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Showing posts from July, 2010

Hoes Replacing Lawn Mowers as Favorite Tools for Front Yard

Maybe it's the water restrictions.  Maybe it's the shaky economy. Dotted through our neighborhood are houses where lawns have been replaced by vegetable gardens.

According to Time magazine, the trend was sowed in the summer of 2005 by Los Angeles architect Fritz Haeg. He saw the manicured front lawn as an American icon that cut across politics, social classes and economics.  But he also saw it as out of date.

Red Cabbage Revive Summer Tradition

A cabbage harvest in July?

In California, it works.  (We planted late in a mild winter.)

That means just in time for out door dinners, we have the basic ingredient for coleslaw.

But with this gem-like vegetable sitting on my kitchen counter, I couldn't bear the thought of traditional coleslaw: cabbage shreds drowned in mayo and sugar.

Hand-Knit Trellis Now Ready for Climbing Foot-Long Beans

Just as the "June" gloom is starting to burn off, I finished my knitted trellis for the garden.

It completely surrounds one of our bamboo tripods, with space at the bottom for tending the romaine lettuces growing within the tripod.

It's knit out of nylon twine on US 35 needles. While the nylon has no stretch (the way a wool yarn does), the huge gauge has loads of give. The piece was knit flat with ties attached along one edge.  It is tied to the tripod along one leg.

One some early samples for a knitted plant trellis, I experimented with lace patterns.  They look lovely, but I realized two things. One, once the plants grow up the trellis any knitting pattern is lost. Secondly, the plants and leaves need space to grow in and out of.

I used a pattern for a shawl: k1, yo, k2tog and then repeat. I got lost a number of times: the yarn-overs drifted over other stitches on occasion. As this was a speed project that won't be visible ones the beans grow over it, I didn't w…

Getting Water Where It's Needed

Getting water to the plants in our garden in a timely way is a constant challenge.

We've been relying on a series of soaker hoses attached end to end and snaking through the vegetables.  It keeps the water close to the ground and roots without losing it to evaporation. We have a timer set at the faucet that allows us to periodically override it and manually set it to water for about 30 minutes.