The Permaculture Winter

It may sound strange, but July and August are the “Winter” for permaculture. It is the time to rest the garden. Take some time off. Fertilize, mulch and water, then walk away to someplace cool and shady. (good luck with that!)

If you choose not to give it a rest, here are the recommended species you can successfully plant right now.

  • Melons
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Beans

We here at The Lab will be taking our own advice and are in the process of finding that perfect cool and shady spot to relax in. We’ll let you know if we find one. As always, if you do choose to venture out into the garden and do some work, remember to pace yourself, wear a hat and drink plenty of water. Thanks for all your support and we will return at summer’s end.


Permaculture Design – The smart choice

The Permaculture Design crew has been working to help our clients improve their lives and the environment by bringing permaculture design principles to their yards. We would like to thank them for the smart choice they made.

We recently updated our Gardens photo gallery to give you an idea of what to expect when you engage Permaculture Design to help you better utilize your property. Here are some views from some of our clients’ yard. You can visit our website to view all the photos.

Permaculture Design exists to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. Our goal is to help you minimize waste, labor, and energy by building systems with maximum benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy.

So what does that mean to you exactly?

Each client’s property is unique and we utilize our years of experience to personally tailor a design that saves you time and money, which means your yard/property becomes easier to care for and takes less input. Take a few moments to view our latest photos and educate yourself on the principles we employ by visiting our website. You will get an informed idea of what you can expect when you decide to make the switch to Permaculture Design.


Time to plant your winter veggies!

The classic winter vegetables.
Broccoli. Cabbage. Cauliflower and Parsley.
(This was one of many rejected “working” titles of the hit 1968 album by Simon & Garfunkel!)

A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli consumption has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease. Broccoli consumption is also associated with malodorous flatulence, from metabolism of the sulfur-containing compounds it contains.

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C. It also contains significant amounts of glutamine, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage can also be included in dieting programs, as it is a low calorie food.

Cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbs but high in dietary fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density.Cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, common in the cabbage family, that may be beneficial to human health.

Apigenin, a chemical found in great quantities in parsley, has been found to have potent anti-cancer activity. It works by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels that feed a tumor.

“Why is my head so full of ‘stuff’?”

The neighbor was walking by the Lab the other day and let loose with a huge sneeze.

“Hey Kevin! Why is my head so full of “stuff”?”

We replied, “…its that time again!”

Stuffy noses, sneezes, heads full of “stuff” and extra expectorating are the norm around here and one of the reasons you may be suffering is the lovely Ligustrum.
Unclipped, ligustrum bloom in clusters of fragrant, creamy white flowers, which attract bees (and cause many to suffer!). Birds like the blue or black berries that follow the flowers. All parts of the plant are poisonous to human beings, so keep small children away from them.

And they play havoc with many peoples sinuses this time of year!


Spring 2012

Mild winter, lots of (but not too much) rain, comfortable temperatures…
Looks like we are going to have a bountiful, beautiful, wonderful spring!
Here are some recent shots for you all to enjoy!

And now a couple of tips for you!

Prepare your perennials.

Herbaceous perennials and grasses, a group of diverse and reliable plants that return to the garden year after year, can greatly benefit from a little extra attention in the spring. Here are some tasks that will help your plants get off to a healthy start.

Remove winter mulch from around the crowns of perennials.

Cut back any parts of the plant that were left up for winter interest, such as flower stalks and seed heads.

For evergreen perennials, remove any dead leaves.

When new growth is about three to four inches tall, dividing and transplanting may be done. For spring-flowering plants, wait till they are finished blooming.

Begin placing stakes to support the growth of tall or fragile perennials.

Winter 2011

We are lucky to live here in the south for many reasons. And one of those reasons is our mild winters and the chance to keep our yards beautiful year-round.
Theses are some photos we took at one of our favorite clients.

Bare Feet & Permeable Paving

We recently helped a client reclaim his backyard by installing permeable paving around his pool. No longer must they hunt for sandals or flip flops to enjoy a stroll to the pool, thanks to the new permeable paving installed by the professionals at Permaculture Design. Call and talk to us, we can help you reclaim your yard!

“I can walk in to the yard in my bare feet again!”

Permeable paving is a simple and effective solution to problem pathways, common areas and other “unusable areas” of your property. Give us a call today and enjoy your yard again.


Is this what you think of when you hear those two words?

Winter Watermelons?

Actually this is what we are referring to.

Yep, that is in fact a nice sized watermelon growing in the “back forty” of the lab.

This is just one of around twenty we have growing as of today.

Nothing like a nice slice of fresh watermelon to warm you up on these cold Houston afternoons.

Keep Green this Winter

I know it is hard to believe after all this record setting heat, but it will start getting cold here in the next few days.
With that in mind, plan now to keep your lawn green during the winter with Rye Grass. We love it here at the lab and so does the neighbor!

Rye grass grows well and fast from seed.  It is not as aggressive as some other types of turf because it spreads by growing larger clumps, rather than sending out rhizomes or stolons.  Therefore, the seeding rate is higher than for some other grasses.  If you plant a rye lawn from seed, you will need to sow about 8-10 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet, which is on the high end.

Within just a day or so after distributing the seeds, evidence of new thin blades will emerge. In no more than a week, the lawn will have grown a totally new look. Sweeping, soft and utterly luxurious looking blades encouraging immediate contact with bare feet!

Winter rye grass is usually planted in October/November here in this part of the world. A general rule is that when the temperatures at night are consistently around the 60°F range, you are ready to plant. We will see these temperatures in the next few days.

If you want a green lawn this winter, throw down some Rye seed. You ‘ll thank us.


Read more at PCD.