It’s time to plan this year’s dye gardens!
We have been running an organic dye plant growing experiment for the past 3 years in a little village in Somogy county in collaboration with the Nyim Eco Community. We cover our beds with thick mulch, collect and use rainwater where possible and use no pesticides or herbicides. For the second year 10 dye plants will fill be arden including specialities like Japanese indigo, the wonderful madder and plants with additional therapeutic properties used in herbalism like mallow.
Our experience shows that because dye plants tend to be strong and robust in nature, they generally don’t require growing seedlings indoors but can be sown in-situ, once the last chance of frost has passed, ususually in mid-to-late April, or early May depending on the year’s weather. All the flowers can be stimulated to bring further flowers by dead-heading, or picking the flowers once they open, this way we can continue harvesting late into the season. The brightest, most intense colours are yielded by fresh plants but we’ve had success drying all our varieties.