Just like the garden, my inbox is in need of a good spring cleaning this week. So here are some of the choicer pieces that gardened up.
The first is a new WSU Extension publication for vegetable gardeners, Home Vegetable Gardening in Washington. This is not just a how-to garden publication, though. This has everything from picking the best site for your garden to where to go for information on preserving and storing your harvest.
It starts with several very good maps on the last and first expected frost dates laid out using the new geographic information systems mapping data. You can easily tell where your garden is on the maps. It has several pages with tables and graphs on spacing seeds and transplants, when to plant through the year and the seasons of various vegetables.
There is a large section on different planting arrangements including descriptions of raised bed, straw bale, square foot, vertical and container gardening. Growing methods include intercropping, companion and succession planting. There is a section on integrated pest management using different techniques besides getting out the chemicals to control pests. Lastly it has an extensive reference list you can use to do further research or stock your library from.
The publication is free but it is only available as a download from WSU at http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/ CEPublications/EM057E/ EM057E.pdf.
The second thing to come out of my inbox was a nifty new gadget to keep pots up off decks. Called the Deck Wedgee, it is a hard, recycled plastic wedge that fits in between the boards on your deck and holds up pots to 600 pounds. The wedges have stainless steel leveling screws to level pots even when the deck is uneven. The wedges allow air to flow under the pots and dry the surfaces easily, reducing the potential for discoloring, molding or rotting the wood. The companion Patio Cubee holds pots above patios and other flat surfaces that could be stained by standing water. Both the Deck Wedgee and the Patio Cubee are sold in packs of four for less than $6 and can be ordered from http://deckwedgee.com/.
Lastly, LED lighting is finding its way into the plant growing world. Modular Organics in Kirkland, Wash., has the Kubo system that provides full-spectrum light.
The lights were demonstrated at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in a modular, portable, indoor GroTent that was lined with Mylar fabric. The fabric reflects the light to all corners of the green house while the outer black fabric cover keeps the light from being too bright in a room. It was all I could do to take a quick look inside before I was blinded by the light. Contact Modular Organics for more information, www.modularorganics.com or (425) 443-0963.