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Kalyn's Kitchen

Friday Night Photos: Time to Start Planting Herbs! (2011 Garden Update #1)

The weather in Utah is still pretty cold for veggies, but some herbs are happy!

For years I used to say that the best day of the year is the day you get your garden tilled.  Now I have a garden with raised beds that don’t need tilling that often, but I still say the day you get to start planting your garden is a pretty great day.  Every year I take pictures of the garden through the season and post them as Garden Updates on the blog.  Last fall I did some pretty extensive garden improvements, building a shed, replacing an old wooden fence, adding another divided bed for herbs, converting the garden to drip irrigation, and having weed barrier cloth and pea gravel put all around my beds.  I’m thrilled with the new lower-maintenance garden, but the project involved me tearing out most of my perennial herbs, so I was anxious to start planting them again this spring.

It was a pretty cloudy day when I took these photos, but only a few days earlier there was hail like this on my deck, so I’m not complaining about clouds.
This is the new herb bed along the fence with three sections, and I planted curly parsley in the first part.  I’ll plant parsley seeds around the plants, so it will all be filled in with parsley.

In the middle section I planted mint.  (That’s why the box had to be divided, to keep the mint from spreading everywhere!)

The far end of that box got planted with flat Italian parsley.  I’ll plant more seeds around the plants here as well so the box will fill in with parsley.
My brother-in-law Clayton is a great gardener, and he gave me a Brandywine tomato plant that he started in his greenhouse, but that’s still living inside for now.  Clayton also gave me some onion starts which I planted in the end of one of my main beds.  I’ve never grown onions before, so I’m excited to see how they work.

In the front herb beds I was able to leave a few plants, but the overgrown ones had to be completely ripped out for the new drip sprinklers.  I planted rosemary and dill plants in one end of the left bed.  That’s plenty of rosemary, but I’ll plant dill seeds around the plants for more dill.

This is one of the mysteries of gardening.  These two plants are lemon thyme and regular thyme, growing side by side.  The regular thyme on the right is thick and bushy after the winter, but the lemon thyme was mostly dry sticks (which I trimmed), although there are a few little leaves coming back.  Anyone have theories about why this happens?

In the other end of that box I had to plant a new Greek Oregano plant on the end, but the marjoram is doing okay, although it looks a little pale.

And in my other herb bed I need to plant basil and tarragon, plus there is room for something new, but the chives are happy and ready for warmer weather!

And here’s a very wide shot of the whole garden (plus my faded purple stool, which I really should have moved out of the shot.)  The parsley and mint bed is on the left in this photo, and the other herb beds are at the front of the garden.  If the weather will cooperate next week I’ll plant some swiss chard, radishes, and Red Russian Kale from seeds in one of the bigger beds, but it’s still too cold for most of the other vegetables I’m planning to grow.
If you’d like to see what I was growing in other years, check my Garden Updates.  And if you’re growing a garden where you live, I’d love to hear in the comments about what you’ve planted so far.
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    23 Comments on “Friday Night Photos: Time to Start Planting Herbs! (2011 Garden Update #1)”

  1. My brother Mark built the beds for me, but I hired a company who did the gravel and converted the beds to drip sprinklers. You can see more about that and find the name of the company in this post about garden improvements.

  2. Since my neck of the woods is in severe drought (0.19" of rain since January!), I chose not to have a Spring/Summer garden this year…and boy, oh boy, do I miss it!!!

    But I'm intrigued with your irrigation system and want to add that to my raised beds for a possible fall garden. Can you ask Mark for more details on how it's set up? If it's not appropriate for you to answer this in your blog, you can reach me at yabadabadueATearthlinkDOTcom

    Thank a bunch (of scallions, and parsley, and mint, and basil, and….^_^)

  3. Marcy, thanks for that info about the lemon thyme. Will have to try to remember to mulch it!