Monday, June 11, 2007

The Herb Bed

This weekend was jam packed with activity, including dinner guests and a celebratory dessert party for Kyle. With all the activity, I got no gardening done on Saturday, but on Sunday Dan and I planted the tomatoes, herb bed and the cutting flower bed.

Like the vegetable beds, we planted the herb beds using a square foot gardening layout, but without the raised beds. When we were planting, Dan made a brilliant observation --a standard milk crate is 1 square foot in size. We used the milk crate to make an impression in the soil, marking out the planting grid. That was a huge time saver. Most of the herbs I'd started from seed, and many of the flowers, although I did purchase some flats of zinnias for the cutting flowers, and a lovage and a rosemary for the herb bed. Herbs include basil, dill, chervil, parsley, rosemary and sage. I still need to plant cilantro and thyme. Cutting flowers include bachelor buttons, calendula, and hyssop.

The tomatoes went in, again this year I am sure I planted too many, but I have a difficult time abandoning my seedlings. Tomato varieties include Amish Paste, Orange Banana Paste, Black Krim, Marglobe, Rose de Berne, Gardener's Delight Cherry and Sungold Cherry. Oh, and a Lilian's Yellow that Kyle started -- it looks like a brandywine type judging from the leaves.

It was a hot sunny day, gorgeous, but not the best for planting. After planting everything, I set up a temporary row cover to shade the plants for a few days. I did notice that my seedlings this year were a bit leggy and the roots and stems were not as well developed/sturdy as in the past. I'm wondering if it is because this year I didn't have the liquid fertilizer I have used in past years, Neptune's Harvest Fish Emulsion 2-4-1. I will have to plan a comparison next year.

Michael's Pole Beans have mostly sprouted, and the Indy Gold Bush beans are just popping out too. The Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are up, and the chard is just peeking out of the soil. We've had an excellent spring for gardening, warm weather and for me, just the right amount of rain thus far (not counting the Patriot's Day Nor'easter).

This morning I chitted the seed potatoes, and I hope to get them in the ground on Wednesday. By then, I'll need to do some weeding and thinning, and just maybe the plants will be large enough to mulch for weed supression. We should be eating thinned salad greens this week, yum! I do love gardening.....


Louise & Lee said...

It's nice to hear that Kyle gets involved with the gardening.

Do you plant oregano "loose" in the garden with it's invasive behavior, or to you plant it in a container near the back door?

Ali said...

No oregano in the veggie garden, it will go in a pot near the house. I learned my lesson from the mint in the raised bed!

Tracy said...

It must feel good to get it all in! Now comes the fun part - watching and waiting for harvest.

Sugarcamp said...

I made a comment yesterday but somehow it did not get posted.Here goes again. I used milk crates in Stamford to mark out the square foot sections as you did ,Dan. Also I placed them over newly planted seedlings to protect them from too much sun or heavy rain for the first few days.

Ali said...

Hi Mom,

Clearly, the gardening gift is genetic! Or maybe Dan saw you using the milk crate to mark off the squares and filed it away deep in the memory banks. I too use milk crates or laundry baskets to shade recent transplants (when I have enough!) it works great and is easier than the row cover.