Friday, March 17, 2017

Where the problem is, so its the solution. It's a saying I've heard applied to life and to ecosystems. Where stinging nettle likes to grow, so lives the squelchy soothing mud. Where poison oak likes to live, so does mugwort. Where Mosquitoes like to live, so do dragon flies, fish, frogs, toads, newts, and many other predators to the little blood-suckers. Unfortunately, prestine ecosystems where this balance can be observed are hard to find, especially in an urban environment. Therefore, we have clouds of pesky parasites to greet us in spring.

Fortunately, human ingenuity can help save our skin, and without much effort. Many easy to grow, deer-proof plants are also mosquito repellent. The design below is for a living picnic blanket made to make hanging out in a mosquito infested area a pleasant, and fragrant experience. The plants are all listed in various places as mosquito repellent. By sitting or laying on them, you will naturally be covered with their scent. Rocks, polished granite in particular for its fast drying time, is added to lessen the impacts on the plants and keep bums dry.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's that time again, if you haven't done it already. Time to wake up the babies! I mean, germinate the seedlings. If they need cold stratification, then you may have to wait until next year or explain to everyone opening your fridge that: yes, the container of moist soil IS supposed to be there. The good news is that usually the seed you buy at the local garden store doesn't need that treatment. They only need some warm, moist soil to wake up. To grow strong, they need a sunny window and mild fertilizer. Liquid is best, if you are using organic, to avoid flies.

Here, some of my cold tolerant seedlings are up and getting used to the great out doors. What you see is: onions, elephant garlic from seed, Roman chamomile, cold tolerant lettuce, garlic chives, regular chives, alpine strawberries, and one leek from a cutting.