Organic

imperfect.

Common Pacific Northwest garden pests and diseases
Our garden is good from afar, but far from good! Trying to keep it real here folks. Yes, I work my butt off to try and keep things tidy in the garden but time and time again, I’ve been shown that no matter what I do, the garden gods will do as they please. And as they please means disease, pests, seeds that don’t sprout…you name it, I’ve witnessed it. I try and not take it too personally, but man, it can be a bummer sometimes! Here are the few issues I’ve been dealing with as of late:

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therapy.

Organic gardening, Seattle, Lettuce, Lavender, Crimson Clover
Oh golly, things are starting to look real nice-like out back. Most days, I come home after work and throw on my super sexy gardening overalls plus my ole crocs and it’s out to the garden I go! No matter how tired or lazy I’m feeling, my energy level immediately picks up and 2 hours later, I’ve spruced up another section of the yard. I swear, gardening is therapy to me. And it’s free.
Stella usually comes and hangs out while I’m out there. That dog has to sniff every weed and blade of grass I touch and it’s funny watching her be so curious. Bees are doing their thing – pollinating our berries and happily bobbing on the lavender stems. Birds are singing all sorts of songs….you’d think we were living out in the country! Then a 747 lands on Boeing Field and you realize that you are living smack in the middle of a city šŸ™‚ Ahhh, such is the joy of urban farming!
Organic lettuce, Gardening, Seattle
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testing…1,2,3.

Soil testing in Seattle - cultivatedrambler.com

You guys. Totally nerding out over here! This confusing pic above are the results of my soil test that I took about 4 weeks ago. As a King County resident, you have access to 5 free basic soil tests for properties you either own or rent. It’s a great way to see what’s going on down below before you start planting your flower or veggie garden. My COG class instructor said it’s great to do this in the fall and again in the spring so you know what sorts of fertilizer to add.

I always though having to add fertilizer to your soil was B-A-D ie. soil is totally natural and you shouldn’t add anything but water to it. Ummmm, yeah. That’s totally wrong! (Though adding non-organic chemically processed fertilizer is still bad, so don’t do that!) Growing plants all season long can strip your soil of all sorts of nutrients so it’s wise to continually monitor it so you can add the right stuff and keep your dirt healthy. Who would have known?! My mind was totally blown the day we learned that. Sheesh.

Since I’ve discovered all of this soil stuff, I’ve seen really healthy soil and let me tell you, it’s a thing of true beauty. I have total soil envy now and vow to get mine looking like that one day. A girl can dream, right?

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an update.

Pacific Northwest Organic Gardening, 2015 Plan, Crop Rotation - cultivatedrambler.com

Because I know you guys are just as excited as I am about what’s in my garden this year šŸ™‚ Here’s the final game plan for growing season 2015. The large square is the main bed and the three beige beds are the straw bales. I am also experimenting with a small section on the patio but it’s becoming more of a slug feeding station vs. a garden at this point. (more…)

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bait.

Organic pests - cultivatedrambler.com

UGH. F’ing slugs! They are the bane of my existence right now. I bought all of these lovely little starters from the edible plant sale the other week and they are being violently attacked by these slimy suckers. Every morning I walk out onto our patio to find even more clinging to my traps OR even worse, on my poor plants! I’ve heard they can eat their own body weight in a day. Cool, real cool.

So far, I’ve tried:

  • salting them
  • crushed up egg shells
  • crushed up clam shells
  • grapefruit slices THEN salting them
  • beer in a shallow dish

If you have the time, nothing is more satisfying than salting them. Not sure if I’m sold on the egg/clam shell route, which is suppose to give them too sharp of a surface to slim around on. Grapefruit works well, but a dish of beer is my new go-to method. Stupid things just drown themselves. I also read that it’s better to not change the dish too much as they actually are attracted to their dead comrades. That’s twisted.

This is making me really reconsider ducks and chickens for our yard……. šŸ™‚

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