After a very wet 2013, our large herb spiral began to resemble something of a wild, over-grown, soggy, weedy jungle. A preoccupation with building, travel and other matters once the rain had stopped saw this once well-ordered herb habitat quickly turn in to a wild, over-grown dry weedy jungle. Just the look of it had us rolling our eyes and imagining the stiff shoulders and sore backs that would surely follow if we tried resurrecting it to its former glory.
However this, like many of the bigger jobs on the farm, was a far bigger task in our minds than in reality. The very welcome recent rains (400mm over four days) renewed the urge to get out there and rejuvenate the garden. The wet spell made the process of removing weeds so much easier, and the job (which had been agonised over and put off for so long) was completed in just one day! The poly path edging was straightened up, and the tired-looking stones around the bottom were lifted and reset after being half-buried from the heavy downpours of last year. The soil was given some more nutrients and a new lease of life with a dusting of gypsum, minerals and manure.
As living mulch, a row of 100 lemongrass plants was planted on the downside of the gravel pathway. These plants will fill out to form an erosion barrier (especially in times of heavy rain) but will also be ‘chopped and dropped’ so we shouldn’t need to buy in mulch for this garden again.
After the initial soil preparation, the spiral was heavily covered with sugar cane mulch, and then the Ridge Kids delighted in broadcasting the seed bombs we made (from the last issue) all over the mulched area. This green manure crop has rapidly germinated after a boost of nitrogen from a few good thunderstorms, a dose of hot sun and a good watering from the heavens and will end up another great source of ‘chop and drop’ material to enrich the soil even further.
With a foundation like this, we are sure to have a bountiful and nutrient-dense crop of herbs to last us for many meals to come.