Grow Together Tuesday

This post is part of a seasonal community sharing series, Grow Together Tuesday. You’ll find posts from myself, and award winning gardener Monika Thiessen, of Prairie Girl Pottery.  I love seeing what others are doing in their gardens, and since most of us aren’t neighbors, let’s peek over each other’s virtual fences, be inspired, and learn from one another!  Post a link to your weekly garden notes, updates, photos, and more in the comments – any time this week!


Trust Mother Nature
Monika Thiessen

After burning the candle at both ends for what has feels like months, I was more than happy to have a couple of (rain) days off…thanks for looking out for me Mother Nature!

Looks like we won’t need to water our gardens for the rest of the week either and the rain barrels are nice and full.
The garden has a good layer of mulch on it and everything is greening up nicely and starting to bloom.
mulch #3kiwi blossoms #4
Oriental poppies looking spectacular!
poppy #5
Anyone else love seeing DNA’s popping up throughout the yard? What is a DNA you ask? Mother Nature’s immune system! Dynamic Nutrient Accumulator is a term used in Permaculture, referring to vigorous pioneer plants that generally have deep taproots.
burdock #6
These plants are typically found in disturbed, compacted and nutrient deficient soils. They break up this compaction as they “mine” deep down into the sub-soil, and retrieve precious minerals. These minerals end up in the plants’ top-growth, and once that plant dies, or gets ‘chopped’ for mulch, these minerals become available to everybody else in the ecosystem. So not only do DNAs heal the soil but a lot of these plants are also medicinal to humans and great sources of minerals for us…funny how that works hey? It is almost as if we were a part of the ecosystem too…hmm…
yarrow #7
Some examples include: comfrey, sorrel, dandelion, burdock, horseradish, rhubarb, dock, vetches, lamb’s quarters, mullein, clover and so many more! If you can get your hands on a copy of Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway, you’ll find a great chart on pages 132-134. If you don’t already have a copy of this book, I’d highly recommend it, it’s the best-selling Permaculture book around for good reason!  Another great one that we just picked up is Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd. This one is full of simple projects, great pictures and would be the perfect book to start off your Permaculture journey.
back lane DNAs #9 dandelion #8
So, instead of fighting those ‘weeds’ it’s important to ‘listen’ to what they’re telling us and work with them to help heal the soil. After all, healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy humans.
happy Mike # 10
So, enjoy the dandelion greens and chop and drop that comfrey. I believe we got 4-5 chop and drops out of our comfrey last year, it also seems to be the perfect way to keep it in check. Just remember, DO NOT rototill comfrey, that stuff will spread everywhere! However, a little, kept in check, is a good thing.
comfrey #11
Forget about N.P.K. , grow and enjoy some DNA!
sorrel #12
Full disclosure, Mike (my husband) totally helped remind me of the importance of DNA’s. I seriously don’t know how he can retain so much info. Must be all those permaculture podcasts he listens to while washing the dishes.


Monika Head Shot
Monika Thiessen is a potter, permaculture designer, urban homesteader and all around prairie plant girl. She’s happiest with the sun on her back and her hands in the soil.  To check out Monika’s pottery, visit Prairie Girl Pottery

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