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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Steve's new herb garden

We can tell Fall is coming to Arizona, even though it doesn’t feel like it yet. Shadows are shifting and nights are finally cooler--Hallelujah!

My husband Steve has decided to plant an herb garden. There's a bare spot where the old Palo Verde tree was, and we've been staring at it wondering what to do with it since last Fall. I told Steve it should be a project of his choosing. He was thinking of putting in a Zen Garden, complete with raked sand and a little tiny temple for meditation, until we took in a new puppy who loves to dig any bare patch of earth she can find! That suddenly seemed like asking for disaster to strike the same spot twice. So, it became a plant garden, which he would fence off with chicken wire until the puppy grew old enough to know better (ha! when she's ten, maybe!)

He wanted to start small and go with some plants that are easy to grow, since he’s just a newbie to planting and tilling; he can mow a lawn and install sprinkler systems and dig holes for bushes and trees like any good homeowner, but he has never planted anything on his own. So, I let him choose his plants with only the smallest hints here and there. Not all will thrive; not all will turn out to be "easy."

His little garden is on the west side of the house. With some nudging, he got a drip system going so he wouldn’t have to go out there with the hose all the time . . . this is the hottest side of the house in summer!  It didn't take much to convince him of this while we were already making repairs to the drip system for the rest of the yard.

What was most surprising to me was to find out what he didn’t know about planting!

After watching me, his mom, his sister and even his brother do it for so many year’s I’d have thought he’d have picked up a few basics. But the poor guy didn't know even very simple concepts; like how to mix the garden soil deeper into the ground (he had just spread some on top, haha), and not knowing that the young nursery plants needed to be watered before and after they’d been put into the ground (it’s still over 100º here! The poor things were wilting before he got the holes dug!)
The hanging tomatoes

Plus, he also doesn’t really know one plant from another if I don’t tell him--I'm going to have to make some tags for him. He's like a little kid with a packet of seeds and no experience whatsoever.

Football Break!
After a trip to Home Depot, another to Lowe's, and then a final pilgrimage to a REAL nursery--where he proudly proclaimed you could get EVERYTHING THERE!--his garden was nearly complete. He planted Early Girl tomatoes, (wanted them to hang like he saw in a picture in a catalog); sweet mint; thyme; two kinds of basil--cinnamon and globe; sage; red bell pepper; jalapeño pepper; green globe artichoke; spanish red garlic and oregano.

Afterwards, the creative juices just ran out and he had to get back to his football. Tomorrow he’s going to get some marigolds in because he wants it to look "filled in" while he waits for the other stuff to grow.

If this new "hobby" is anything like the last couple of hobbies--stamp collecting and grilling--he'll be busy for quite some time. This is going to be interesting! I’ll keep you posted.

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