Thursday, November 24, 2011

Green Friday

DKIW in front of her Nana's Wildflower Garden at the Start of Last Spring.

Fall is the ideal time to plant Native Texas Wildflowers. May I suggest Black Friday? Forgo the mall, and put in some happiness for Spring.

*Note about Bluebonnets* Bluebonnets should be planted somewhat earlier, around October. If you have a wild flower mix with bluebonnets in it, you may still get lucky planting this late, but this is the last chance. Bluebonnets also usually take an extra year or two to come up because the seed shell is super hard to survive the semi-regular Texas droughts.

If you want to do a large area, the experts recommend mixing 4 parts sand to 1 part seed so that when you throw them out, they distribute evenly. If you aren't particular to where the seeds grow, you can just throw them out on fresh dirt without sand. November has been decently rainy so far, but you should water them in when you plant them if rain doesn't look imminent. If you are planting in a place you don't have cough *exact permission*cough to plant in, say a vacate lot by your house or on the roadside, just look for a day with a possibility of rain. There is a 30% chance of rain this Saturday. The soil shouldn't be allowed to completely dry out the first few weeks. Here's a great resource Mr. Smarty Plants, if you want to know more.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Make An Herb Spiral

Question 1: Why make an herb spiral? - Because you can put more herbs in a smaller space. Because some herbs like drier, warmer soil (top of the spiral) and some herbs like wetter, cooler soil (bottom). The plants that can tolerate the most shade should go on the North side, those that like more sun can go on the South side. This gives you a lot of options/ environments in one spot. Also, it looks pretty and will impress people who like permaculture.

Question 2: How? - Pile up about 1/2 yard of dirt in a sunny spot.

Start at the bottom, make a flat part in the hill, and then spiral around until you get to the top. It should look like a drill bit or corkscrew (depending on your prefer for wine or tools). Then you take bricks or rocks and stack them up a couple of layers high along the flat part. (We used bricks because someone gave them to us for free.) Now the bricks should be higher than the dirt behind them. Then you set in your herbs according to their preferences for light and water. Hot tip: Most culinary herbs prefer really good drainage and sun; but parsley, chives and chamomile can take more shade. After you put in your plants, fill in with a bit of extra dirt to fill it up. Water them in and you have done it. Enjoy fresh herbs in your cooking.