A little more on the veggie garden

The other day when I gave you a thorough look at my veggie beds, there was one little project I didn't tell you about.


This small bed outside the fence, to the left of the gate. It once had some flowers and Greek oregano growing in it, but that was a few years ago. Lately it's been a mess, and I'm tired of looking at it!


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So I decided to clear it out and give it a fresh start. I've got a couple of plants in pots that really, really want to get into the ground, so they'll go here.

First, strip off the weeds:


Under the weeds and grass and grassy weeds I found that the Greek oregano was still growing. I also found garlic chives, which are growing everywhere in my yard, even in the cracks of my patio. Why, oh why do I never remove the seed heads?

from November 2010

Probably because they're so attractive!

Anyway, focus on today's project.

After clearing the vegetation, I dug in some compost and manure to help break up the clay soil I have. I've previously done that in this bed, but it's been a few years, so it definitely needed more.

If you have clay soil you probably know that you can add a ton of organic matter to it one year, and the next year it's "gone", and the soil is still pretty heavy. Repeat this for a few years and you'll eventually have some nice soil, but it takes some patience.

Until your soil reaches that "nice" state you're probably better off planting less fussy plants, and that is what I'm doing. I've got a catnip and another Greek oregano to put into this spot.

This plant was really ready to go into the ground!

The removed oregano was pretty flavorless, while the new one packs a punch! I've found Greek oregano to be quite variable in flavor, especially when grown from seed. If you're buying herb plants, always taste a leaf before purchasing!




So the new plants are in, and I no longer have to look at that weedy patch. I hope these plants perk up quickly and like their new home.



One last veggie-related image:


That's one of the flower stems from last year's beets that I recently removed. Such beautiful stems! The plants are on the compost pile now, but their memory is now preserved in the blogosphere.

I've still got one project to tackle before I can say I'm satisfied with my veggie garden: the fence. It needs some new stain and a little repair work as it's looking quite run-down, and there are tree seedlings (and the poison ivy) growing at its base, but I'm hoping visitors will focus on the plants and not notice the shabbiness.

The fence is a project for another time though.

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Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (May 19, 2012 at 9:29 AM)  

Excellent tip I never thought of doing before: "always taste a leaf before purchasing". Thanks for that, I'll be doing that from now on.

Alan, I saw you tweeted that your Cilantro always bolts. Mine does too. Any ideas what causes it? It's my favourite herb and I'm having to keep planting new ones because once they bolt they seem to lose all flavour and the leaves are very 'iffy'. Any advice or ideas would be much appreciated.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (May 20, 2012 at 6:33 AM)  

Christine: I've read that once the soil temperature reaches 75F (24C) that cilantro will bolt. I guess I'll have to set up a refrigeration system for part of my garden. Succession planting like you do is apparently the only answer for us with hot soil.

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