Yesterday my favorite mother-in-law offered us a huge bag full of Gomphrena seeds. Now, if you have ever grown Gomphrena- you already know that we also had our own huge bag of seeds as well as an established place in the garden where they have reseeded themselves. The flower is basically a seed ball. But then a light bulb went on because I have been wanting to renegade garden a spot by the train tracks and these are highly drought resistant and would be perfect.
So with my daughter as an accomplice-an accomplice who wakes up at 6am basically forcing us to find something to do while normal people sleep- we pack up our stuff. I gathered the bag of seeds, a bag of compost, a small shovel and a few sigg bottles of water and tucked them into the stroller. The stroller sure was helpful.
We set off on our journey past a pack of wild dogs. They only look mild right now because,as I said, no normal creature wakes up at 6am.
Just in case anyone in internet land imagines us living on some lush country farm- this is a block from our house. We really do live in central San Antonio.
So I picked a spot by the train tracks that was mostly free of grass, with a few wildflowers and a token beer can.
I dug out some rocks and dug in the compost. I put the trash into a bag to throw away at home.
We threw out the seeds and whole stems and dug them in. Now they still have the potential to grow not broken up- but they have a better chance if the seeds are separated but I didn't think to break them apart beforehand and felt silly standing there forever shaking up the seeds. We watered and hoped for rain.
Back at the house, after some reflection, we decided to try again- so I broke up the ones that were left and put them in a bag with some more compost. Those I just threw out next to the actual patch I had dug. In my fantasy, they will grow well in the nice little bed and some randoms we threw along the way will spread down the tracks bringing beauty and joy to all. I will keep you updated.
Helpful hints for renegade gardening:
- I like to pick a really gross spot that could use some flowers.
- Wear gloves.
- Pick something that doesn't need too much tending too.
- Try to plant right before a rain- The plants will get much needed water and you won't have to worry about carrying around a lot of water to water them in.
- Bring some compost- The soil is going to be less than ideal.
- Get as much done before you leave as possible.
- A stroller is great for carrying all your supplies- but if you bring your kid you might want to keep them strapped into something like a carrier or stroller. There was an amazing amount of broken glass.
- Have fun!