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.

Home & Garden

On Gardening: Beebalm species are a magnet for flying creatures

If you are into bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, then by all means put the monarda or beebalm species at the top of your must-plant list. I find it amusing that in more than 20 years of garden writing, I've never touted a beebalm. I've always loved the scarlet beebalm, Monarda didyma, especially when hummingbirds come into feed. When examined close-up, the scarlet beebalm looks like nature's version of spectacular fireworks. The last few years however have been like a life lesson as other species have caught my attention with their ability to attract pollinators.

Home & Garden

Not too square: the Cuboid Doormat from Dwell appears to be 3-D

Doormats aren't the most inspirational of household purchases. Whereas the quest for a great interior rug involves carefully considering several details - size, material, design, durability and so on - shopping for a doormat essentially means asking yourself two questions: Is it not totally hideous? Can I wipe my feet on it?

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