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  • Writer's pictureToni Kenyon

Herb Garden Maintenance for Autumn Society Garlic newly split
Newly split Society Garlic

There's no doubt that an affordable, easy and great way to enhance the flavour of your foods is to have your own herb garden at your back door.

I'm lucky enough to have designed a herb garden that sits just outside my kitchen and I can pop outside to grab handfuls of fresh herbs to delight the family's taste buds.

With autumn well and truly in her stride here in New Zealand, now is a great time to tidy up the annual herbs that are past their summer best, split herbs that need splitting and sow some seeds for the up-coming cooler months.

I'm blessed to live in the equivalent of US hardiness zone 10, so I don't have hard frosts, or snow over the winter months. This means that I can pretty much continue to grow most of my greens and my herbs during winter.

It also means that eradication of pests is not a thing here, so my best defence for over-wintering pests is to do a good tidy up of the garden.

The border containing one of my Rosemary bushes and my Pizza Thyme (L-R above) is a well filled border that is also a permanent home to Sage, Sorrel and Salad Burnet--it's a complete accident that all these S's ended up in the same bed together!

This bed is also a transient home for an assortment of annual herbs--Italian Parsley, Calendula, Violas, Heartsease and various self-seeded greens that find a happy home at any given time during the year.

Yesterday I spotted tiny baby calendula plants coming up, new parsley, baby violas, chickweed (a beautiful addition to salads) and baby Lambs Lettuce all poking their heads out of the soil now that the nights are much cooler and the sunlight hours are shorter.

A clump of Society Garlic needed splitting up and spreading around the garden, so that was another a quick job I did yesterday. The balance of the garden in front of the newly split garlic has now been sown with Coriander (Cilantro) seeds.

The balance of the beds will be weeded, mulched and I haven't decided what annuals I will add around the permanent perennial residents.

There's pineapple sage and mainly mints confined to the other beds, with a struggling patch of Lemon grass that may have to be moved into it's own pot and put out in more direct sunlight. I don't think it's helping the poor thing that the cats seem to think it is their own personal supply of cat grass!

I'm sorely tempted to dig the mints up and put them out in the juvenile food forest--but I have memories of mints getting everywhere in a former home--so I'm still not sure whether that's the right way to go.

What are you planting at the moment?

Happy growing.


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