Garden Maintenance

How to Weed Without Strain: Effortless Gardening with Feldenkrais Practitioner Cathy Butler (Video)

May 6, 2009 3 comments
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I don’t know about you, but when I garden for hours at a time (which for me is every day), even though I enjoy myself, I do feel sore and tired. Even a gentle and soothing task like weeding often leaves me stooped and tuckered at the end of the day.

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Lookin’ Sharp – How to Keep Your Garden Tools Clean and Sharpened (Video)

May 3, 2009 13 comments
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Wrapping up our series on the hand tools we use most in gardening, I want to show you my favorite sharpening tool, the Speedy Sharp, and how to use it to sharpen your pruning shears and your soil knife or hori-hori: Now, if you prefer to use a file to sharpen your shears, Fine Gardening […]

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Organic Weed Control – How to Kill Weeds Without Harmful Chemicals

March 28, 2009 66 comments
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As a garden coach, I’m often asked if there are any organic ways of getting rid of weeds that actually work. Nobody wants to spray harmful chemicals in their garden. The good news is that there are a lot of organic alternatives. The bad news is, some organic techniques can require an up-front time investment, […]

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February Garden Maintenance for the Pacific Northwest

February 4, 2009 9 comments

February feels like the eye of the storm for us gardeners – there’s just enough time between the winter pruning rush and the flurry of spring to take a deep breath, and begin thinking back on what worked especially well last year and what projects we might like to tackle this year. Most of my […]

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In Other Words: Winter Pruning Guides from Around the Web

January 27, 2009 11 comments

I’ve found some wonderful tutorials on pruning in the last few weeks, with easy-to-understand photos and step by step advice. Pruning can be intimidating for beginners, but these guides break it down and have an encouraging tone – they don’t make things more complicated than they have to be. Here are the articles I’ve liked […]

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Stupid Thorns, Tasty Berries: How To Prune Raspberries (It’s Easy)

January 23, 2009 33 comments
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So every time I open up my pruning book to the raspberry page, I get deep unhappy furrows in my brow. Raspberries are a simple plant. Why do they have to make it so complicated? There’s the summer-fruiting kind (with a short fruiting season), which fruit best on one year old wood. Ideally with these, […]

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Braving the Thorns Part 2: Pruning Your Dormant Rose

January 19, 2009 13 comments

Rose pruning is such a satisfying task – you go from a tangled icky mass with thorns everywhere to a lovely clean set of sturdy stems – yet too many people are intimidated by their roses. There’s no need to be shy! The worst thing you can do is not tackle them at all, since […]

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Ornamental Grasses: How to Prune Miscanthus, Stipa, and More

January 14, 2009 33 comments
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Now’s the time for us mild-winter gardeners to prune back many of our ornamental grasses. But how do you know which to prune back all the way, which to deadhead, and which to leave be? Well, if your grass is an evergreen and is still looking great, then leave it be unless you want to […]

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January Garden Maintenance: The To-Do List

January 11, 2009 8 comments

If December is all about putting things to bed – raking, weeding, mulching,  and cutting back perennials – January’s for dreaming big dreams of the coming year’s harvest and blooms – pruning, spraying, and planting for a productive year. You’d think while pruning a completely bare tree you’d feel wintry and rather desolate – but […]

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December Maintenance Tasks for the Pacific Northwest

December 5, 2008 11 comments

If you’ve been finding the time to work in your garden in the last couple months, you probably have most of your fall trimming done – deadheading Lavender, Scotch and Irish Heather/ Heath, and Hydrangeas; and cutting back your Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Astilbes, Hostas, and other hardy perennials which lose their leaves.

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