March 13, 2023
Nopales Harvest & Blooming Lollapalooza
What a little bit charmer! This tiny-leaved groundcover, Menodora heterophylla, was a new-to-me that I needed to strive after I found it ultimately fall’s Wildflower Middle native plant sale. It loves dry half shade, and that I’ve acquired! At the same time as a brand new planting, it sailed by way of December’s freeze and February’s ice, by no means dropping a leaf.
One widespread identify is “redbud” as a result of its teensy crimson flower buds that open to starry yellow. From Central Texas Gardener’s Fb web page, a San Antonio reader famous: “It’s one of many few issues that’s round in winter (and now spring), thriving within the dry, sandy, uncared for, and in any other case fully naked dust of some San Antonio parks. An early bloomer offering a much-needed nectar supply for early pollinators. Natives for the win – once more!” One other reader typically spots it underneath mesquite timber. Try the Wildflower Middle’s spring sale plant record. And Barbara Wright at Wright’s Nursery in Briggs typically carries it.
Powerful as Texas climate and filled with grit (a minimum of seeded in grit), my curbside supply bluebonnet joined its fellow state flowers blanketing us in blue.
It’s been gutter-flooded, freeze-nipped, and dipped in ice, so I took no possibilities that it could find yourself squashed. A fellow self-seeded sunflower retains it firm, gearing up for its pollinator curb enchantment in just a few months.
My white bearded irises (Iris albicans), typically dubbed the cemetery iris or grandma’s flags, are simply as tenacious. Divided and handed alongside throughout cultures and centuries, their evergreen foliage and spring flowers persist in drought, flood, and freeze. Fertilizer, why trouble?
Native baby-blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii) ramped up this week. A self-seeding annual for half shade, they selected this spot to settle en masse. Spiderwort (Tradescantia gigantea) contributes hues of blue on this stone raised mattress. On the far proper, strappy elephant garlic foliage reminisces after I grew cool climate edibles right here—clearly a dependable comeback that I’ll harvest when the leaves brown up. I all the time depart just a few bulbs underground for subsequent yr.
At all times I rely myself fortunate that this spiderwort seeded itself subsequent to golden groundsel.
Useful pollinators like hover fly whip from one plant to 1 one other, maybe making up a little bit for the famine weeks.
Viewers requested how one can divide spiderworts. Just like the baby-blue-eyes, they’ll freely scatter themselves when their seed heads dry. Gather them to disperse in different areas or save for fall planting. I carry a bucket and clip them into it. To save lots of for later, allow them to fully dry indoors earlier than storing.
Since seeds are hit and miss, you can even divide the thread-like root mass as soon as the foliage browns up.
Traditionally, indigenous peoples used them for medicinal and cultural functions. All elements of spiderwort are edible, valued by up to date foragers (even in our backyards). When Alexis Nikole Nelson @blackforager was in Austin not too long ago, she made a stunning drink with our native T. giganteas.
It’s straightforward to multiply our prickly pears (Opuntias), too. And, in the event that they suffered freeze or different bodily harm, we will take away wholesome pads (nopals) and begin one other plant. Merely dry them for just a few days and plant in a gritty, well-drained soil combine for cactus and succulents.
On our Hutto go to to Ashley Nava-Monteros and Carlos Monteros’s backyard, he demonstrated how one can harvest prickly pear pads (nopals) and prep for recipes.
Sauté with eggs, boil, or eat contemporary in a nopalito salad! Carlos didn’t use gloves for this fast demo, nevertheless it’s extremely really helpful, even with so-called spineless prickly pears.
Thanks for stopping by! Linda