Monday, April 13, 2009

How we built our new herb bed

First, we dug a trench for the first run of bricks. We had a big piled up piece of black plastic laying out there since the fall to kill the grass. We wanted a rounded sort of bed, so we'd just piled the plastic into a general oval-type shape. It killed the grass really well, and we followed the line as we dug out the little trench for the bricks. The we layed down a thick layer of newspaper as a weed barrier, wetting it down to keep it there while we worked, and put in the first row of bricks, stepping on them to press them firmly into the ground and hold down the outside edges of the papers.

We used all the bricks we had (we got these free from a craigslist ad, and picked up about 100 of them), and built the little border wall up three courses high. We filled this in over the newspaper with potting soil, sand, topsoil, and manure.
Then I added another weed barrier of newspapers layered up. Can you tell I hate weeding?

To plant, we cut an X into the paper with a utility knife, folded back the flaps, and dug the hole. Popped the plant in, and watered everything really well.

We poked onions all around the outside as a border, and planted rosemary, basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, and parsley. I'm planning to add chamomille, lavender, dill, and fennel.

It was actually too soon to plant the basil, and it's been frost damaged even though we've covered it at night. I just cut it back and mulched it well, and maybe it'll come back when the weather heats up later on. If not, I guess I'll have to buy a new one.

After we finished planting and watering it all in, we mulched it well with straw to protect the plants, inhibit the weeds, hold the newspapers down, and keep the water in. That made it look like a big messy straw stack for now, but I'm sure it'll look much neater when the plants are big, and they're mostly what you see. Plus, the straw will mat down and start to rot on the bottom.

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1 comment:

Blue Castle said...

That is awesome. I hate weeds too, and I had no clue that you could actually prevent those little buggers from coming up. I'm going to try and convince my husband to let me try gardening again. :)

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