Home & Garden

Urban homestead: How a South Sound couple turned their yard into an edible garden

It started small, as many projects do: three veggie boxes in a sunny front yard. The rest of the property — a small rental just opposite Metropolitan Market in Tacoma’s Proctor neighborhood — was mostly crabgrass, with some old boxwoods and a rose, plus a few trees out back. But then about three years ago, renters Jenny Call and Ron Geier began adding more boxes, a chicken coop, landscape fabric over the grass and this summer a terraced veggie patch down the steep front slope. With recycled materials, a DIY aesthetic, organic methods and a huge variety of edibles from grains to ground cherries, Call and Geier have turned their yard into an urban homestead that feeds them year-round. The only trouble is, they may have to leave it all behind.

Marianne Binetti

Marianne Binetti: Wait for rain, then go after slugs

The month of August is the time for an important garden chore — bait for slugs. This is the month when the slugs and snails are mating under the cover of darkness. Use a pet-safe slug bait such as Worry Free or Sluggo around the dark and shaded trysting spots such as groundcovers, rockeries and around uncut lawns.

Marianne Binetti

Late summer color a harvest for eyes

The close of August is the ideal time to harvest squash, tomatoes and beans, cut back perennials such as daisies and daylilies that have past their prime and continue to water and fertilize potted plants and annuals in the garden.

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