Spring Cleaning in the Garden

1 / 5
2 / 5
3 / 5
4 / 5
5 / 5

<p>
<em>You can check out the Lemon Verbena Lady at her blog</em>
<a href=”http://lemonverbenalady.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”>http://lemonverbenalady.blogspot.com</a>
<em>.</em>
</p>
<p>We had a beautiful weekend for late March and so I ventured into the herb garden to see what was sprouting and what the damage might be. I tend to do too much during the first days of spring in the herb garden so I’m trying to pace myself this year. (<a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/spring-garden-checklist.aspx”>Learn how to pace yourself.</a>)</p>
<p align=”center”>
<br />
<strong>The Lemon Verbena Lady’s herb garden in early spring.</strong>
</p>
<p>I am always pleased to see a perennial favorite of mine, salad burnet (<em>Poterium sanguisorba</em>). It doesn’t get too large in one season and sometimes reproduces itself, but it is not an herbal thug. It has very pretty red seed heads toward fall. It also has a delightful cucumber flavor and is a great substitute if you can’t tolerate eating cucumbers. I think I will keep the leaves around it so that if we get a frost it will withstand it.</p>
<p align=”center”>
<br />
<strong>Salad burnet peaks out from under the leaves.</strong>
</p>
<p>The next plant is in the<em> Lamium</em> family. It is more of a weed and is called purple henbit dead-nettle. It looks like it belongs in the rock wall, but no! It will just keep reproducing and will take over if you let it.</p>
<p align=”center”>
<br />
<strong>Purple dead-nettle gets cozy in the rock wall.</strong>
</p>
<p>I’m always excited when I can identify a plant, whether it is a weed or an herbal treasure. My favorite weed book is called <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Weeds-Northeast-Comstock-books-Richard/dp/0801483344″ target=”_blank”>
<em>Weeds of the Northeast</em>
</a> by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. DiTomaso (Cornell University Press, 1997). If you live in the Northeast, it is a classic for identifying those pesky weeds.</p>
<p>I wanted to take out some of the annual herbs before the start of the growing season. Although The Herbal Husband keeps them to the last minute hoping for a re-sprout. So when I took out the ‘Minette’ basil sticks (<span class=”gsvLg”>
<em>Ocimum basilicum ‘</em>Minette’)</span>, the overwhelming smell was of basil!</p>
<p align=”center”>
<br />
<strong>Intoxicating Minette basil sticks.</strong>
</p>
<p>It is one of my favorite basils because it has great leaf production and is a smaller size than the regular basil. I had never smelled it so intensely in winter. It took me right back to summer and a tomato, basil and feta cheese salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil!</p>
<p>There were broken stems of lavender, but most of the herb garden survived without problems. I will be editing the garlic chives (<em>Allium tuberosum</em>) that will take over the herb garden if I let them. Overall it was a good start to cleaning up the herb garden. I will work on pruning the thymes, lavenders and other herbs mid-April or so. I don’t want to start pruning too soon because we still could have frost.</p>
<p>
<hr />
<p>If you have questions about clean up or pruning your herbs, please let me know.</p>

Mother Earth Living
Mother Earth Living
The ultimate guide to living the good life!