How Deep is the Sea? -- Anna Milbourne and Serena Riglietti

Ocean Zones

BBC: Creatures that Live Beyond the Abyss

Plants like kale, pac choy, peas, radishes, and spinach will be the first to be planted outside, directly in the ground or in a cold frame. Others like asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and onions can be started inside where it is warmer.

Seeds to Direct Sow in March:

Kale - West Coast Seeds

Pac Choy - West Coast Seeds

Peas - West Coast Seeds

Radishes - West Coast Seeds

Spinach - West Coast Seeds

Seeds to Start Indoors in March:

Asparagus - West Coast Seeds

Broccoli - West Coast Seeds

Cabbage - West Coast Seeds

Cauliflower - West Coast Seeds

Onions - West Coast Seeds

Question: What is the best gardening soil for a large garden bed?

We bought mushroom manure last year for about $30-35 a yard, plus a small delivery fee. The company just dumped it in front our house, and we used our wheelbarrows to move it where we wanted. I wasn't sure at first because I had read conflicting information, but it was the best looking soil, compost, and mulch mix for the lowest price. It turned out to be **amazing** for all of our flowers, herbs, and vegetables. We had a huge difference in growth and production between the plants that got mushroom manure and the ones that didn't. It also looked great! I highly recommend it.

Perennials are plants that live longer than two years. They grow, bloom, and produce seed each year, and return in the spring from their roots. They are different than annuals, which produce seed within one year and then die, and biennials, which produce seed after two years before dying. Some perennials (such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and bell peppers) and most biennials (such as spinach, lettuce, beets, carrots, celery, parsley, fennel, and some plants in the onion and cabbage families) are usually grown in a garden as annuals.

Source: Wikipedia: Perennial Plant

Here is a list of the perennials we include in our garden.


Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Currants, Black
Currants, Red

Flowers, Echinacea, Purple Coneflower
Flowers, Iris, Purple
Flowers, Iris, Purple and White
Flowers, Iris, White
Flowers, Rose, Red
Flowers, Rose, Yellow
Flowers, Rose, White


Herbs, Chives
Herbs, Garlic
Herbs, Green Onions
Herbs, Lemon Balm
Herbs, Mallow (Malva neglecta)
Herbs, Swiss Mint
Herbs, Oregano
Herbs, Thyme


I like to plan my garden and order my seeds (from West Coast Seeds) around the end of January. Then my seeds will arrive by mid February, and I can start planting the first of March. Some seeds will be planted outside, in a greenhouse, cold frame, or under some sort of cover. Other seeds will be planted inside in trays for transfer into the greenhouse when the weather warms up a little. I will write about this in more detail later on. For now, I will list the seeds I am ordering this year.

Beans, Bush, Venture Blue Lake (sweet and crunchy)
Beans, Runner, Scarlet Emperor

Beets, Avalanche (white!)
Beets, Cylindra
Beets, Touchstone Gold (yellow! sweet and mild)
Beets, Winterkeeper Lutz

Broccoli, Everest

Cabbage, Copenhagen Market
Cabbage, Wa Wa Sai (light, for salad)

Carrots, Autumn King II
Carrots, Little Fingers
Carrots, Nantes Coreless

Cauliflower, Snowball

Corn, Bantam

Cucumber, Marketmore76

Flowers, Calendula, Pacific Beauty Mix
Flowers, Echinacea, Purple Coneflower
Flowers, Sunflowers, Original Sun

Herbs, Basil, Cinnamon
Herbs, Basil, Sweet
Herbs, Basil, Persian (licorice)
Herbs, Chamomile
Herbs, Dill, Long Island Mammoth
Herbs, Chives
Herbs, Parsley, Dark Green Italian

Kale, Improved Dwarf Siberian (mild)

Lettuce, Buttercrunch
Lettuce, Plato II Romaine
Lettuce, Simpson Elite Loose Leaf

Onions, Walla Walla
Onions, Ailsa Craig

Other, Dial Seed Sower
Other, Fade Resistant Marker
Other, Stainless Steel Sprouting Screen
Other, Wooden Plant Labels

Pac Choi, Ching Chiang (heat tolerant)

Peas, Shelling, Green Arrow (sweet)
Peas, Snow, Oregon Sugar Pod II
Peas, Snap, Sugar Lace II

Peppers, Orange Sun
Peppers, Pepperoncini

Potatoes, Carolina

Spinach, Bloomsdale Savoy

Sprouts, Alfalfa

Squash, Delicata (C. pepo)
Squash, Table Queen (C. pepo)
Squash, Uchiki Red Kuri (C. maxima)
Squash, Waltham Butternut (C. moschata)

Pumpkin, Small Sugar (small, sweet)

Tomato, Amish Paste (vine)
Tomato, Early Cascade (vine)
Tomato, Jaune Flamme (bush, orange!)
Tomato, Taxi (bush, yellow!)
Tomato, Tiny Tim (bush)

Zucchini, Black Beauty (C. Pepo)
Zucchini, Goldy (C. pepo, yellow!)

I would like to do something to encourage gardening this year, for fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Not only does it save money, but it is rewarding and empowering to pick food from your own yard. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think a lot of people might not know how to start. It can be as simple as potted herbs, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, spinach, or trellised cucumbers and squash. These are extremely simple to grow, and are very productive. Other people may be inclined to take out grass and put in mushroom manure. A larger space allows for peas, beans, carrots, and beets - also easy, but generally needing more space and weeding. My husband and I have been working in our garden the last few years, and it has been so helpful and amazing. It is such an incredible feeling to go to your own patio and/or garden and pick herbs and vegetables for the meal you are preparing. I would love to help others set up and learn about gardens, cooking seasonally, and storing extra produce for the winter.

With that said, welcome to our gardening journey!