Archive for the 'dye plants' Category



Woad and Weld

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Earlier this year I stared some Woad in a planter to see how it would do.  So far it has survived the crazy weather and nibbling by local urban wildlife.  Looks like it would be possible to grow this one in planters if no yard is available.

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This area is the Weld and one Woad plant behind.  And behind that is the dead lawn.  Current drought conditions are my excuse for letting the lawn go dormant. (Nice word for letting it dry out.)  I wouldn’t have a lawn at all but I’ve been outvoted.  Since I can’t get rid of it I’m expanding the dye plants and medicinal herbs out over it a section at a time.

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One of the Weld plants with the Woad behind.

Mostly New Woad

I haven’t posted in a while.  Starting new plants and trying to regrow what I lost in the last heat wave.

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Even though my Woad plants curled up and died  there were seeds from that last batch.


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I’ve been moving them a few at a time into the yard.

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This one (above) is the growing-Woad-in-a-planter experiment. Since the roots seemed so shallow it seemed possible that it might thrive in planter.

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.

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 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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Woad Seeds, dye pots and more or less interesting messes


I’m still collecting Woad seeds. When the one plant that had started going to seed took off I wrapped it in a tomato cage and will continue collecting seeds as long as they appear. Also on the to-do list is to start sending out seed packets to various fellow-dyers.

  

My idea of an enjoyable weekend: dyed more yarn, Woad and Onion peel pots and made a batch of Plantine and Lavender salve.