2008 Garden Part I: Introduction and Herbs

Well, it’s time for my garden post for the 2008 growing season. I started writing this post about a month ago, and haven’t had a chance to finish it until now. I’m going to do it in two parts, dedicating one part exclusively to hot peppers, and one part to the rest.

Jaime and I jumped head-first into gardening this year, starting our garden earlier than ever (although still not early enough). We’re growing a lot of new and exciting things in the garden, and focusing on our past successes to maximize our harvest.

If you recall my post from last year, we had learned from our mistakes the previous year. This year, I hope to have an even better and more productive garden than last year.

We’ve decided to focus on two areas: hot peppers and herbs. We just have no luck with tomatoes. We’ve tried them in the ground with no luck, and we’ve tried them in buckets with no luck. We surrender. Tomatoes will have to wait for another year. I’m doing research on heirloom tomatoes, and will probably try a few varieties next year.

So hot peppers and herbs.

We left our herbs from last year outside over the winter. Unfortunately, I neglected them and failed to give them any water, so most of them are dead. We’re basically starting over on the herb portion of our garden.

The herbs we’re growing are pretty standard fare: Plain leaf parsley, curly leaf parsley, tarragon, cilantro (coriander), thyme, catnip, spearmint, dill, sage, oregano, sweet basil, purple basil, and rosemary (from seed and cuttings). I’ve started everything in a regular 72-cell flat, and it is going really well.

In the past, I’ve had a hard time getting mint started, and three of my four mint pots are growing well. Hopefully they’ll take off in the next few weeks as the weather starts getting warm.

I planted six cells of rosemary, each with quite a few seeds, and I’ve actually had a couple of these hard-to-germinate seeds come to life. The plants are tiny, but they are definitely growing. If the seedlings don’t make it, I have nine cuttings I took from my sister’s (struggling) rosemary as a backup.

We’re going to decide where to plant the herbs in the next couple of weeks, when they’re established enough to transplant into the ground or larger planters. We’re working on building a master plan for our yard, and we’re planning on incorporating herbs as a large part the design.

So that’s pretty much it for the herbs for now. On a side note, we’ve also planted some decorative blue fescue grass, and some pink and white pampas grass for a decorative planting in the back corner of our yard. The seeds are growing well, and will be placed in the ground this fall.

We’ve also been on an azalea planting streak. Our backyard, albeit small, is wide open to our neighbor’s yards. We want a bit more of a secluded, sheltered sort of feeling for our backyard. So, we’ve planted 12 azaleas of varying sizes, and we have plans to plant more.

We’re also building a new shed in a few months, and so that is obviously a large consideration in our landscaping plan.

Anyway, stay tuned for my pepper post. We’re growing some cool stuff!

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