What to plant in spring

In early spring, there are four basic options for planting your edible garden: Seed indoors: Plant your seeds in a seed-starting setup indoors; your goal is to give them a head-start so that when the conditions are right and you transplant them outdoors, they will be able to grow to maturity much more quickly than

By | February 7th, 2013|Garden information, Local food|3 Comments

How to start seeds indoors

Starting seeds is one great way to take the first steps into spring, and we wanted to offer some inspiration along those lines:  But in case you're ogling this picture, thinking that this is exactly what you want your seed-starting setup to look like...please make sure you think that thought all the way through. This example

By | January 19th, 2013|Garden information|0 Comments

Planning your garden

Mother Earth can generally plan her own business pretty well, and it’s a good thing, too: fundamentally, the success of our gardens hinges on the stability of those natural cycles and predictability of larger patterns. Planning your garden effectively involves being aware of the constraints and opportunities created by constantly changing external circumstances, and doing

By | November 20th, 2012|Garden information|0 Comments

Garden cleanup: before & after

20 x 20 community garden plot - before cleanup Just wanted to share a few good pictures of recent garden cleanups. 'Tis the season; good luck with yours, and let us know if you need a hand!!

By | May 4th, 2012|Garden information, Stories|2 Comments

How to prepare garden space…fast

'Tis the time of year for work parties: a chance to harness people-power to make a really big difference, really fast, in your garden space. But sometimes the garden doesn't get ready right on schedule for your big day. So, how to best prepare to leverage all that potential energy into rapid change? The most

By | March 14th, 2012|Garden information|1 Comment

Using straw as a mulch in the edible garden

Mulch--that is, material (usually organic) laid on the soil surface--is a tremendous ally in the garden. It helps protect plants during the growing season and soil in the off-season and adds organic matter, over time increasing soil microbial activity and improving soil health. Sheet mulching in particular is a very effective way to keep weeds

By | March 13th, 2012|Garden information|1 Comment

Garden education opportunities

When you’re venturing out into the garden and you want to learn more, we would certainly love to help you. Although we're not teaching a lot of classes right now, you can find many of our slideshows and handouts at SlideShare.net/IndependenceGardensPDX. And in the meantime, lucky for you, we're not the only game in town!

By | March 8th, 2012|Garden information|1 Comment

Seed-starting schedule

Ever wondered when to sow seeds indoors so that you'll have starts available when it's time to transplant them outdoors? Check out this chart (which we created for 2012, but which is generally fairly accurate year-to-year!). This is designed to give you a timeline to follow, but remember: plants can and will grow outside of

By | February 13th, 2012|Garden information|0 Comments

Where to find local, organic, heirloom seeds

'Tis the season for seed catalogues! We assume that most people who are checking out our website are Pacific Northwesterners. Probably Oregonians. Perhaps Portlanders. So here's a list of local, organic, heirloom edible-focused seed companies that are suitable for gardeners in our area: Adaptive Seed Co. Botanical Interests Ed Hume Seeds (web only) Horizon Herbs

By | December 1st, 2011|Garden information|2 Comments

Putting your garden to bed for the winter

Summer gardens tend to be bigger, size-wise, than fall/winter gardens, so it’s normal to be looking at some empty garden space during the off-season. Here are a few basic goals for that space: Protect the soil from compaction, erosion, and nutrient loss due to hard winter rains Suppress weeds, which can still grow through our

By | September 12th, 2011|Garden information|2 Comments