Category Archives: backyard microclimate

Land of milk and honey?

I recently visited my family in Los Angeles, my hometown. Here in Chicago where I live it’s still frigid and the ground rock hard so imagine my pleasure to see this tangerine tree growing in the front yard of my … Continue reading

Posted in backyard microclimate, ecosystem | Leave a comment

Talking peas

The New York Times ran a blog commentary Saturday If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them? about new research showing that, when suffering drought conditions, peas send out a biochemical message through their roots to other plants about adverse growing … Continue reading

Posted in backyard microclimate, ecosystem, snap & snow peas | Leave a comment

Judging when to plant

Spring planting is always a gamble. Of course, we want to plant as early as possible so as to enjoy young lettuces, cabbage, spinach and peas as soon as possible. But the risk involves planting too early so that frost … Continue reading

Posted in backyard microclimate, cabbage, lettuce, planting, radish, seasonality, snap & snow peas, spinach | Leave a comment

What to grow to fill your plate

I spoke on What to Grow to Fill Your Plate at the Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice program this past January at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation’s Soil to Plate weekend of speakers and symposia. There were many impressive speakers and … Continue reading

Posted in backyard microclimate, creating & caring for a garden, design & layout, ecosystem, fertilizing, harvesting, healthy soil, location, seeds and plants, sunlight, superfoods, watering | Leave a comment


It will rain today (40% chance, with thunderstorms) because I watered thoroughly this morning. It’s infallible, practically a law. Rain is the gardener’s respite. Once the rain stops, I’ll rush over to my garden to appreciate its electrified, green gorgeousness. … Continue reading

Posted in backyard microclimate, fertilizing, healthy soil, watering | Leave a comment

Planning before planting

I’m working with my new clients to set up their kitchen gardens. There’s a lot to consider about the plot itself, let alone what to grow in it. Below I offer a list to help sort through these considerations. But, … Continue reading

Posted in backyard microclimate, design & layout, location | Leave a comment