Grit Blogs > Gardening with Vickie

Trial and Error in the Herb and Vegetable Garden

A photo of Vickie MorganThis year I’ve tried many different things in both my vegetable and herb garden so some of things have been trial and error. I’ve never had a specific place to grow herbs or have grown and harvested the amount I have this year. I’ve dried the majority on my herbs on my drying rack that I made with a dowel bought from the hardware store inserted some cup hooks and then used twine to hang it up with.

Herbs drying on the drying rack

Most of herbs have dried well except the chives. I read last week that a lady dried her chives under a sheet in the shade and it took about a day. So I gave it a try – after a week they are a mess and still not dry. Michigan weather can be humid so maybe that’s the problem.

Drying mess of chives

For now I think we will just enjoy the fresh chives while we can and maybe I’ll bring some inside to grow for the winter, unless I come upon another method of drying them.

In the vegetable garden we’ve decided to go organic. We have not used any fertilizer (we used compost), and we haven’t used any chemicals for the bugs. So far, so good, the vegetable garden is growing with out a problem. Though when we first planted the garden and it was too cold for anything to grow, we thought, it if we had put fertilizer on it – would that have heated the ground enough for it to grow? We almost went and bought a bag of fertilizer to see if it would work! The temptation was there, but we were strong and held out, and, you know, the garden is beautiful.

But yesterday, walking through the garden, I’d noticed more holes in the potato plants and realized just squishing the potato beetles is not working. Our usual way is to get some Sevin insecticide and sprinkle it on top. You can just see the bugs drop off, but now we are looking for a better solution.

Well, you know me I got to researching on line and heard about the beer thing. You place containers around the garden filled with beer, and the bugs go to it and drown. So on the way home from church yesterday, dressed in our Sunday finest, I asked Bat to stop and get some beer. After I explained real fast what I wanted it for, so he would stop giving me wild looks, I realized he wouldn’t stop even for the sake of his prized Yukon Gold Potatoes.

So back to more research and I found a website that suggested shaking flour on the plants. I put flour in a canning jar and Bat put small holes on top with a nail and hammer. Now my vegetable garden is sprinkled with flour, it kind of felt like the old days with the Sevin.

So far this has worked – you have to make sure you first kill the bugs you see and then sprinkle heavily with the flour. Then, of course, the bugs just traveled down the road to the beans so I spread some on them also.