Monday, March 23, 2009

just browsing...

I had a whole day to myself on Saturday so I decided to check out a couple of nurseries that are close to my neighborhood to compare prices and get an idea of how much I should budget for my garden this summer. All of the vegetable starts and magnolia trees and cherry blossoms were very, very tempting, but I managed to escape with only a soil test and a soil thermometer.

It took all of my willpower not to come home with a couple of these cuties.

Every book I've read about gardening has recommended testing your soil, which sounded like a very scientific and daunting process. The home kit I bought only cost $9.99, and it was actually kind of fun. You just dump some dirt and a capsule of water in the little chamber, shake it up, and wait for it to change colors.

I tested 7 different sites in my yard, and found out most of them are around 6.0 ph which is just what I need for the plants I want to grow. Awesome!

I was seriously considering replacing our grass with an alternative lawn that would be a mix of clover and flowering natives, but B convinced me to start small and focus on the beds and maybe a couple of self-watering containers this year. He thinks we should wait until next spring to smother the existing lawn and replant it. Ah, the voice of reason!


  1. Do you live in my neighborhood? Because that looks like Pistils nursery with the chickens. I rent the top floor of a duplex near Mississippi street, and this is the first time that I've lived somewhere with my own yard. And I have a balcony that I can have potted plants. I'm trying to figure out when to plant things in Portland because the climate is so different from California.

  2. I live in North Portland, so Pistils, Livingscape, and Shorty's in Vancouver seem to be the closest to me. Unless you count Fred Meyer and Home Depot... This is my first spring/summer with a yard too! It's a little overwhelming but fun. Some people on Ravelry recommended some good books for our region, I'll send you the titles.