Toad's Permaculture

Frosty for your eye holes

Winter is here

Anyone else pull all of their plants inside and then proceed to grow more as soon as you get the purple lights in? Get ready because winter is here.

Not going to lie this is working out so well I might start germinating in mass during the spring. As you can see I brought everything that I was afraid to lose inside. I have cacti, my new baby blackberries, basil and other things that are much more obvious in later pictures.

So we have two kinds of Goji berries, three kinds of hops, two kinds of currants, two kinds of honey berry or haskap and a lot more. I plan on eventually pulling them out and writing about each individual one but I am so overwhelmed. Winter preparation is not 100% complete and I fear that a freeze is coming up on us soon.

Nothing says home like thirty miscellaneous plants covering your dinning room table and leaving no room for anything else. Here you can see my haskaps right out front. I save all of my pots by the time I reuse 10% are naturally damaged, 10% were chewed by my devil dog and the rest are usable. I feel like it saves us money, my husband sees a lot of empty, dirty pots just hanging out living rent free in his underporch storage.

At the end of the day I am very happy with all of my new additions and I can’t wait to tell you guys all about them. This is going to be an exciting next year. I am thrilled about the end of Year Zero and starting Year One.

Until next time

New Addition: Snowbank white blackberries

So, I have a lot more to follow but today I want to talk about Snowbank White Blackberry. I thought that this would be fun because literally no one writes about them. I do not know what I am doing with these particular plants and hope that I can do something similar to blackberries.

So, I found a few blogs but they didn’t go into any details. I prefer it when someone being informational just says, “Planting dates are from x to y.”

Clear and upfront, but a lot of these sites hadn’t been updated since 2010 or 2012. What am I going to do with eight year old not information?

Most likely secretly buy the plant from Stark Brothers and surprise my husband with a new thorny delivery of sextuplets. He is already concerned about space and winter and I informed him that he always wanted to go traveling to an exotic location and I will create the Amazon equipped with deadly plants (within reason).

I fear he may get lost in my jungle by the end. I plan on growing them and planting them in the spring. I do not know how this will change them but I am optimistic. I got a purple glow light to put in my ceilings and we are doing this.

I will say is that these plants are amazing and I am very pleased. My only complaint is that they are thorney and I have known about this but it is one thing knowing and then being pricked by thorns.

Story time: I was transplanting them into larger containers as they are too large to be in those tiny germination stations and I was attacked. I was stabbed numerous times. They are not friendly, be wise and wear gloves as I did not and they caused me to bleed. I am very upset about it but will let them live until the spring before I kick them out and plant them somewhere.

I am just unsure where. I will let you know how they are and what we have to do to them in the future so that people know something about these albino berries.

Foggy Morning

I do enjoy spooky October mornings filled with fog and a little bit of mystery.

Can you see the differences in the bottom two photos?

Walls of Grapes

Hello, I have been away mulching and preparing for winter. I am excited this year and I just wanted to share my grapes that will hopefully survive and be with us next year.

We are planting them along our fence line because we hope that they will create a barrier. We are going to be building things for them to climb up to 10ft. We can’t wait. It’ll be fun and also we will have grapes.

We are adventurers and have planted 24 Muscadine grapes and 4 Concord grapes. We have two seedless that we got from Walmart but I was disappointed in that purchase so I shall not mention them again.

When we put the wall up we are getting some Lattice work that we will secure to some posts and boom. They will just climb until their little hearts are content next spring. I am pretty excited.

We are working on two walls. One that surrounds our property in a huge wall of grapes (don’t worry we have a lovely irrigation system that we are starting up). We are starting with nine just to see how it’ll all work out.

Our other wall will be in front of our home so that people won’t just look in. I like the idea of 10 feet of grape filled privacy. It’ll be nice to have all of these grape vines moving on up and eventually covering the view from the road. I wish we had moved our home further back but it is what it is now.

I can’t wait and I am truly enjoying caring for my plants this year. Now that year zero has been amazing and I can’t wait for year one.

New Addition: too much

I will do individual posts about each one but these are my day one new additions. I want a crazy large herb garden and everyone has their herbs out. I haven’t been keeping us as much because I usually have because I have been mulching and then a storm hit.

My corn is slanted, it looks like UFOs tried to land but changed their mind. I’ll update that later this week. I have just been worrying about my poor plants that have not been taking the season change as well as I had hoped. Regardless, we’re not here to talk about my procrastination, laziness or corn.

Yeah, that’s right, I have a problem, I got a lot of problems but buying plants ain’t one. Look at all of these lovely herbs. I cannot wait for fresh basil, Mexican tarragon, sweet marjoram, sweet mint, spearmint, peppermint, and parsley.

I had to move them to a less trashy looking table. They didn’t feel good being with all of our junk. So, I sat them outside. We planted everything.

Above is sweet basil and purple basil. I like them both and the purple basil will add some color to my herb garden. I love basil and I have quite a few plans for eating all of this. My kids cannot wait, my daughters actually helped me plant all of these herbs (which is an amazing turn of events).

Above is some lovely parsley and Mexican tarragon which I put in my raised beds. They seemed like they needed a few friends.

Marjoram, sweet marjoram, and yes I already have some. I just wanted more. My mother in law gave me these cool side raised beds. I have two but one has the flowers that she had originally grown in it.

I am excited and I will do more. Have a great evening and get excited about herbs. Maybe not as excited as I am, but still excited. I love my plants.

Fairy Garden: September Update

It is doing well.

Everything seems to be cohabitating well

Update: Lemon Balm Clone Babies

I know that professionals do not call it cloning, but it sounds a lot cooler than I propagated my lemon balm. Yes, yes, I should be an adult about this but I am not.

I am still so amazed by how amazing these tiny little plants smell. I run my fingers past them when I walk by. They have become a treasure to have around.

I didn’t imagine they would grow up so fast. It feels like it was just yesterday I found the lemon balm runners.

What is this beautiful tree?

I never noticed it before I saw the leaves die. I love the way it looks from my porch and now I want more. It’s not that I don’t love pine trees but these are beautiful. They came with the house and the property.

All Summer this stree has looked green and has been existing. Nothing to report outside of a few worms that I pulled off with my bare hands. That’s right, I pulled them off like a man. It’s so funny because I want to make clones of that tree too and I am not even sure what kind it is. I must learn this first, but frankly….

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Bigger pots: Morning Glories and Bachelor’s Buttons

I think I might have slaughtered more innocent plants this time. I am sad about it, but the soil was too perfect and I was crumbling in my hand.

Before in their tiny first homes

Like a hermit crab these plants cannot stay in their smaller container too long and seek a larger home. I didn’t want to advertise their dirty business so I won’t be showing you how the roots were already trying to escape out of the bottom.

New home for our morning glories

It saddens me to admit that the majority of the bachelor’s buttons did not make it into the bigger pot. I mean they did, but they did not survive. It was heart breaking but I still have two so I am not complaining. Small victories and such.

Four days later

After a few days of being in their new pots they shot right up and are happy little lambs. I must confess that I am glad I got them into larger pots and I am convinced I will have to up grade them again before long.

You can see how there is only one bachelor’s button planter now and that is because my cats worship Satan. They only look cute. They tried to take out my lemon balm clones as well. It is a sacrifice they are willing to make I suppose but they upset me quite a bit when I see the holes dug.

But this little button barely survived the new pot and seems to be doing a little bit better. Their roots were not really connected to the soil very well. Regardless, it’s a win. Not everyone lived but not everyone died either.

New Growth

New growth came in this year with the cold temperatures. I am especially happy to see new growth on the bits of my blueberry plant that I was pretty sure was on the brink of death, but without further delay…

Flowers for your eye holes

A beautiful pumpkin flower

Silverado Sage flowers

Plant Now: Bulbs for Spring

Year zero was not as productive as I wanted it to be and so I am actively working towards making sure that i am actively adding pollinators and fruit producing plants. One of my favorite ways to do that is with my fall flowers. They will not shoot up until next spring and will add color in front of our berry bushes between our sage and juniper bushes.

I am glad I chose this weekend to do it because the soil was much better than usually. Of course, I went out and grabbed some potting mix to help because the ground around here isn’t the best for most plants.

All of these are spring blooms. Most of the stuff I have already blooms in the late sumer or early autumn. I think having flowers around year round will be the best.

Pickwick Crocus is going to flower to for around three weeks and are said that they can do well in clay soil. They allegedly will come back year after year and the more I read the more excited I become. Pickwick Crocus has flowers that close at night or during the rain and open in the morning when the sun reaches them. A few weeks after flowering they get yellow and die. I think it’ll be worth it.

I also grabbed some Sieberi Tricolor Crocus. I am planting these with the others that I have grabbed. I will dig up other areas later and plant different flowers. Now this plant will only get better with time, each year it will come back stronger and better. She will bloom from late winter to early spring (allegedly) and beautiful flowers. I cannot wait to see what this baby will look like next year.

Scilla Luciliae is a fun flower and it looks like little stars. This one flowers in early spring and then goes into dormancy until next year. I cannot wait to see what that looks like. I think they will be a lovely addition to all of our additions this fall.

Then I just got a random crocus mix. I want it to have purples and blues in it. I figured that this will add it some whites as well. I do not know how it will all turn out in the end but I do know that I want all of the pollinators at my house. One of my favorite things is to watch the butterflies and hummingbirds come in. That was when I found out how territorial they are.

I cannot wait for Spring to arrive so that I can see these beautiful flowers. I hope that you have something you’re excited about as well. Until next time…

My pumpkins are flowering

That’s right. You heard it right. My pumpkins are beautiful and they have the most amazing flowers. Ignore how weedy my garden is.

Pumpkins have two kinds of flowers: male and female. The first flowers to show up are male flowers in order for the pollinators to be attracted.

Female flowers are easy to spot because you can see baby pumpkins at the base. I was told that I might want to cut off the earlier ones in order to let the better ones come in.

They also say that when there are three or four on a vine that we should cut away all of the ones that aren’t promising as soon as they get to be around the size of a soft ball.

Night time is when pumpkins do must of their growing so try to keep the leaves dry in order to prevent disease and mold or mildew. It’s good advise for any plant as I have recently had to learn. Thats how we got our lemon balm runners and I stopped letting my kids water the plants.

One year ago

It is hard to believe that one year ago my property had nothing on it. There was no pumpkins or even a house. One year ago today my land was simply a pasture out in the middle of no where.

Last year

There was no juniper bush or blackberry plants there was only pasture. It’s hard to believe that one year ago there was only pasture.

This was the month that this became our property. It was just a big open pasture filled with nothing but grass and a tree.

When our foundation was put in

There was something amazing about seeing this sunset and just think. It was only a year and now we have so much to enjoy.

Why Cilantro?

Cilantro is related to carrots, celery and parsley. This little herb is good in salads, soups and as a garnish. An excellent source of antioxidants and in one study about prostate cancer in 2019 saw a difference and leads towards it’s ability to fight cancer.

Freshly planted baby cilantro

In a separate 2015 study they determined that cilantro could be used to assist with pain and inflammation- which is cool.

Cilantro is an easy to grow herb that grows in the early spring through summer in my zone and can be planted in the fall or winter in zone 9

Some people make claims that cilantro can be a perennial but there is no evidence found online by a reputable source to back these claims.

That was before I clipped the leaves. It is lovely and I planted more just to test out if I can have two growing season as well. After all, we do have warmer winters than most zones. Who knows, but I look forward to adding more cilantro to my garden.

After all, everything I have read so far states that Cilantro is a super food. They say you can take this to cleanse yourself from poisonous metals. It helps with lead poisoning and other conditions. I am super excited about cilantro and I can’t wait until I have a whole bunch.

Flowering: My Silverado Sage

I have three silverado sage and one texas sage or at least that is what the tags say. I have to say that I am impressed with how well sage grows here. Maybe I should start making smudge sticks or something. It is crazy.

Don’t judge me, I am a simple sage grower. They sure do look pretty when they are flowering. I like that they don’t have to have fifty gallons of water in a week and that it grows so well in my dirty clay soil.

Soil tests are what’s up when you are buying property. Don’t ever forget to get that down. I am having to cut out too many things because my soil is so compact.

But sage grows really well and looks so pretty. I mean, these flowers are only going to look prettier with each passing day.

Now that sage in the picture above I don’t know what is weird about it because the leaves are always a little yellow. Every other one looks amazing and this one is still flowering. I am just nervous it has plant herpes or something.

Having sage makes the plant murderers like me feel better about themselves. They don’t seem to die even when you don’t always remember to water them.

Happiness is your plants not dying and showing off their beautiful flowers.

My Collection: Discounted Aloe Vera

Yes, my guilty pleasure is buying fifty cent aloe vera plants from Walmart and saving their lives. I have not named them. We haven’t gotten very close.

You can see that some were suffering and others suffered for a little bit here before truly coming to life.

I do not know what is happening with this one but I like that he is a little weird.

Some are smaller but I am sure they will grow out. They seem to be doing a lot better lately and I don’t know what I am doing but I will take it

None of them were looking like they would survive but at the price they were getting rid of them at I couldn’t pass them up.

Now I have to push for more aloe vera and I want it to line my driveway. Until next time when we add new stuff or update on the old.

Update: Lantanas are Beginning to Flower

It turns out that out of all of the lantas we bought only three survived but they are the prettiest three lantanas. Now don’t quote me on it but I am ninety percent sure that I will be the proud plant mom of two purple lantanas and one white lantana.

They are really loving this little lump of land. The flowers are pretty and I honestly thought that they would be smaller than they are. I heard that lantana can be invasive and I sure hope so. It is just so pretty.

I really enjoy the green of the leaves and it has grown around six ot eight inches since it has been transplanted. Honestly, I am surprised that any of our lantanas survived.

You see my cats enjoy brand new fresh soil to roll around in and play on and around. They are a little crazy but we still love them.

We shall see and I will post more pictures of updates on these beautiful little transplants. Got to say each day that I see how great some of my plants are doing it makes me want to plant more.

Update So Soon: Morning Glory and Bachelor’s Buttons

I am much happier during the early growth season. Here I am planting new seeds right before it starts to get chilly. I know I will bring them in and I already have the best idea for where I want to put them, but for right now I have them outside basking in the sun.

I am just so impressed with the growth on these babies. They are absolutely popping up. The larger plants are the morning glories and they love the sun, they love the water and they enjoy the cool breeze on their hair.

The buttons seem a little insecure and they don’t seem to grow as fast but I am excited to see what they are all talking about. They are allegedly perennial in my zobe, but we shall find out. Something i have determined is that zones are Excellent indicators but do further research. Not everyone who blogs is personally killing plants and documenting it for your entertainment so that I’ll be able to look back on it when I am old and don’t remember anything.

I am enjoying these plants and i plan on bringing them inside and hanging them in my windows in order to get the most sun. I think that sitting back and watching the plants grow is the best way to spend my time. It is amazing to see how much joy watching a plant not die can give you. Regardless i hope my morning glories and bachelor’s buttons make it through the dark and cold and spooky winter inside my home with my whole family. Whose to say what is good or bad? Will my plants survive or will they be trampled, eaten, destroyed or any number of other terrible things? We shall see.