in progress: garden

Several weeks ago, when Sadie had her paleontological adventure in our backyard, I planted a hop.

This is not a skeletal hand holding a stick. It is a hop rhizome, or an underground section of stalk that’ll become a clone of the plant it was cut from. Hops are generally propagated from rhizomes, since only the cones of female plants are used for beer.

And a pot, for holding the above skeletal-hand-onna-stick. Because I don’t know what the best location for my hop is going to be, I decided to put it in a giant pot so I could move it around if it was getting too much or too little sun. The stick on the right is a 1x2x8′ stake, with an eyebolt in the top end and a little cleat on the far side down by the soil; the left stick is about 2 feet tall with a cleat at the top. Eventually I’ll run a line down from the top to support the hop as it grows.

Eventually. When it grows. If it grows. We got a cold snap after I planted this, and I was considering yanking the stakes out and bringing the pot inside so it didn’t freeze outside, but I didn’t.

Fortunately, I didn’t kill it. This alien-asparagus-hybrid thing, which I first noticed a few days ago, is the first hint of hop.

This is what it looked like yesterday. There’s a third finger coming up, but you can’t see it from this angle. Coriander included for size comparison.

Also coming up to greet the sun: Hopi Red Dye Amaranth. It wasn’t referenced in any of my books, and no one in the Ravelry dye groups knows anything about it, but I came across it when I was ordering other seeds and couldn’t resist. If nothing else, it’ll look pretty.

Dyer’s Knotweed, also called Japanese Indigo. Contains the same pigment as true indigo, but is a lot hardier and less picky about growing conditions.

Hopi Black Dye Sunflowers (tall) and marigolds (short). These sprouted a few weeks ago, but since it was too cold to move them outside and I didn’t provide enough light, the sunflowers got a little leggy. Hopefully they’ll be big enough to support themselves once they’ve got a few more feet of growth on; if not, I might be mcgyvering a trellis.

Also planted but not sprouted are: woad, dill, and an assortment of high-desert wildflowers.

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