Individual Greenhouses for your Garden

***A repost for those of you who are planning a garden***

I love fresh vegetables, and I grew up with a vegetable garden and there is nothing better than a vine ripened tomatoes picked fresh and made into bruschetta or some other yummy food.  Our family started its first vegetable garden to introduce the older kids to healthy eating.  It was great when the realized how food was grown and they actually wanted to try the tomatoes and the zucchini. The chocolate zucchini cake was a hit, the tomatoes were not.   So we keep trying.

Since we live in the Pacific Northwest and our summers are finicky.  I have friends who have migrated from California or Texas and they bemoan the fact we can ski until March and wear hoodies until July. So, it helps to have a green house or a cold frame to give your plants a healthy head start.

I, however, have 3 small boys to raise. Which means they would break any cold-frame, accidentally of course, and I can’t afford a green house. (Their feet never seem to stop growing!).  So, I came up with another, much cheaper idea after visiting Williamsburg with family. According to the period actors, the settlers used glass bells over plants as miniature green houses. I don’t want breakable glass around the kids and the food, so we used Milk  Jugs. Yes, Milk jugs. We go through a gallon of milk a week and have plenty of them around.  Its easy. Cut the bottom of the milk jug off, leave the cap on the top.  The plants get their water from the surrounding ground.  And, the milk jugs let light through while heating the surrounding air, to encourage growth.

As the garden grows, watch for more posts.  The first round of spinach is about ready to be harvested!

Plant Sale at Seymour Conservatory


September 22
Fall Plant Sale
Saturday, September 22 (10:00am – 4:00pm)

Keep your garden blooming with a trip to the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory’s annual fall plant sale from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, September 22.

Hardy herbs, garden mums, perennials and houseplants will be available for purchase.

Proceeds benefit the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. The sale will be held at the Metro Parks Greenhouses at Point Defiance Park, North 54th and Shirley Street, east of the go-cart track. For more information call 253-591-5330.

Plant Sale Location:
Point Defiance Greenhouses, 5402 N. Shirley Street

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory; 591-5330
316 S. G St., in Wright Park



Garden Bounty


I said I would update the last garden post, so here is how it’s growing:

The lettuce is going gangbusters, we’ve had enough rain to keep us in an abundance of both butter and romaine lettuce. We don’t replant, but snip the leaves off the plant using garden shears. This lets the lettuce grow back.

One thing we have noted is that garden lettuce is more tender and harder to poke with a fork than store bought lettuce. No wonder rabbits love this stuff!

Spinach has also come in well. We keep picking the leaves off and they keep growing back. Fresh spinach is a lovely addition to morning smoothies!

1C Spinach
6 large Strawberries
1med Orange
1/2 Banana
1/2 med Apple
1/2C Blueberries
1/2 tsp flax seed
Coconut water for mixing
1C Ice if fruit is not frozen
*Note: if the smoothie is too chunky, add more fluid. This enables the blender to move the ingredients and blend better.

The smoothie recipe is a great way to start the day off healthy and with lots of energy!

Vegetable starter sale


Still looking for the perfect mix of plants in your garden? Well on June 9th, go to the conservatory at Wright Park and pick up plants like Tomato, Kale, Spinach, Corn and More! Everything you need is here.  And, if you need pointers on how to start a garden, most gardeners are more than happy to share their information!

May 9, 2012
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location – W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory (316 South G Street (in Wright Park)

Free Home and Garden Workshops


Tacoma Public Utilities has several FREE Home and Garden workshops at the EnviroHouse. The EnviroHouse is located at the Tacoma landfill, 3510 S. Mullen. Many of these classes have limited space so, registration is REQUIRED by clicking on the link or calling 253-573-2426.

March 10 at 10:30am – Pruning Basics, keep your trees and shrubs healthy over the summer or ask questions about how to keep your plants safe in another ice storm.

March 17th at 10:30am – Residential Lighting and Design, get ready for those Sunday Family BBQs

March 17th at 1:30pm – Backyard Chickens, keep bugs down in the garden and have fresh eggs to boot! Just make sure your Homeowners Association allows chickens where applicable.

March 24th at 10:30 – Planning a Food Garden: Soil and Seed. Can’t wait to get great info on planning my vegetable garden this year and best fertilizer to use. I see lots of TAGRO in my future.

March 25th at 1:30 Rain Barrels: How to make & maintain, capture our own, free from the sky wet stuff to water your flowers and veggies during the hottest months and save even

more money!

March 31st at 10:30 – Greener Cleaners: Make, Store, Use, this is a great way to save money and help your home environment, especially if you have little ones or pets at home. Chemicals are everywhere and they don’t necessarily need to be.

In April, many of the classes repeat and include new ones like:
April 14 at 10:30 – Yard Waste & Worm Bin Composting, From the TPU mailer, you will be allowed to put food scraps, some not all, in your yard waste bin soon. Or, after this class, you can compost yourself and create really awesome fertilizer for your garden next year!

April 21 at 10:30 – Solar Power: How it Works & Incentives, this is great. There are so


many great options these days and ways to take advantage of the technology, AND reduce your winter heating bill!

April 28th will bring you Rain Gardens and Porous Pavers: Pavers, Patios, and Driveways at 10:30 and 11:30 respectively.