Woad and Weld are not desert plants or My Moment of Duh

If you ever forget that parts of Southern California are desert under all the asphalt,  an automotive breakdown in the San Fernando Valley will be your reminder.

Earlier in the year (after my last happy post) I woke up to one of the worst heat waves that I can recall.  For a few days my local temperature beat out that of my (Pahrump,) Nevada relatives.  Yay for me but parts of my garden curled up and died.  Even watering before and after work didn’t save the Woad and Weld.  Not being native or desert plants those two in particular did not survive the summer.  Fortunately I do have seeds from last year and will try again next year.  (Pictures of dead plants would be depressing so just use your imagination here.)

Cotton however did really well and I had enough for various guild friends and myself.

Some of the bolls that haven’t opened yet I bring in doors and leave in a warm spot – window, by heater,  bowl near the stove – and they open later.

First Tomatoes 2013

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Found these a few days ago. First tomatoes for this season.  Unfortunately I missed getting to Tomato Mania this year but one of my knitting buddies did make it and surprised us with this new plant. (Hand is in the picture to give an idea of plant size.)

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Evan managed a batch of plantain salve.  (Plantain the herbaceous plant not the banana.) Yay for the garden “weeds”!

More Woad and Weld Sans Possums

The Possums are quiet this month. (And I realized that I misspelled ‘Possum’ in my last post so now my poor spelling has been advertised planet-wide…)

The Woad in a planter however still isn’t doing well though the Woad in the ground continues to flourish merrily.
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Weld also growing.  Hand in the 2nd picture to give an idea of the size.  They are still small plants but tend to shoot up in the spring.

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I start them off with a cover of hardware cloth (wire mesh) to protect from local wildlife that like to roll and dig into new beds.  Just removed the cover this week since I think they are large enough to be safe.

Possims Ate My Woad

I haven’t written for quite awhile.  I seem to be wandering into various non-dye projects.  As far as the dye plants go there is the ongoing collecting and drying my favorite invasive weed/dye-plant/Bee-snack – ie. Oxalis.

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The woad and weld in the ground is surviving what passes for winter out here but the woad in-planter (on the porch) was nibbled down to the roots and what wasn’t eaten rolled over and died.

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[woad from last year]

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[new weld plants]

It’s probably not fair to blame the woad snacking on the Possums.  We have a surprising variety of wild life that have adapted to city living: Racoons, Owls and Coyotes along with the Possums. Most of these aren’t seen too often unless you work really early or night shifts.

Woad in the Planter

I had this project idea to see how the Woad would do in a planter vs yard.  It started out well enough then one night something made its way to the porch  ate most of the Woad in a pot – but not the yard.  I guess the next few test plants will be wrapped in hardware cloth.


Woad plants in starter pot and the yard.

And the Weld. These are from last years Weld plants. Just starting to come up.


Weld seedlings just coming up.


Weld a few weeks later.


Weld under hardware cloth to discourage local beasties from rolling in it.


Weld section of the front yard, backed by Rosemary, White Sage and Valerian.

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Woad Root (or why I think this might do ok in a planter)


This is the root from a Woad plant that went to seed last fall. Looks like it could be small enough to survive in a planter.

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Woad: in Yard and Porch Pots

Most of us don’t have a field handy for our favorite invasive blue dye producing weed. I have a small front yard area for a few plants but in the past had to limit my home gardening to pots and planters. So with that in mind I decided to see what Woad in a few porch pots would do.


A couple of starter plants along with ones in the yard (dirt).


Graduated to a larger pot.

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Categories

Some project photos, plants and cats

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