of my process here. This


Gardener’s Back

Chalkboard illustration by Davin Risk. There’s a double meaning to this title and I suspect that if you’re over 21 you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve got aches and pains all over. I took advantage of the great weather this weekend to cross several items off of my April garden to-do list. I


My 2014 Herb Experiments (+Giveaway)

My gluttonous seed-hoarding habits seem to be behind me now, or have at least calmed for a spell. This year I have abstained from impulse buys from swollen turnstile racks and I only placed one mail order this season. Of course, I say this having bought 40 packets of seed in Tucson, Arizona last June.

Salvia coccinea Coral Nymph

Coral Nymph Salvia

I like salvias. I like any and all salvias; from the delicious, culinary sages to the nectar-rich, super smellerific and sticky sweet types that aren’t hardy in my region. I even like the ones that aren’t edible or aromatic. I’m not sure what it is about this genus. Is it their drought tolerance? Their snapdragon-like

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #25: Connecting Through the Garden

Over the years, I have met all sorts of people as a result of my personal and professional interest in gardening. Some of these experiences have been thrilling and joyful; others were colorful, frightening, a bit odd, or downright nuts. Some of the strangest conversations took place as I tended my former “Guerilla garden” on

The First Flower of Spring

First Flower of Spring

I usually avoid republishing images that were recently posted to one of my social media accounts, but when you consider how hard won this spring feels and the fact that this little flower was trapped underneath a deep lake of ice less than a week ago… I think it begs repeating here. And now, we

My garden - April 2, 2014

Spring at Last! My April Garden To-Do List

Just when I was at my lowest and had become fixed on the idea that we’d entered a terrible new Ice Age, spring finally made its move. Over this past weekend, the warmest parts of my zone 5b(ish) yard here in Toronto began to thaw and by Monday at least half of the garden was


Guide to Choosing Organic Potting Soil Mixes

Questions about seed-starting and potting soil brands are some of the most popular that I receive. They’re tricky to answer because I’ve found that many of the best quality potting soils or soil-less mixes tend to be produced by smaller companies with short distance distribution. In terms of quality and ingredients, soil mixes vary widely

Rattlesnake Pole Beans

Food Worth Growing: Rattlesnake Pole Bean

I have two criteria when choosing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) to grow: they must be delicious at the tender, green bean (aka snap bean) stage and they must have something about them that is aesthetically pleasing. Over the years I have experimented with a lot of bean varieties and by these criteria ‘Trionfo Violetto’ and ‘Royal

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #24: Favorite Garden, Ever

Grow Write Guild Prompt #24: Write about the most inspiring garden you have visited. Further Notes and Questions: Was it a public or private garden? What about it appealed to you? How did you feel there? Describe the parts that you liked best. Did you discover a new plant there? Did you learn something else

My Urban Garden August 2013

Turning an Eye Towards the Garden

In a typical winter there comes a time when I find myself dreaming of the coming growing season and the changes I will make. This year, the disconnect that I feel from the garden and the seemingly impossible return of spring has made it so that my dreams and schemes have been locked on pause.

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