I’ve always wanted an herb garden. We plant a huge garden every year, but Farmer Doc is mostly in charge of that. By the time I think about putting an herb section, the whole thing is planned, claimed, and planted. (If I thought ahead and asked, I’d get an herb section. But I don’t.)
I’ve tried a container herb garden inside. That didn’t go well. So I had a plan for this spring! I thought ahead of gardening season… So far ahead, that I decided I wanted my own raised herb garden, close to the kitchen.
We picked this spot, in front of the garage. There used to be a big ugly forsythia bush there. Farmer Doc pulled that out for me a few years ago, but we never got around to doing anything with the space. Now I have a plan!
This is part of the reason I like this spot – it’s super-close to the kitchen. This (should) make for easy herb picking when I’m getting dinner ready!
We started by laying cinder blocks for a base for the frame. (Ahem, when I say “we” throughout this post, I mostly mean Farmer Doc. He did all the heavy lifting here.)
With the back layer of block in place, Farmer Doc cut a piece of treated 4×6 to fit, and notched out the ends to make the corners easy to fit together.
He laid the side frame parts…
And finally the front of the frame.
Putting on the second layer was much easier than the first layer – all the leveling was already done!
Farmer Doc screwed the corners of the frame together, and then drilled a piece of steel through each corner into the ground. This will keep the frame together, and hold it in place on top of the cinder block base.
We let the frame sit for a few days. We said this was to give it time to settle, but really it’s because I was out of town and Farmer Doc was busy with the first hay cutting of the season.
Whatever the reason for the delay… we did get back to the herb garden. Farmer Doc got a bucket-full of dirt from cow mountain to fill most of the frame. (This is what that dirt is for – landscaping! The fact that the cows get to play on it is just a side benefit. For now.)
That was followed with a bucket-full of composted cow manure. The first layer of dirt isn’t very fertile – it came from the excavation of our new basement. The composted cow manure is some of the best fertilizer you will ever find. The only problem is that it grows weeds like nobody’s business… But I think I can manage to keep the weeds under control in this little 8-foot by 2-foot garden. (I hope.)
Farmer Doc mixed the not-so-great dirt together with the super-duper-awesome composted manure. Then he jumped up and down walked around on the pile a little to settle it, and leveled the whole thing out.
Finally, we topped it off with a layer of potting soil.
The next day, I got to planting! I had already gone shopping for my little plants, so I laid them out how I planned to plant them. I’m leaving a space on the left side of the bed for a tomato plant. We’ll have plenty of these in the main garden, but I want to have one here, too.
About an hour of digging, unpotting, planting, and watering later, and my herb bed looks pretty good!
We’re not quite finished with the whole project yet. We plan to use some of the Bedford stone that came off our house during the remodel to put a stone face on the bed. And we’ll mulch around the outside to cover the cinder block base.
Here’s the view of my kitchen from my new herb garden! I’m so excited!
Wondering which herbs I chose to plant? Check out the Real Farmwives of America & Friends to see the different types of herbs I used.
How is your garden growing this year? Do you even have it planted yet?