In the Garden: Mulching, weeding, and more planting

mulching around berries

under the oak treesThis past year we collect newspapers and brown paper wrapping material to mulch around our garden beds. I finished it with old hay. We started the new raised beds with a layer of leaves, a layer of composted over the winter hay and manure and a layer of composted bark mulch. Bark mulch is what we use in our front beds.


Over the past 8 years, the front beds were transformed into fruit trees/bee plants and herbs plants beds. I feel so guilty buying decorative plants! So, I bought a few more fruit trees this year, but I only have one Japanese Maple, although I love Japanese Maples. This year, I hope I can grow a few new herbs from seeds. I have been subscribing to Herbs Quarterly for a couple of years and have established a goal to grow herbs fighting flu and cold viruses, or stimulating immune system, without over stimulating it, of course. Traditionally, I always thought of colds as a nuisance, but those viruses can be very harmful. To me, the mission to find herbs that can help to fight off the disease at its early stage is the most crucial. This year, I started growing Andrographis. I plan to keep it in the shade.  Interestingly, I have tried to grow many herbs, as recommended in the sun, only losing them year after year. For example, I have tried to grow lavender for years, but only after I planted two surviving specimens in the shade, under the oak trees, they began to thrive and even flower! This year, I planted my two rosemary bushes in the semi-shady location.

The oaks provide use with leaf mulch and multitude of acorns… Acorns were always a nuisance to me, rolling under our feet and sprouting everywhere. But this year, I found a use for them. I use them as fillers in our clay pots! Little sticks and shredded leaves go along with them, making a light and useful filler.

Then, I was looking at oak flowers, which have covered the ground and our deck and noticed how much moisture they retain. So, I had another “aha” moment and decided to use the flowers for mulching our clay pots, and hanging baskets. The soil stays wet for a long time and the dried oak flowers make such a pretty mulch! Now, for the first time in years, I wish I had more of them!


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