Tuesday, April 2, 2013

a fresh start

 Spring has come on pretty sweetly here on the central Oregon coast, with a lot of warmth and plenty of dry days. We have been reconfiguring the layout of our garden in these early spring days, moving paths and adjusting the beds to follow (I'll share more about why in a later post).

We're almost finished, and while we work this out I have been planting a lot of starts indoors, following the sun on the porch and patio, and planning what will grow where once the garden is ready.  

The seedlings are doing well, and I keep planting something or another every few days it seems. There will be a lot of extra! I love to give surplus plants to fellow gardeners, and we like to experiment here, planting some things outside the deer fence to learn more about what the deer might leave alone.

The garden mostly gets left to it's own devices through the winter, and I start to see it with new eyes as the weather warms up.

What had seemed like a sad lot of survivors back in the early fall, turned out not to be so sad after all.

Recently we have been harvesting beets, leeks, turnips, potatoes, brussels sprouts raab, kale raab and leaf, and we're already enjoying an abundance of fresh herbs with our meals.

And speaking of starts, for those of you who are planting them, I wanted to share a simple, useful recycling tip before I finish up today.

After trying a number of different materials over the years, I have found that waxed paper cartons make excellent plant labels (they are shown in use in the image above). Simply rinse and dry your empty container, cut it open, and fill out your labels with a sharpie. The waxed surface is waterproof and the heavy paper is pretty sturdy. You can cut them to any size or shape you need and then recycle what's left over.

A lot of the labels I made last year are still in great shape, and could be used again this year. And when you're done with them, they are completely biodegradable!



  1. i love that you grow more seedlings than you need. we do the same. plants make such a good gift! love the tip on labels. will try that this year.

    we are so happy to have you posting with us, abby.

  2. I like the tip on the labels too! I never know what to do with our almond milk cartons. I wish I had been saving them to cut the whole bottom out to plant in too, now that I think of it.
    The soil in your garden looks really nice; is it somewhat sandy? Ours here has so much clay in it.

  3. I saved up a bunch of popsicle sticks from last year and started using those. Good idea on the waxed paper though!

  4. Thank you, Shari! I appreciate the warm welcome so much.

    Thanks Heather! The soil in the are of the garden was an interesting mix of sand, clay and loam when we began. In a way it was possibly the perfect balance, if only it was all mixed (some areas heavy with clay while others very sandy). We have turned it a lot, and added a lot of compost over the years. It's come a long way since we started and is getting so rich and easy to work.

  5. yay! i am so happy to have you as part of our little tend family:) i love your garden and now i get to see more and more of it!!

  6. Thank you, Amy! I am excited to be here!! :)

    Jay, popsicle sticks are a great idea.

  7. Welcome to tend Abby! I love your tip about waxed paper. I have used cut pieces of a yogurt container in the past - but I have to make sure I face it away from the sun because the marker fades so fast!