Monday, May 20, 2013
milkweed a few months ago and today we noticed there were over 20 caterpillars on our two plants! Consider me a butterfly rancher. If you planted milkweed, check your plant! We are all working together to bring back the monarchs. Man, I am embarrassingly excited about this. It's nice to feel like you can do something so small and see you have made a difference for a little creature.
What is a butterfly garden without butterflies? -Roy Rogers
Saturday, May 18, 2013
|Earning her title as Dirtiest Kid in the World 2.0. Eating Purple "Green" Beans|
I have been writing every month about what to plant when but I haven't been showing you the pay off! Here is a sample of what we are harvesting this weekend. Hope you are enjoying some tasty treats out of your garden as well.
|Ruby Red Chard|
|California Golden Pepper|
|Butternut Squash Blossom|
|Pansies! We add these to salads for fancy fun. |
Thursday, May 2, 2013
|Rental Garden Space|
But I have to admit- the tiny backyard is putting a cramp in our style. We passed our chicken friends on to my brother and our neighbors. (For now) When we relocate for good, I expect it to be on a much larger piece of land with nothing but chickens and veggies as far as the eye can see. Maybe ducks? Maybe bees? Also, renting is different from owning. What does this space mean? Is it ours? Technically, just for now- but why not improve it while we are here? How can you really own a piece of Earth? On that note: here is my favorite Ted Talk of all time by Ron Finley, an urban gardener in LA. Plus, our landlady is really cool. So here's what we have done with our small spot.
|Here is the before shot. Although, by this point, Javi had already gathered logs and made a border. He did this before we unloaded the moving boxes. Priorities, ya'll.|
|We cleared out all the trash, junky brush, and used found logs to make the border. Then we raked up the leaves to help make the raised beds and brought in compost.|
|You gotta have a Kersey Olla! All the way from San Antonio and a bean tipi.|
|Then we planted seeds, put in stepping stones (Our Betsy Gruy Original Stepping Stone made the trip of course!) and planted transplants. Since we don't have much space, we are also using lots of pots. (Even in the alley way behind the house- Not technically our "space")|
|Handsome nephew Hank painting in the garden. When you come to our house-we put you to work. Also, we never water the garden. Yeah really never. I should write a post about that...|
|Here is our garden today. It is lovely and manageable. But I am looking forward to having more space someday soon.|
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Happy May Day! This is my favorite month because I am partial to my birthday. My amazing sister-in-law Arielle made this cake for me last year! She also wrote about our family wilderness foraging adventure if you want to hear about it. I have so many things I want to share with you but I haven't been a very good blogger lately. I did want to check in with you on what you can plant this month!
This is the last chance to try to plant some Lima beans or snap beans. And I mean, like you know, tomorrow. Past that and I think you missed the boat.
But you can start getting your hot hot hot summer plants in:
Black Eye Peas (Cow Peas)
Sweet Potato Slips
Winter Squash and
Also, I just learned that the first Saturday in May is Naked Gardening Day. Will you be celebrating?
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
What can you plant in your Texas garden in April? The weather has been lovely, hasn't it? Hope you have had a chance to enjoy it. Right now you can plant so much stuff. All the stuff. Including:
Warm Season Green (If you want to try to swing lettuce- you can plant it and pick it while it is still tiny. Otherwise, it is too late in the season and will start getting bitter.)
Sweet Potato Slips
Man- I love watermelon.
April is a beautiful thing. Get out there my gardeners.
Monday, March 25, 2013
We all used tropical milkweed and/or butterfly weed in our gardens. Catherine noted on my last post that some native milkweed varieties can take over a whole section of your yard so be sure to research what variety will work best for you. Tropical and Swamp Milkweed should stay put where you plant them. The Texas Butterfly Ranch Website has lots of good advice.
The Dirtiest Kids also noticed a ton of swallowtail butterflies on our wimpy dill plant so we added a new giant dill to our garden and moved our caterpillar friends on to it. This new dill plant just so happens to live in our butterfly watching habitat so we will get to see the chrysalis transformation again.
"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." -Nathaniel Hawthorne
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
|Our New Butterfly Garden|
|Before Shot: Can you see butterfly garden potential in this hell strip?|
"The area of forest occupied by the butterflies, once as high at 50 acres, dwindled to 2.94 acres in the annual census conducted in December" - New York Times, March 13, 2013. You can read the whole article here if you missed it.
What can we do? We all have a part to play. Texas is an especially important area for the migration- so my Texas gardeners can step up. If you want to do one thing to help: You can plant milk weed. Monarchs need milk weed to lay their eggs. Milk weed has been destroyed by pesticide spraying over GMO corn and soy bean fields. There is some controversy over the non-native tropical milk weed often sold in nursery's. I think we should plant natives when we can. I especially love Native American Seed Company for all your Texas native seed needs. I could write a whole post about their Thunder Turf (And I will!) But I feel like butterflies will choose the best plant available to lay their eggs on and if they are choosing your tropical milk weed- it is better than not having any usable plant at all. On that note, the best time to plant wildflowers is in the fall here in Texas but the next best time is March. The butterflies will be flying back through Texas in the last few weeks of March and beginning of April.
1. Look for native Milk Weed and purchase it. Plant it at your house, the vacant lot, your community garden, your sister's house, the hell strip by your street, your lake house...you get the idea. Here's a good run down on good types for various gardens.
2. Settle for non-native tropical milk weed and plant it on your apartment balcony, container garden, backyard. It's really pretty!
3. Set aside a little corner of your yard to make a butterfly garden- plant milk weed, butterfly bush, rue, parsley, dill...let's help all of our butterfly buddies.
4. Use organic gardening methods. Avoid Pesticides use on your garden and yard.
5. Buy organic produce to support organic farmers in the migration path.
|Our painted rocks that we will add to our garden when they are dry. Note: Faeries also welcome|