Planning and design have never been one of my strong points.
However, what I’m realising as I meander through my garden journey is that a little bit of planning is a good thing! Working out where plants will be happy in my garden is a win/win – not only for the plants but for my sanity. 🙂
Last year, I decided that I wanted a nature strip veggie patch. I envisioned a productive patch that I could grow all sorts of flowers and veggies in. In my excitement, I got in a truck full of mushroom compost and dumped it on my nature strip. My first mistake was that no thought went into how the patch would be irrigated. I let the compost settle and after a few weeks I was ready to sow seeds.
It was then that I realised that I would need to buy a longer hose in order to get water to this veggie patch. That wasn’t so bad – all I needed to do was buy a new hose. However, I only visit town to shop once a week so there was a delay in the purchase. Because this new veggie patch was out of sight, I also forgot to water the seedlings that were germinating. Despite the forgetfulness of daily watering, I soon had some seedlings popping up their little heads.
My second mistake was planting corn (a thirsty crop) at the back of this veggie patch. I thought I’d plant it in this spot, as there was loads of room to plant in block rows and I could have some watermelon seedlings in between. Although the watermelon did grow, they didn’t seem to like the spot (and the inconsistent watering didn’t help). I added a irrigation hose eventually, but this took me a while to implement. By then, the mushroom compost I had used had dried out a bit and, as we didn’t have any natural rainfall happening, it took a couple of deep soaks to make sure that water was soaking into that soil and getting to the plant roots.
I persisted with this veggie patch – and although I had no corn and only one watermelon, I have had a bountiful harvest of yellow zucchini, Thai basil galore and loads of beneficial bug flowers. But I felt that a lack of planning and design resulted in me not utilising the space to it’s full potential – not to mention the water had been wasted by not planning irrigation.
So, I made a decision to turn this space into a community herb garden. I had a lot of rosemary and thyme cuttings from my TAFE assessment as well as various other herbs. My vision is to have herbs that are named with plant labels, uses and benefits, as well as a sign welcoming people to pick their own. I love using herbs in my cooking and thought it would be great to share the benefits of using fresh herbs in cooking with others.
A herb garden isn’t as thirsty as a veggie patch depending on what herbs you grow – and there little maintenance required once established. This is still a work in progress.It’s funny that this veggie patch has benefited from some natural rainfall that we had recently and is full of eggplants, purple cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and flowers. However, there are some herbs there in anticipation for my vision of a community herb garden!
Now over to you: Are you a garden planner or a go with the flow type of gardener? We would love to know – please share in the comments below!