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.

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: 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.

Woad Seeds

Since last week I started harvesting Woad seeds as they are ready.

Tomato cage wrapped around the plant going to seed  – so it doesn’t fall over.

This last year I didn’t process enough Woad to dye more than a pair of socks or gloves and I’m still buying Woad powder along with processing my own.

Next year I’m planning for more plants. More of my neighbors are planting vegetables in their front yards so no one will be surprised by the expanding herb and dye garden.

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