Saturday, May 9, 2009

Not Quite Scarborough Fair

As I have previously written, we grow many of our own herbs. we cook with fresh herbs, and dry them for use during the winter.

We don't have parsley, but we do have sage, rosemary and thyme. Also oregano, chives, garlic, basil, marjoram, savory, dill and tarragon. Just for fun, this year we are going to experiment with stevia too.

We don't have a lot of room, but we've tried to make as efficient as possible use of the space we have. We added some oak barrel planters to the other side of our front walk, and are hoping that the extra planting room will allow us to play a bit more with some of the herbs that can get out of hand if they aren't controlled. We have both wanted to plant mint, for example, but have seen in the past how quickly it can take over a garden if it isn't contained, so we hope to add it to one of the barrels.

When I added the barrels, I took a few gardening tips from The Thrifty Groove, and adapted them to my own situation.

I filled the bottom six inches in of each barrel with broken bricks and concrete chunks that would have otherwise made it to a landfill. That way I didn't have to buy as much soil to fill them. Next, I added a gallon milk jug to each barrel. I poked a small hole at the bottom of the jug, then buried it up to it's neck. Not only does it take up space, so I didn't have to use as much dirt, but now, when I water the plants in the barrels, I can just fill the milk jug with water, and let the water seep out slowly. I will use less water, and get the water to the plants roots, where it is needed.

This is an idea that my wife came up with one day. A couple of weeks later, she was exploring gardening tips and she found something similar on the internet, so we decided to give it a try this year.

Then, in the herb bed, I dug holes and buried smaller plastic bottles by each of the plants. I used a half gallon jug between the organo and savory, because they are both big healthy plants, but only used 46 oz bottles by the thyme, marjoram and tarragon.


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