Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme {Kitchen Garden News}'s Monday again! I hope everyone had a great weekend. We took advantage of the cooler temps and started winterizing our kitchen garden. Not sure I ever came right out and said it, but, our kitchen garden was awful this year. Not the design, of course, which was awesome, but the plantings themselves. Most of our plantings produced very little to no fruit, giving us little reason to extend the life of the garden. 

sadly, one of our biggest harvests

I'm sure there a lot of contributing factors that played into our sad little garden this year, the most obvious being a total lack of regard to soil conditioning. In Chicago, we brought in new garden soil for our raised gardens, allowing for solid fruitful harvests. It was so easy in the raised bed gardens, that we didn't even think to worry about soil conditioning here in Charlotte. Obviously, that was a mistake because the soil here is more clay than soil and next to impossible to plant in. 
Fortunately, gardening is all about trial and error, so we'll try again next year. In the meantime, we're concentrating on improving our soil condition over the winter, reorganizing the beds, and making some aesthetic improvements. 

rye, fall covercrop

In the off chance you've experienced low harvest yield too, here are some of the ideas we're considering:
1. turning over, breaking up and aerating the soil/clay.
2. adding compost/humus/soil conditioner/etc. details here.
3. planting a fall covercrop to revitalize soil. details here.

Now onto the most important part - the aesthetic improvements. I kid, I kid. Clearly, it's all about the soil. Or is it… ;)
After one season in our new garden under our belts, so to speak, we've realized we have a lot more sun than we anticipated and a lot more space than we needed. Because of this, we've decided to keep the vegetable portion of our garden to just 3 of the 6 beds. 

germander and boxwood borders

We want the garden to have an overall organized and consistent look, despite the fact 3 beds will be plants and 3 will be vegetables. To achieve a consistent look we're planning to incorporate the same border throughout. We've done a lot of research and come across several options for borders, like:
1. creeping thyme
2. boxwood
3. Japanese holly
4. germander

Due to space constraints, we are leaning toward a germander borders on the internal edges, paired with our existing Japanese holly border on the exterior edge. 
I love the contrast between the structured edging and the more wild plantings within and can't wait to recreate a similar look in our own garden. 
I'll share updated garden pictures soon. True to form, we got so carried away with our garden work we ran out of light before I had a chance to capture our progress on camera. 

Hope you had a great weekend!

until next time,