24 June 2010

From the CSPP garden files

Grow herbs--as many as you can fit into whatever space you have. Grow perennial herbs and the already ridiculously easy task of growing herbs becomes that much easier. To keep your perennial herbs from, "Same thing we do every day, Pinky ..." plant them in 5-gallon buckets (with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage), and sink those buckets in the ground. The buckets contain the herbs' root systems while yet allowing them a good range of freedom. The buckets also help your herbs winter brilliantly. Your herbs will flourish in their buckets but only in their buckets, for thus far shall your herbs come, and no farther. Win-win, and what-what.

Go completely crazy and plant every herb that makes you happy. Sink buckets of mint, oregano, pineapple sage, and lemon balm.* Plant chives (which don't propagate from the roots, so skip the bucket and put them anywhere you want; just pinch off the blossoms--totally edible and good on potatoes--to keep them tame). Plant chamomile (it's so pretty!). Plant annuals, too, like every variety of basil you can find (the purple basil creates an interesting visual in your flower beds, if you're short on space).

Then, when the kids get restless, tell them to go outside and graze.

*You should also know, if you don't already, that mint cross-pollinates like ... bunnies? Sure. So if you want your spearmint to stay spearmint, sink that bucket of chocolate mint as far away from your spearmint as you can. Learn the easy way, friends, from someone who never will.


Robert said...

Thank you, Gauntlets. I'm exceedingly blessed with basil, oregano, and sage this year. I'm also learning that some herbs prefer drier soil, while others prefer moist soil.
A learning experience!
Robert at bioethike.com

Melrose said...

oh man, now we can talk herbs too! woot woot

Ewe said...

Ds 1 has caps on his teeth so he's never had gum. He thinks it is so cool when he picks mint out of our garden and "chews" it like gum. He would eat all the mint in our garden every day if I let him.

Cheryl said...

When our chives bloom my husband likes to make chive flower omelettes.

Megan said...

Oh that sounds wonderful. I'm afraid by the time my hubby gets placed this year it will be too late to plant herbs. I'm dreaming of a parsonage where I can plant something, and be in a place long enough to enjoy it. I'm sick of apartments and moving.

I love the bucket idea. I had a friend in high school whose mom let mint take over the back yard. She said it made mowing much more pleasant.

Gauntlets said...

Robert: Lemon balm, especially, likes terrible soil. This makes lemon balm especially dear to me. :D

Melrose: ;)

Ewe: We chew mint like gum, too. :) Delicious, wonderful mint.

Cheryl: CHIVE BLOSSOM OMELETTES! I'll get right on that.

Megan: God bless your husband as he awaits placement, and God bless you as you await the rest of your life. :) I'll pray that you receive just such a house. In the meantime, go ahead and plant a small, indoor herb container garden, just to whet your appetite. :)

Reb. Mary said...

I still need to know how to keep my cilantro from bolting. I pinch and I pinch, but still it gets away from me.

Gauntlets said...

RM: I don't think you can stop cilantro from bolting when it starts getting hot. It's too smelly and stubborn to last the whole season. ;) I eventually give it up and wait for the coriander. Coriander saves really nicely in a little mason jar in the back of the spice cupboard. You can grind it up and eat it on your potatoes all winter. :)

Anonymous said...

Anyone try chocolate mint? It is wonderful! Give it a try. Debbie S