Thursday, March 22, 2012

Because I'm OCD like that

Okay, I'm going to start posting photo-a-day here beginning April 1. (No, I'm not joking.) Thanks for your input and I'll be sure to clearly label the photo posts with a date and subject so you don't have to look if you don't want to.

I do like things to be tidy and neat (usually, I'm having a little trouble finding time to clean my house lately), which is why I'm going to switch on the first day of the month.

The tidy-and-neat-and-wanting-to-finish-things-in-one-session character trait flaw got the best of me yesterday. It was another beautiful day here in the Middle of Nowhere, a perfect day to work on the new herb bed I'm putting in this spring.

Clicking on the link will take you to the beginning stages of the project, where we laid out the area and covered it with a kill mulch. We used a layer of cardboard, a layer of compost and a layer of straw, and then we used the area for composting over the winter. We stopped adding vegetable matter to it a couple months ago.

The herb bed yesterday morning at 11:30 a.m. The white things
are coffee filters, and there are several large dandelions in there.
My mission was to spade the entire area.

I knew I would be lightly tilling it when I was finished turning it over with a spade, so I got the tiller out of the shed and let it sit in the sun while I worked. A warm tiller is easier to start than a cold one. That's your gardening tip du jour.

One way to tell if you have decent soil is by noting how many worms turn up as you dig. The true worm test is to dig an area one foot square and one foot deep and place that soil on a piece of cardboard. Sift through the dirt and count how many earthworms you find – 10 is a good indication that your soil is healthy.

Since I was digging such a large area anyway, I just decided to see if I saw any worms at all. And I did! In every spadeful of turned earth I found at least one and usually three or four worms. Decomposed cardboard must be especially tasty to worms.

Two and a half hours later my crop circle was done. The next step is to ring it with rocks and create individual pie slice-shaped beds for various culinary, fragrant and medicinal herbs. There will be LOTS of basil, that much I know for sure. I've opened my next-to-last jar of frozen pesto.

Next step: Rocks!

I also tilled the vegetable garden again; weeded another row of onions; really, really, really thought about uncovering the strawberries, and mowed another big part of the lawn field.

I came in around 4 p.m., dirty, exhausted and wishing I had a cook. Oh! Right! I'm the cook. Here's what we had for dinner, and it was DELICIOUS. Sounds wacky, but the combination was really, really good; I had all the ingredients (except I subbed asparagus for the carrots), and it was easy to throw together. I rested after dinner and didn't stop resting until … this morning!

So that was my second day of spring, which is totally coming in like a lamb. How was yours?


a.eye said...

Very impressive! Good luck with your gardening! I am the antithesis of green thumbs. Posted about it today and it makes me feel even less gardeny after reading your post.

Kathy said...

My husband is finally home from the weekend so maybe I can convince him to get the garden and flower beds tilled. I am looking forward to getting my garden going.


Diandra said...

Great job!

I had a stressful day at the office (lots of emergency and last minute translations - before working here, I did not even know that there is such a thing as emergency translations), went for a run, neglected to clean our flat and had friends over for dinner. All in all, it was a fun day. ^^

Mindy said...

I'd love to have an herb bed like that. Are you using a specific plan for herbs to make it sort of ornamental too? I love the look of an old fashioned English herb garden that seems so planned and orderly. My herbs always look like a free for all!