Wendy Wagner

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since Apr 26, 2017
Wendy likes ...
books cat urban
When I'm not writing SF and horror novels, I'm out in the garden.
Pacific NW
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Recent posts by Wendy Wagner

I put New Zealand white clover into an empty bed last year--the bed is on a slope, and I forgot to mulch it the winter before, and it had eroded nastily. I chucked seeds out in late April or so, and the clover was established enough by August that I was able to start using it for chop and drop. I only had flowers in there last year, but they grew very well, and soil quality increased amazingly. At the beginning of the summer, water just ran right off the bed and everything in there required constant attention, but by the end of the summer, water vanished into the soil and I watered that bed about half as much as the rest of my annual beds.

In the fall, I ripped out some of the clover and transplanted strawberries into that bed. I use shears to cut the clover down to about three inches tall whenever I think about it, and I occasionally go through and rip out some aggressive runners that might crowd the berry plants. The strawberries in this bed are significantly taller than the ones I transplanted into a bed mulched with wood chips and are producing at the same rate as my third strawberry patch, which has been mulched with compost. The really nice thing about the clover-and-strawberry patch is that even in our last streak of warm weather, I didn't need to water at all.

Obviously not a scientific sort of study, but so far I am pretty pleased with the process. I added some of the NZ white clover to the annual bed where I've got my zucchini, and am eager to see what happens.
1 year ago
It almost looks like a Jerusalem artichoke to me! (Grain of salt: I haven't grown them in about ten years, so I might be misremembering them.) I seem to remember the stems being faintly prickly and going from a vibrant green to a slightly purplish shade at the bottom, like this plant does. For comparison, here's a link to a series of photo showing some growing from tiny to big: https://groundtoground.org/2012/08/18/jerusalem-artichoke-ultimate-perennial/
1 year ago

Alexandra Clark wrote:I have about 28 large brown cardboard pizza boxes stacked in my garage



I think every bed in my garden started with pizza boxes!
1 year ago
Yep!
1 year ago
Plant 3 looks like arugula.
Plant 5 is some kind of brassica--I have broccoli and brussels sprouts flowering right now, and they look just the same.
Plant 7 is dock.
1 year ago
I picked up some sea kale seeds from Bountiful Gardens this year. I used nail clippers to pierce the corky husk and then it stripped off pretty easily with just my fingernails. I have a small yard, so I only planted 6 seeds in small pots--that was around the first of March. I just left them on my porch and let them sit in the rain and cold, since they like a period of cold stratification (at least, that's what it said on the seed packet), and they all came up within about three weeks.

Two were devoured by slugs, but the others all have developed a few real leaves, and I've begun transplanting them into more permanent homes.
That looks like a salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) to me. It's native to the Pacific NW of the US, but I've read that it's escaped cultivation and can be found in the UK.
1 year ago