Are you interested in prairie ecology? I certainly am, as I design "native" plantings and allow native plantings to inform my more formal residential plans. This blog, The Prairie Ecologist, is by a prairie conservator supported by the Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. He has his family's farm and grassland acreage and he's working to restore it and other huge tracts of prairie back to a stable, prairie state. It is fascinating and interesting to read how grazing land goes back to prairie... and also it has nice pictures. Here is a lovely one:
This is a great Missouri evening primrose. It blooms by night and is the plant used to get (wait for it....) Evening Primrose Oil! I know.... Find a place in your garden for 3 or 4 of these this year? They self seed- they want to populate your garden! But know this and you'll be ready.
February is the month to begin the spring garden. I order seeds that I will direct sow- lettuce, spinach, peas, kale. I will plant broccoli and kohlrabi (cabbage is in this group but I don't have space for it) from plants because they take too long if put in from seed. I will buy these locally.
Potatoes- my neighbor and I are growing these in burlap coffee bags. Putting three seed potatoes per bag and about 6 bags. I order organic seed potatoes!
I realized last night that when I began gardening (vegetable that is) on my own, in a little rental house, I needed some guidance and reassurance. There were so many choices, so many seeds... where was I supposed to start?? Here is the garden calendar that got me through it all! Thanks K-State... your resources are invaluable to all of us gardeners out here. I chose some varieties I had grown with my dad, the lettuces he preferred and radishes. Then I branched out on my own. It'll happen...just keep reading and be patient. Amend your soil and don't use pesticides! I say this because when you first start gardening, it's all a learning experience. See what it's like to use no pesticides. See what fails every time (hello squash bugs and powdery mildew on every squash plant ever) and see what works like magic (Helllooo carrots and lettuce and kale and chard and some tomatoes and some peppers and tomatillos and sweet potatoes and peas).
There you have it- more landscaping updates will be up when I do Jeremy Taylor's radio show this weekend, 10:30 KLWN 1320... use the "Listen Live" button so you don't have to mess with an AM radio! This week I'll be talking about trees, shrubs and plants that stand up to ice/ snow and even the dreaded salt truck. It kills many many many plants... also, how to test your own soil (the quick and dirty way). See you then!