Sunday, June 28, 2015

Best Summer Garden Ever

Herbs in my Garden | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My herbs are thriving in this year's garden. 
After moving into a new home, it takes time to get to know the property and figure out how best to grow one's herbs and vegetables. The first year we lived in our current home, I was sure that our north yard, complete with stream cutting through the far northeast corner, was the place to plant my tomatoes and cucumbers. Other than those two selections, we planted three rosemary bushes in our front flower beds. 

The rosemary did well  until the really frigid cold snaps of the winter of 2014. Two of our three rosemary bushes perished. As for the tomatoes and cucumbers, they never matured and we spent much of our time at the local farmers' market that year.
Beets in Raised Beds | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
We planted beets in raised beds.
They are thriving and the greens are
delicious, too!

The next year, I was sure I had the garden dilemma figured out. I dug up the grassy sitting area on the south facing side of the house — well, I started to and then let Hubby finish the chore — and planted rows and rows of vegetables, including three rows of beautiful corn stalks. I even went to our old abode, which was still painfully on the market, and dug up our sage and oregano. 

The herbs did well. The corn stalks were demolished by a bad storm. The rest of our garden did well considering it was overtaken by crabgrass and weeds that grew much faster than any human could pull and discard them.

Our 2015 Garden | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
A view from above.
The next year, I tried putting down black strips of weed barrier. The weeds liked the barrier. It kept in the moisture and was easy to break through. 

The next year I tried a combination of planters and planting in the ground. I was able to keep the weeds at bay a little longer, but they still thrived.  

After the cold snaps of 2014, I asked hubby to box in my herbs. He did such a great job, I decided to have him build raised beds for the entire garden.

Sunflower Volunteer | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
This volunteer loves our
new system for gardening
just as much as we do!
For 2015, after years of trial and error, we have the best garden we've ever enjoyed. Raised beds and planters house my veggies and herbs. Between the beds and planters, we put down a layer of newspaper barrier and lots and lots of river rock. My plants are happy, the weeds are finally giving up their fight and I am thoroughly enjoying my garden. 

For the bugs, I use this homemade, organic bug spray:

To one gallon of water, add one medium chopped onion, 10 sliced jalapeño peppers, 3 tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Shake vigorously and let marinade for 24 hours. As needed to fill a spray bottle, strain the liquid out. Spray plants several times a week, especially after it rains. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
Copyright 2015 Michele Bare