As items fall off the front page, they'll be archived here. Unfortunately the content from before 2006 is somewhat incomplete, but everything from that point on should be here.
The Cooperative Extension Service is a nationwide educational network run through the nation's land grant colleges (Washington State University and Oregon State University, in our case). Among the many valuable resources they provide are the Master Gardeners programs which provide loads of printed and online materials, clinics at local nurseries, and many other helpful tools for us gardeners. If you've ever prowled around my site, you've probably found the links I have to WSU's excellent Gardening in Western Washington and the OSU Extension Service website.
A tip of the hat to the folks over at Johnny's Selected Seeds for the reminder about this invaluable service!
New photo: The Robin, Harbinger of... Ice?!
New article: Favorite pole bean (snap bean) varieties
Disjointed Ramblings: I've joined the Kindle Krowd!
October 23... sorta
From the Mailbag: A late start on a winter garden?
From the Mailbag: Sowing in September
Also, a bit of an about-face... when I killed off my site's RSS feed, I didn't think about the news aggregators that take advantage of it. So, as of today, I'm re-launching a somewhat simplified version that shouldn't be so onerous to maintain.
From the Mailbag: How does pollination happen in a hoophouse?
I've updated the page How to Make a Complete Organic Fertilizer - don't worry, the recipe hasn't changed!
Also, my annual reminder: if you want to have a winter vegetable garden this year, get moving! You might want to look at my Vegetable Garden Timetable and my Winter Vegetable Gardening pages for a start. If you're feeling more ambitious, here are several more articles I've written related to winter gardening. There's still time to plant a lot of winter vegetables, but the window closes a bit more with every week that passes!
I've decided to kill off my site's RSS feed. If you've actually subscribed to it, I am sorry for the inconvenience - but it's been clear for a while that almost no one is using it.
Hey! Want to see something cool? Belorussian gardeners can now read The Westside Gardener - translated into Belorussian! Check it out!
I removed the link on 2013-08-16, since the other site went away
It's pretty miserable out there today, at least around my place. But you know what? This is just about the perfect weather for transplanting my leeks! So yeah, I was out there in the rain this afternoon. I got soaked and muddy, but my leeks are now in their winter bed.
Rain and 70 degrees sure beats rain and 35 degrees...
Disjointed Ramblings: Why I'm still sitting out the e-book revolution
From the Mailbag: Can soap be safely used as an insecticide?
If you want to have a winter vegetable garden this year, it's time to get busy! I know it's difficult to think about winter when it's finally just starting to warm up - but that's the way it goes. You might want to look at my Vegetable Garden Timetable and my Winter Vegetable Gardening pages for a start. If you're feeling more ambitious, here are several more articles I've written related to winter gardening.
From the Mailbag: How often do you apply organic fertilizer?
My snap beans, sown June 13, are starting to poke through the soil. Given the continued cool, rainy weather, I wasn't sure they'd germinate - so I covered the bed with a sheet of clear plastic to warm it up (did the same thing for my summer squash, actually). This time of year, though, you have to be careful - if the sun pokes through the clouds for any length of time you can quickly cook your seeds doing this! Fortunately (or unfortunately), this hasn't been an issue at my place this week.
Of course as soon as the seeds start to push through the soil, you don't want the plastic laying on top of them - so as of today both beans and summer squash are under cloches.
Cloches... in late June. Ugh...
By the way - if you haven't sown your beans yet, don't despair. I've planted pole beans as late as July 11 and still gotten a good harvest from them in September.
New article: The Reactionary Gardener
I sowed my winter squash and my cucumbers inside under lights yesterday, using 3.5" square pots. Remember, these cucurbits are touchy about transplanting; so start as many pots as you want plants; thin the pots using scissors rather than pulling the extras out (or trying to transplant them); and most importantly make sure your beds are ready for them without delay! I expect to be moving the squash into my garden by June 5 at the latest - the cukes, being somewhat less vigorous growers, may run a week or so behind that.
Local event: "From Damsels to Demons: The Hidden Art of Netsuke Carving" - Portland Japanese Garden's 2010 Art in the Garden series, June 19 - July 10.
Disjointed Ramblings: An Open Letter to the Seattle Mariners
From the Mailbag: A question about fertilizer
From the Mailbag: Gardening Beginner!
From the Mailbag: I started my squash too early!
He's ba-ack... and with a new article! Wait, it's about the winter garden? What's up with that? I guess you'll have to read it and find out...
New article: Overwintering carrots
If, like me, you live in Pierce County Washington, be sure to check out the Pierce Conservation District's 17th Annual Native Plant Sale! They offer quite a few native trees, shrubs, and ground covers at very low prices - usually sold in bundles of 10 plants. For more information visit their plant sale page.
A number of my friends and family members prefer the original (color) version of my Drumheller photo, so I went ahead and put both photos together on the page. Take a look, and let me know which version you prefer!
It isn't a garden photo in any way, shape, or form - but I am really pleased with this shot of Drumheller Fountain I took at the University of Washington.
From the Mailbag: What's eating my Rhododendron?
I don't know how useful it will be, but I've decided to start archiving older entries as they get removed from this front page. Everything from 2006 and 2007 is there. The majority of older posts are also there; but given my decidedly late start in working on this, I must admit 2003, 2004, and 2005 are not 100% complete.
We've added some new images to our Vegetable Seedling Photographs pages, and more are on the way!
New article: Midsummer Garden Notes
Video tutorial: We're trying something new here at The Westside Gardener - video! I've put together a short tutorial on transplanting tomatoes. It's available in both large (13MB) and small (1.9MB) sizes. You'll need at least version 7 of the free Quicktime Player; but you should be able to watch using any web browser.
We had bumblebees all over this rhododendron that's near our back door today. You'd think it'd be simple to get a photo of them... but you'd be wrong. Here's one I thought turned out pretty well.
Why am I posting this rather uninspiring photgraph of a tomato seedling? Well, what's remarkable is that I had the opportunity to take it at all - the seed was 14 years old!
When I started my tomatoes (admittedly rather late - March 25), on a bit of a lark I sowed a pot with about 20 "Red Cherry" seeds from a packet I purchased in 1993. Only two came up, about a week behind the others... but they did germinate!
New article: A Wiseguy's Secret to Successful Transplanting
New logo: I really liked how a photo of the blossoms on our old Gravenstein apple tree turned out; so I incorporated it into a new site logo. If you'd like to see the original photograph, please click here.
New article: A Late Blight Myth
I'm getting a lot of traffic from Niki Sullivan's article in The News Tribune. Since she focused on winter gardening, I've put together a short list of my articles you may find interesting:
Winter Vegetable Gardening - an overview and timetable
My Favorite Seed Companies - the best places, in my opinion, to get seeds for next year's winter garden
How to Build a PVC Hoophouse - a walk-in structure that protects you and your plants from rain and cold
How to Make a Cloche - a shorter, simpler protective cover for your plants
My First Winter Vegetable Garden - if you're wondering what got me started with winter veggies
Starting Seeds Indoors, Successfully - getting a jump on this spring's garden!
If you've got more time, here's a list of all my articles related to the winter garden.
From the Mailbag: Do I need to isolate open-pollinated corn?
From the Mailbag: My tomatoes and squash are rotting at the tip!
Interested in saving your own tomato seed? Check out my friend Keith's excellent instructions over at the On-Line Tomato Vine.
From the mailbag: Should I worry about contaminants in my organic fertilizer?
Disjointed Ramblings: Aperture vs. Lightroom
New article: After the flood
Copyright woes... I received an email from someone who discovered that another site had taken the exact words and phrases off my vegetable garden timetable, and was using them on their site - without permission and without attribution! Poking around, I quickly found that much of WSU's calendar information was also being used, word for word, on the site.
Since the site's owner is currently being unhelpful, I'm going to let her ISP's abuse department sort this out. But folks, please respect copyright! Not just mine, but other sites' as well. It's not like the conditions I spell out for use of my material are at all onerous.
Update: The situation seems to have been resolved to my satisfaction.
My Vegetable Garden Timetable has now been extended into early November (finally!).
I did a little bit of reorganizing of the site today. It occurred to me that having the "From the Mailbag" pages separate from the rest of the regular articles was rather artificial, and possibly made information harder to find. So effective today the Mailbag pages have been merged in with the rest of the Articles section.
From the Mailbag: Green Beans, Pole Beans; what's the difference?
Sigh... This isn't garden-related, but it just gets so frustrating. I just spent half a day rewriting
a Web page (not for here; for my day job) because
of the basic brokenness in Internet Explorer (the browser ~70% of you use to visit this site).
I've run into this several times over the past year - I'll use some standard dynamic HTML
functionality when building a Web page, only to find that IE's support for that particular
function is hit-or-miss (even though it all works fine with every other Web browser on
It's so tiresome. I've tried to avoid harping on non-garden matters on these pages; but please, please do folks like me a favor. Try using a different Web browser. I've got links to several good, free ones listed here. If enough people stop using IE, we won't have to write to the lowest common denominator anymore.
From the Mailbag: How do I control aphids?
The Westside Gardener now has an RSS feed!
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary - it's a way you can quickly keep up-to-date on multiple Websites without having to visit them individually to find out what's new. Many sites like BBC News and Slashdot.org provide RSS feeds. We'll use ours to let you know about new articles as well as important monthly gardening tasks. You can view RSS feeds using programs like FeedDemon and NetNewsWire, or use one of the many programs that include RSS functionality.
Our RSS feed is found at http://westsidegardener.com/rss_feed.xml.
From the Mailbag: When can I pick my peppers?
The Westside Gardener has successfully completed its move
to a new hosting service!
This decision was made in an attempt to address some long-standing issues with the previous hosting provider. Many were behind the scenes; but if you've ever sent me an e-mail that either bounced back or vanished into nothingness you've seen the problems as well. Please write me if you run into odd happenings now that we've moved!
From the Mailbag: My onions are flowering!
New Article: FAQ About the PVC Hoophouse
New Article: Favorite Tomatoes from my Pacific Northwest Garden
What an amazing summer we've had so far! Most years it's a 50/50 chance that I'll even get one watermelon. This year I've got a half-dozen set already. In the photo above, the Festival watermelons are the size of a baseball, while the Passport melons are roughly slowpitch-softball sized.
I've made some design changes to the site which should address any problems people have had with printing out pages - I realize it's much easier to carry paper out to the garden than a computer! Please report any continuing problems to me. Also, you die-hard Netscape 4 users should find the pages easier to read now (but please upgrade anyway! Your browser is five years out of date!).
All contents © Travis Saling
This page was last updated November 23, 2013