An Herb Garden . . Maybe

About this time last year I began working on a spot right outside my back door where I wanted to have a little kitchen garden — basically herbs and salad type things like lettuces, radishes, maybe a cherry tomato plant or two.  I blogged about it here when Vince decided to re-do my setup while I was gone to Paducah.  I wasn’t happy about what he had done because I was hoping to get it all planted when I got home from Paducah but that didn’t happen.  Still hasn’t happened.  Vince had plans for making it terraced and I didn’t want that.  We discussed what to do with that spot but it just sat there and grew weeds.  I complained every time I looked at it.

He had covered this area in some thick black plastic and all the weeds were pretty much dead.

Yesterday he decided to get to work on it and I was very happy!

He borrowed Jerry’s tiller that Jerry got for $20 at a garage sale.  Jerry can fix anything!  You have to use a drill to get it started.  Don’t ask me how that works but it works!  Oh, look at that dirt!  I’m so ready to plant something.

I wish tillers could talk.  I’d love to know how many gardens this old tiller has done.  It looks like it’s been well used and maybe a little bit abused.  Now that it lives with Jerry, it will probably be tilling up garden spots for years to come!

Keep your fingers crossed that Vince gets the edging down and I can plant some lettuce and maybe spinach in the next couple of weeks.  I can’t plant tender things til after May 1.  I would have been out planting something in an obscure corner today except I wasn’t so careful with my mandolin and have a bit of a finger injury so I can’t play in the dirt til it’s a bit healed.  Be thankful I’m not showing a picture of my finger.  🙁


  1. 1


    I’ve always grown herbs and usually a tomato plant or two until last yer … but I found some pots that will fit on the narrow non-balcony outside the French Doors to nowhere in my loft and plan to plant them as soon as they stop predicting SNOW–yes, they are talking about SNOW on the first day of spring in Dallas.

    If I had your space, I would definitely plant bell peppers, since they are one of the “deadly 12” (commercially grown with one of the highest levels of pesticides). They are easy to grow and you would know what was going into them . . . and organic peppers seem so pricey to me–much more than other organic produce.

    • 1.1


      I feel your pain. We have 9.9″ of snow predicted for this weekend. I will grow lots of different kinds of peppers in my real garden but I don’t have enough room to have them in this small garden behind the house.

  2. 2


    Awesome Judy! Now this is exciting! See if you can find a rabbit breeder in your area and if you can get some manure. It isn’t “hot” and you can add it anytime, it’s fantastic for gardening and easy to work with since it’s in small pellets.

    Your spinach and lettuce need to go in now, or as soon as possible. Oh I can’t wait to see what all you plant here!

    I grow lots of my herbs in bit containers, they’re so pretty and many come back every year. Some are invasive and will take over your garden, so be careful.

  3. 3


    That actually looks like a good size garden !.Set out some beans and cuke on trellis they grow ^UP^ . YOu can mulch it with newspaper and chicken stuff. Plant it full. enjoy the goodies!!

  4. 4


    There’s plenty of space there for a couple of pepper plants. Our first garden in a rental house, we dug up a space about 2 1/2 feet by 6 feet. We managed to have 2 or 3 tomato plants, one hot pepper, one bell pepper at least. We had another herb garden that was about 3 by 3 feet – lots of herbs in there. Neither one or together was near as big as your area – no way could we have used a rototiller on them!

    • 4.1


      We don’t plant anything within 8 – 10″ of the house because of a termite barrier. We have a huge garden spot out back and I’ll plant peppers there. By the time I get 4 or 5 parsley plants, 4 or 5 cilantro plants, lots of white onions and shallots, 3 rosemary plants, a couple of cherry tomatoes, some thyme and tarragon, maybe 8 – 10 basil plants, 20 or more lavender plants . . there isn’t room for peppers in this garden. I’ve gardened for many years and what works for me may not work for you but we’ll get it all planted eventually.

      • Darlene S says

        Judy, Why so many basil and lavender plants in the garden. I have had 2 basil plants and get so much basil that I have to give most of it away. I also tried 1 lavender plant, but it did not do well. Guess there is some secret I’m not doing right. Dar

  5. 5


    Good idea not to play in dirt until the finger heals. I am finishing up a round of pencillin since I got a bacterial infection somehow. It could have been a bug bite or just a scratch from playing around bushes. Of course, that’s just slowing me down int he garden, not stopping me!

    Still beautiful here in OKC – but they are also predicting anywhere from 4-12 inches in the state. It seems to change with each forecast 😉

  6. 7

    peggy says

    I am glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t careful with a mandolin! Sliced a hunk off the tip of my right index finger just as smoothly as it sliced the onion! I hope I’ve learned a lesson.

    • 7.1


      Especiallu with potatoes,I hold them til they’re small and then switch to the little grabber type holder that came with the mandolin. This time, I was slicing quickly and the potato got too short before I noticed. You’re right — it sliced my finger as quiickly and easily as it did the potatoes.

      • Katherine says

        That’s how it happened for me, too. Going too fast with the potatoes and sliced off the top of my right ring finger from first to second knuckle. It was a clean cut, though and healed beautifully. Now I go a lot slower with the potatoes and use the holder.

          • says

            Oops . . just looked at my finger and it’s my bad finger .. not my ring finger. I really don’t pay enough attention to details, do I?

          • Ruth C says

            Not a “bad” finger! They’re all useful :o) We call that one “tall man” when we’re doing “Where is Thumbkin” for the kids. It does make me feel a bit funny to do tall man…

  7. 9


    Yeah for Vince for getting to it! Good man. 🙂

    and you, if you get herbs in and they do well, share your secrets b/c I keep killing my herbs indoors and want desperately to start an outdoor garden next year.

  8. 11

    Judy in Michigan says

    How will you keep the wild animals out of your garden? Rabbits and deer love veggies!

  9. 12


    I was wondering if, too, if you expect to have an animal problem with the kitchen garden? I’m glad Vince got to work on it for you this year.

  10. 14


    Score one for Vince! I can’t wait to see it all green and growing and all the scrumptious stuff you make from your kitchen garden!

  11. 15

    Ruth C says

    Judy, so sorry about the finger. Though the first thing that came to mind is “I didn’t know Judy played the mandolin–she must have been playing it a long time to get her finger so hurt!”. Duh. I’m sure I’ve cut my finger on my mandolin before, but never so badly as a slip with the rotary cutter!