Last year, I had a lovely, organized method that allowed me to garden in little bits. I did one bed one week, another bed the next. Cleaning out was separate from laying in. And each week as I did the new part, I quickly checked the previous part for weeds.
Somehow, that didn’t happen this year. We’ve done a bit of cleaning and sowed the peas about a month ago, but that’s it. So yesterday, KPD and I went out and bought our flat of marigolds, three tomato plants, some basil and cilantro.
We always add perennials, too, so I got rue and peppermint to add to the herb garden, and a a bunch of leafy plants to make a shade garden, because I’ve given up on the shadiest corner becoming edible.
I should explain that my overall plan is to have a relatively easy garden full of edible plants that spread. This way, the plants I want take over and keep the weeds down, and I just walk in and harvest. I’ve had success with strawberries and raspberries, and some perennial herbs (oregano, sage, and mint are going strong.) Then I put in some annuals that I like in one particular bed, along with living mulch in that spot and a flat of marigolds that I plant around the border to keep pests down and look cheerful.
However, edibles don’t grow well in shade. They need the energy to make extra nutrients that are good for us, and especially to produce fruit of any kind. So I’ve got some leafy shade plants that spread well, and hopefully if we plant them correctly, we’ll get a nice, low-maintenance shade garden in the shady corner, instead of a mass of out of control ferns.
This year’s edible mulch is kale, two kinds of spinach, and dill, so in a few weeks, we should have some baby greens to throw together with herbs and make a lovely salad.