#6, Plant an herb garden
Though we are pleased with our home, our yard has terrible clay soil that doesn’t respond well no matter how hard we’ve tried to amend it. I’ve even had flower beds dug down two feet and had the soil replaced with good, rich earth, only to have it return to its hard, thick beginnings in a matter of months.
A few years ago, my handyman, Gary, and I installed two 6 x 12 planter boxes instead. We put them right on the sunniest part of the lawn, lined the bottoms with 19 gauge chicken wire to keep out rabbits and gophers, and placed black plastic above that to keep down weeds.
I bought bags and bags of soil in the ratio recommended by the author of Square Foot Gardening, and Gary and I spread and mixed them on a giant tarp. We then scooped the soil into the boxes and sectioned them into one foot squares with wire.
I have planted flowers, vegetables, and herbs the last few summers and I’ve been quite happy with the results. It’s nice to have one part of the yard that thrives.
I haven’t yet planted anything this Spring besides the scented geraniums and the tomatoes, so it was time to get things going.
There were a few California Poppy volunteers, but I decided to let them be for the time being.
I meant to have one raised bed of vegetables and another of herbs, but it became a bit more jumbled than that.
This is the before picture:
The boxes are 4’x 8′, which gives each box 32 “squares”.
I bought several herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano, sweet basil, thai basil, and sage. I also bought vegetables: more tomatoes, chilies, cucumbers, and squash. And I bought some flowers and seeds for good measure.
I put all the plants in and watered and fertilized them well.
Everything looks small now, but it’ll grow up quickly and then there will be pesto, and Caprese salads, and herb-stuffed roast chickens and omelettes, salsas, sauces, Greek salads, and pineapple sage iced tea.
I’ll update with new pictures when I start seeing progress. The snails were attacking the cucumbers this morning, so I’ll have to deal with that before they’ve made a meal of them.
There’s nothing like having your hands in the dirt and the sun on your back to make you feel like summer is on its way.
227 days to go!