Adopt some good ideas from Bainbridge Island gardeners
Follow these tips from IslandWood's teaching garden.
• Plant in raised beds. The soil in raised beds warms faster in spring and drains better in wet weather, so plants grow quickly and produce better than in flat gardens.
• Recycle rainwater. Route roof gutters and downspouts to rain barrels or cisterns (at IslandWood's teaching garden, which is large, galvanized metal tanks are used).
• Use organic pest controls. For IslandWood, that starts with a deer fence around the vegetables and extends to simple ideas like crop rotation, which prevents crop-specific pathogens from building up in the soil.
• Save space with espaliered trees. At IslandWood, two pear trees and four apple trees (with additional varieties grafted onto the apple trees) grow along the fence line.
• Extend the season. Plant cool-season crops like chard, cabbage, peas, and root vegetables for winter and spring harvest, and warm-season crops like tomatoes, beans, and squash for summer and fall. IslandWood also raises both June-bearing and everbearing blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries so that berry season lasts months instead of weeks.