A Dyer's Garden
Awaken from Winter slumber, nature is bursting with new life.
The soil is warm enough to start planting and the days are long enough to allow plants to grow.
Taking advantage of the increased sunlight Plants have time to develop,
If you are interested in natural dyeing you can build your relationship with dye plants and grow your own?
Celebrate the fertility of earth. By planting seeds. By honouring the earth in this way, YOU can create a deeper connection with soil and growth.
A great little dye plant that is simple to grow is dyers coreopsis. It has been used medicinally for centuries as well as a natural dye producing a range of oranges.
Dyer's coreopsis, also known as tickseed, is a hardy and low-maintenance perennial plant that produces bright yellow flowers throughout the summer months. Here are some steps to help you grow it:
1. Choose the right location: Dyer's coreopsis thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It can tolerate some drought but does not do well in soggy or waterlogged soil. Make sure to choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
2. Prepare the soil: Before planting, amend the soil with compost or other organic matter to improve drainage and fertility. Coreopsis prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
3. Planting: Dyer's coreopsis can be started from seed or planted as nursery-grown plants. If starting from seed, sow them directly into the ground in early spring after the last frost date. If planting as nursery-grown plants, space them about 12-18 inches apart.
4. Watering: Coreopsis is drought-tolerant but will benefit from regular watering during dry spells, particularly when first establishing.
5. Fertilizing: Dyer's coreopsis does not require much fertilizer but will benefit from a light application of balanced fertilizer in early spring.
6. Pruning: Deadheading spent flowers will encourage the plant to produce more blooms throughout the season. In late fall, cut back the foliage to about 3 inches above ground level.
7. Pests and diseases: Dyer's coreopsis is generally pest and disease-resistant but may be susceptible to powdery mildew in humid conditions. To prevent this, avoid overhead watering and provide good air circulation around the plants.
Or you might like to try Dyers Weld.
Dyers weld/rocket, also known as Reseda luteola, is a plant that has been used for centuries to produce a yellow dye. If you're interested in growing dyers weld, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Firstly, it's important to choose the right location for your plants. Dyers weld prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It can grow in a range of soil types, but prefers slightly alkaline soil with a pH of around 7.5.
Once you've chosen your location, you can start preparing the soil. Dig over the area and remove any weeds or debris. You may also want to add some organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve the soil structure.
Next, you can sow your dyers weld seeds. These should be sown in early spring, either directly into the ground or into pots or trays if you prefer. The seeds should be sown thinly and covered with a light layer of soil.
Once your plants have germinated, you'll need to thin them out so that they have enough space to grow. Aim for a spacing of around 30cm between plants.
Dyers weld doesn't require much maintenance once it's established. However, you may want to water your plants during dry spells and apply a general-purpose fertiliser once or twice during the growing season.
When it comes time to harvest your dyers weld plants, you'll need to cut them back to around 10cm above ground level. This will encourage new growth and ensure that you get a good crop of flowers the following year.
To extract the dye from your dyers weld plants, you'll need to chop up the leaves and stems and simmer them in water for several hours. The resulting liquid can then be strained and used as a dye for textiles or other materials.
With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy a bountiful crop of this historic dye plant.