Less Noise, More Green: Edible Landscaping: replacing annual Batchelor's Buttons

Monday, August 17, 2015

Edible Landscaping: replacing annual Batchelor's Buttons



Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
 My edible landscape is going through another transition. A significant number of annual edible flowers need to be pulled but their removal will leave holes (OK, craters) in my design. I've been putting off doing this clean up task because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with the empty space. I think I now have a plan.


Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
August 2014
Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
August 2014


This is this garden's second year. Last year, I didn't get to plant anything until May and consequently the annuals sown from seed were still in bloom in August. In the photos above, taken almost exactly a year ago, you can see how the Batchelor's Buttons in particular are still blossoming.

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons


Fast forward a year and I have brown plants which have gone to seed. Batchelor's Buttons are amazing self seeders and I had seedlings well on the way to maturity in April. This of course meant they peaked much earlier.

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
                                                                                June 2015                                                        Photo: Michael St. Jean

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
                                                                                        June 2015                                                 Photo: Michael St. Jean

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
                                                                                 June 2015                                                         Photo: Michael St. Jean

These photos were taken during the URI Master Gardener Tour in June, The Buttons are gorgeous. I knew then I was in trouble and started to think about what I was going to do when they expired. These plants reseeded so well I had at least double the number of plants I did last year and once the flowers started to fade the task of deadheading them was overwhelming. I'd stand in one spot for an hour and not make a dent.

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
Garden right of the path.


Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
Garden left of the path.

Consequently, the plants went to seed much earlier than they needed to. I've left the plants for the birds to pick at the seeds and they have been a big hit. Slowly, I've removed the plants as they died to the point where they look straggly. The garden on the right hand side is further along than the left, as you can see. This is because of the path of the sun. I could get away with leaving the Batchelor's Buttons on the left for a bit longer but if I just remove them from the right hand garden it will look unbalanced.

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
You can see how bare this section will be with out the Batchelor's Buttons. The beans I planted next to the walkway didn't germinate.
My plan is to replace the sections in the front along the path with Ballhead cabbages and the transplants are ready to go out. These will fill the space until it is time to put the garden to bed in the fall.

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
Seen from the porch, the right hand garden doesn't look that bad.

Edible Landscaping: replacing spent annual batchelor's Buttons
Looking down from the porch, you can see all the dead Batchelor's Buttons in the left hand garden.

Next year, I plan on replacing the Buttons along the path with an edible perennial. I have some ideas but I wonder what you think - any suggestions? Also, what would you do? Remove all the Buttons now, remove just the ones on the right, or wait until the plants on the left look as bad as the ones on the right?

Let me know!

Sue


11 comments:

  1. Since this is your front yard, I see your point. People pass by, and by now you must have a following in your own neighbourhood. I'm no expert, so I won't give advice. I actually have a question. The seeds that have fallen and are not picked up by birds; won't they grow next year, even with you replanting the area?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they will self seed and I will have to pull up all the seedlings growing where I don't want them. I did a lot that this year, too. During the Garden Tour in June I had a lot of people tell me they couldn't get Batchelor's Buttons to grow which made me laugh as obviously I have the opposite problem!

      Delete
  2. I am in west central Georgia, we can still plant bush green beans, radishes & similar from seed now. These would not be as pretty as flowers, but are good eating on into fall. I enjoy your blog. Mary Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary Ann, I have a Black Spanish Radish which is supposed to grow well into the cold weather so I may give that a try. I'm planting out cabbage and broccoli seedlings now for the fall as well. It's been so hot here I'm going to plant lettuce seedlings indoors and transplant them out in a few weeks. Thanks for the suggestions!

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