Greens & Herbs

Spanish lavenderThe last two days were all mine to play in the dirt. I’m not sure why, but there’s just something about breaking up moist chunky soil with my fingers, yanking out dandelions and clovers by the roots, and booting grubs to the curb that I find therapeutic. (Hmmm, picking up on an outward-expression-of-aggression theme…) In the midst of all this psychological release, I finally got my raised bed ready for a new crop of veggies! This year I amended the soil with a blend of organic compost and manure to amend the soil, which was decimated last year by needy tomatoes and bell peppers. I managed to get my leafy greens planted, which will hopefully be ready to go in about 6 weeks: Swiss chard, arugula, mixed Asian stir fry greens, and 3 types of beets, 2 of which are heirloom. I also got some bush lima beans and sugar snap peas, okra, and stock flower seeds into the ground. Hopefully the 4 straight days of rain anticipated in Dallas will help water them in.

raised bedI managed to save some lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choi, and fennel from last year’s planting, and used the bricks to raise the drip irrigation lines while adding the new compost.

My started-indoors seedlings are also coming along, although I’m concerned with how leggy my broccoli is becoming. Nothing to do about it, though, it’s not ready for planting just yet, not enough leaves.

I should also mention that I’m slowing turning my front yard into a nicely landscaped edible garden. It’s so hot in Dallas that I can get away with lots of perennials, but I’m choosing ones that I can also cook with. Plus their flowers attract bees and butterflies, which helps pollinate the vegetables. Right now I’ve slipped Spanish lavender, oregano, bee balm, Mexican mint marigold, and several types of thyme in with the more traditional landscape plants.

Mexican mint marigold

Last year's Mexican mint marigold

Spanish lavender

Spanish lavender

The thyme and oregano spread to form a mat of tasty ground cover.

Thyme

Spreading thyme

Greek oregano

Greek oregano

I need to find suitable spots for artichokes, hyssop, and lemon grass, also perennials.

I also put up tepees for some gorgeous ornamental purple hyacinth beans that bloom large flowers that then sport large purple pods.

Pole setup

Last year's ornamental bean

Last year's ornamental bean

Last year's hyacinth beans

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