Exciting things are happening at Southside Middle School. Roza Selvey, a sixth grade teacher of Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM) is using horticulture as a foundation on which to build her students’ skill sets.
Summer has faded into fall. In the permaculture garden at Minnetrista, our tomatillos gave us buckets of fruit! But we ran into a problem: what to do with the produce that can’t be eaten right away? Luckily for us, the answer was easy–salsa! Recently, the Permaculture Initiative hosted their first canning event and participants made six quarts of tomatillo salsa.
Who doesn’t love strawberries? My impromptu survey of the horticulture staff at Minnetrista indicates that strawberries may be the most popular fruit. Luckily for everyone, fall is the time to spread the wealth! Here is how you can turn one strawberry plant into dozens to share with your friends.
Of the herbaceous perennials at Minnetrista, Joe-Pye weed is one of the skyscrapers, reaching 7–8 feet tall. Although it’s slow to get going—it’s one of the last plants to start growing in spring—its height soon surpasses most plants around it.
About this time last summer, I briefly mentioned a plant disease the gardeners and I were dealing with in the Minnetrista Boulevard planting bed. Called crown rot or southern blight, it was making quick work of hostas.
Behind The Orchard Shop at Minnetrista, there is a secret garden. Unassuming as it is, you might walk right past it. But take a closer look. This garden is bursting with food! And people! And…dogs? This is the Permaculture Demonstration Garden at Minnetrista, started in partnership with The Permaculture Initiative.
Ornamental grasses can bring height, texture, and color to your garden. They also provide food, shelter, and nesting material for birds and other wildlife. When you stop by your local plant seller, consider trying one of these.
The weather is warming, the days are longer, and the familiar sight of daffodil and tulip foliage emerging from their dormant rest is telling us it is spring! I’d say that this time of year, like no other, really gets the gardener motivated.
Did you know that some flowers begin growth in the winter? Spring ephemerals often start blooming before spring even arrives. Even now, with six inches of snow accumulation and a temperature of 14 degrees, winter aconite, scilla, , crocus, and many more are inching above ground, unfurling leaves, and producing flower buds. The best time to see these early beauties is approaching—they bloom from mid-March through April.
Large annuals may be just what you need in certain spots in the landscape. They can add some height to a flower garden. You can also get more for your money by filling up a large space with just a few plants. Large perennials, like grasses, could also be used for these purposes. These are great because they come back every year, but unlike annuals they take more than a year to reach their full size.