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Look! It turned into a fiber garden!

 
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Grass is encroaching upon my garden, and mowing responsibilities have been transferred to the kid. How do we prevent the garden edge from becoming a 4 foot mess of grass? I wonder... what seeds do we have?

Cowpeas ought to make an obvious border. What varieties? Hmmm... looks like pink eye purple hulled and brown crowder.

cowpea-seed.jpg
[Thumbnail for cowpea-seed.jpg]
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Aha! That Flax I didn't have time to plant. It may be too late, with the heat coming on. But I can't seem to get things going at the ideal time. I'm learning that an attempt gets better results than waiting until next year, again.

Grocery Flaxseed abut $4


I picked it up at a grocery store. R Ranson has inspired me to try it for fiber, have you seen her book? Maybe the seed will sprout?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Cotton! I'm planting that at the same time as the farmers do. Good timing, for once. There are varieties available that the seed will easily slip away from the fiber. This is not one of them. I begged a few bolls of an unknown cultivar from a heritage demonstration. The seed is getting old, at three years ago...

cotton-seed-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for cotton-seed-2.jpg]
Cotton boll with seed
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I keep hearing that polycultures and layers are supposed to be good.  Sorgum alongside, in case the cotton fails. And squash. Because of all that unused space on the tarps. (Still trying to smother out a bunch of Chufa.) Kale!


seed-pkts.jpg
[Thumbnail for seed-pkts.jpg]
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Empty garden border


I got this area seeded just before a thunderstorm refreshed my 3 week dry spell. I just scattered the Flaxseed, without raking it in. Once again, not ideal, but see what happened 3 days later! Sprouts!

Sprouting Flax


Flax seedlings


And here we are, about 7 days after planting. Success! Even the cotton sprouted!



I wonder, how tall does the flax need to be before no more watering is needed? Our usual seasonal drought is sneaking up on us.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Update on my 2019 fiber garden... I chose not to water it last year. Our seasonal drought was longer than normal.

I did not expect the cotton to sprout and I planted too many things in the space allotted. The cowpeas just complicated the already crowded area. They should have been another 2 feet distance to allow production of any of it.



I did not weed the flax on time. They were weak and leggy once they did get weeded. They were so week they just lay on the ground and expired. No blooms. The growing Mulberry tree cast more shade than I expected.



The squash grew big and lush, shading out the cotton, stunting it. When the squash began to vine, I pulled them towards the tarp, revealing only 4 cotton still living. I got several late blooms, but no bolls developed before the growing season ended.



Now I know that this is not the location for a fiber garden.
 
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