This area is just outside of the kitchen door, so I figured it’d be a good place for an herb garden! Sticking true to my permaculture values, I’ve chosen to go with a hugelkultur style raised herb bed.

The area you see under the window is where some lovely lavender plants used to reside (sorry, I forgot to snap pics before I mowed down the flowers!). While they’re beautiful, smell great and attract many pollinators, they just weren’t of much use to me.

How to:

  1. Cut down lavender stocks using a hedge trimmer.
  2. Lay down cardboard as the first layer to block any invading growth coming from underneath.
  3. Build your raised garden bed (I used 1×12 common board because it was cheap).
  4. Alternate layers of nitrogen and carbon (green trimmings and dried wood). I had some Iris flowers nearby that were getting out of control, so I just cut it back and used the trimmings here. My yard also had random bits of wood laying around, so I just tossed in whatever I could find.
  5. Add woodchips if you got em’ (not pictured here). Woodchips are the secret sauce to any garden! Seriously
  6. Top it off with a soil of your choosing. Here I used a mixture of steer manure, chicken manure/bedding from my chicken coop, and organic top soil.
  7. Whenever planting a new project, I like to throw in some compost/worms from my worm bin to get a jump start on beneficial bacteria colonization. This will ensure healthy plants, help break down the branches/wood chips and shift this raised bed towards a self-sustaining mini ecosystem.
  8. Plant! Here I have Black Prince heirloom tomato, black cherry tomato, Mammoth Jalapeno pepper, spicy bell pepper, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, and hopefully several varieties of basil soon.