Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Time to Start Planting Herbs! (2011 Garden Update #1)

The weather in Utah is still pretty cold for veggies, but some herbs are happy!

For years I used to say that the best day of the year is the day you get your garden tilled.  Now I have a garden with raised beds that don't need tilling that often, but I still say the day you get to start planting your garden is a pretty great day.  Every year I take pictures of the garden through the season and post them as Garden Updates on the blog.  Last fall I did some pretty extensive garden improvements, building a shed, replacing an old wooden fence, adding another divided bed for herbs, converting the garden to drip irrigation, and having weed barrier cloth and pea gravel put all around my beds.  I'm thrilled with the new lower-maintenance garden, but the project involved me tearing out most of my perennial herbs, so I was anxious to start planting them again this spring.

It was a pretty cloudy day when I took these photos, but only a few days earlier there was hail like this on my deck, so I'm not complaining about clouds.

This is the new herb bed along the fence with three sections, and I planted curly parsley in the first part.  I'll plant parsley seeds around the plants, so it will all be filled in with parsley.

In the middle section I planted mint.  (That's why the box had to be divided, to keep the mint from spreading everywhere!)

The far end of that box got planted with flat Italian parsley.  I'll plant more seeds around the plants here as well so the box will fill in with parsley.

My brother-in-law Clayton is a great gardener, and he gave me a Brandywine tomato plant that he started in his greenhouse, but that's still living inside for now.  Clayton also gave me some onion starts which I planted in the end of one of my main beds.  I've never grown onions before, so I'm excited to see how they work.

In the front herb beds I was able to leave a few plants, but the overgrown ones had to be completely ripped out for the new drip sprinklers.  I planted rosemary and dill plants in one end of the left bed.  That's plenty of rosemary, but I'll plant dill seeds around the plants for more dill.

This is one of the mysteries of gardening.  These two plants are lemon thyme and regular thyme, growing side by side.  The regular thyme on the right is thick and bushy after the winter, but the lemon thyme was mostly dry sticks (which I trimmed), although there are a few little leaves coming back.  Anyone have theories about why this happens?

In the other end of that box I had to plant a new Greek Oregano plant on the end, but the marjoram is doing okay, although it looks a little pale.

And in my other herb bed I need to plant basil and tarragon, plus there is room for something new, but the chives are happy and ready for warmer weather!

And here's a very wide shot of the whole garden (plus my faded purple stool, which I really should have moved out of the shot.)  The parsley and mint bed is on the left in this photo, and the other herb beds are at the front of the garden.  If the weather will cooperate next week I'll plant some swiss chard, radishes, and Red Russian Kale from seeds in one of the bigger beds, but it's still too cold for most of the other vegetables I'm planning to grow.

If you'd like to see what I was growing in other years, check my Garden Updates.  And if you're growing a garden where you live, I'd love to hear in the comments about what you've planted so far.
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23 comments:

  1. Now I know it's Spring! We lost some of our perennial herbs to the extreme weather this past winter, so it's time to get some new plants into our herb garden, too.

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  2. Lydia, finally! And the weather is not very spring-like here but with the horrible weather in other parts of the country I think I'll stop complaining about our little flakes of snow.

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  3. I have always wanted a garden with raised beds. Hoping you are done seeing hail and snow... enough already! It's time for spring. May your garden GROW!

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  4. Thanks Karina! I am crossing my fingers and hoping for warm weather.

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  5. Very nice looking garden area Kalyn. Very neat and organized. Are those soaker hoses you're irrigating with?

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  6. I can't believe I woke up to snow again. I'd love to get busy gardening too. The drip irrigation is a great idea.

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  7. Big Dude, yes those are soaker hoses in the garden beds. Haven't used them yet, but I think they're going to be great.

    Barbara, I was not happy to wake up to more snow. Not happy at all. Hopefully all these herbs are pretty hearty.

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  8. I like the stool. :) Makes your space look REAL, like you really live and work there, not maintained for a photo shoot.

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  9. Cheryl, glad to hear that, and believe me I do work there quite a bit! But it's fun work.

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  10. I'm glad you did leave the purple stool in your photo! I'm at an age that weeding, planting etc is getting more difficult, especially the getting back up part! Oy!! I'm always looking for easier ways to do my weeding and your old stool looks to be the perfect and inexpensive answer!

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  11. Jay, I can relate to the fact that weeding is getting harder! That stool is one of the best garden investments I've made. I've even left it outside all winter some years and it's still going strong.

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  12. Kalyn, I just finished reading garden improvements with great delight. What are your raised beds made of? What size boards? example 2x4 1x6. What are the dimensions of the plant beds? It looks like a high yield garden. I want to have my husband copy your garden for our family.

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  13. I love your garden !! Must be so much fun to grow your own produce :)

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  14. Louise, my brother Mark built the first six raised beds for me a few years ago. They are made from some kind of treated wood, and I just measured and the boards are 1 1/2" x 4". The large beds are 4 feet by 10 feet and the small herb beds are 2 feet by ten feet. I can ask my brother for more info on the wood if your husband doesn't know what it is, just let me know.

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  15. Mary, we were writing comments at the same time. Gardening is so much fun. I look forward to it all winter!

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  16. Lovely start on your garden! Our new home has raised beds too. I'm excited to get started. I'll watch your garden grow, and hopefully, mine will grow too. Seattle didn't have the best weather for vegetables gardens last year. I'm hoping this year will be better.

    Kristi

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  17. Kristi, sending warm thoughts for good garden weather!

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  18. Lookin' good Kalyn! I'm looking forward to reading your garden posts this year.

    Bruno

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  19. Thanks Bruno! I'm really excited about the garden improvements!

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  20. Kalyn your garden is lovely and those raised bed and irrigation I envy! I just wanted to say that Lemon thyme (and just about any flavored thyme plant), although not always marked as such is actually a tender perennial. They do not always winter over as well as common thyme. I mulch mine heavily with leaves in the late fall and hope for the best. When we get good snow cover they tend to do better. I grow about 17 varieties of thyme and have seen that clump of dry sticks many times.

    Marcy
    www.backyardpatch.blogspot.com

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  21. Marcy, thanks for that info about the lemon thyme. Will have to try to remember to mulch it!

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  22. Since my neck of the woods is in severe drought (0.19" of rain since January!), I chose not to have a Spring/Summer garden this year...and boy, oh boy, do I miss it!!!

    But I'm intrigued with your irrigation system and want to add that to my raised beds for a possible fall garden. Can you ask Mark for more details on how it's set up? If it's not appropriate for you to answer this in your blog, you can reach me at yabadabadueATearthlinkDOTcom

    Thank a bunch (of scallions, and parsley, and mint, and basil, and....^_^)

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  23. My brother Mark built the beds for me, but I hired a company who did the gravel and converted the beds to drip sprinklers. You can see more about that and find the name of the company in this post about garden improvements.

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