13 08 2008

Today, when I started weeding the garden, my compulsion to make everything orderly overcame my compassion for both the plants that were struggling and for those trying to take over everything. I’m not usually a compulsively tidy person, so this is a new experience. Part of me felt terrible for the overhaul, but it is such a small space that I can’t let it get out of control and expect anything to really thrive.

Note to self for next year: Calendula, while it is pretty and attracts beneficial bugs, takes up too much room for a small garden plot. I will definitely plant flowers again, but I will be looking for something much smaller. It was nice while it lasted. In short, I ripped it all out. I also ripped out two cabbages that had been too damaged by bugs to be of any decent culinary quality. There are still two left that are looking promising.

Then the herbs got a major haircut. The marjoram is slowly but steadily trying to turn into a bush. I cut all the stems back to about a foot. Hopefully it will get bushier rather than taller. Then, I trimmed the top inch or so off of the entire thyme plant to remove the dead blossoms and spur some new growth before fall arrives.

Then, I attempted to propagate the chives: another Total Novice Activity. The chives have been out of control. I don’t know how long they have been part of my plot; they were there when I arrived. As the year has progressed, the chives have looked more and more overcrowded, to the point that they seemed to be dying. I think this was confirmed when I dug them out and found a massive ball of nothing but roots. I cut off everything but four inches, dug them up, divided them, and threw them in a bucket of water. I ended up with six bunches that looked like this:

This is when my Grow or Die philosophy kicks in. I wasn’t sure whether I should make these into even smaller bunches, but I replanted the six bunches. I planted one back in the garden. I planted four around my little front yard in hopes of filling out the herb garden and one in a pot on my porch. The spearmint was dying for no apparent reason, so the chives get a chance. It’s August. It’s about to get hot. The soil in the front yard isn’t exactly teeming with organic material yet. I gave them some organic fertilizer and I will water them, but they are on their own. I really don’t need even MORE chives. I can’t eat them fast enough as is. But, if they make it, they’ll deserve their spots in the yard.