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The Tough Chores

August 10th, 2015

When it comes to gardening, the toughest chores for me are pruning back the herbs before they’re completely finished blooming. It’s always hard to cut back the few remaining blooms because the bees love them so much. Of course I know that they’ll come back quickly and provide a second flush of bloom before the snow flies, but that still doesn’t make this chore any easier.
tarragon 1
tarragon 2
tarragon 3
Yesterday was the day for most of the tarragon to get pruned. I have three plants that are still in their prime, so those remain. It’s funny how placement of plants can determine their bloom time. These few plants starting blooming two weeks after the first flush of tarragon, they’ll keep blooming for another week or two before I cut them back.
tarragon 4
Another reason to cut back blooming plants is to avoid too much self sowing. Some plants, herbs in particular, can become rather invasive if allowed to set seed. I always cut back the catmint, oregano, tarragon, hyssop, and the other herbs to avoid too many seedlings popping up. I still end up with a few from late blooms or flowers that I miss.

What garden chores are most difficult for you?

3 Comments to “The Tough Chores”
  1. Ilene on August 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I would have to say WEEDING is my toughest chore, followed closely by WATERING. Unfortunately the latter feeds the former. We have really tough weeds: nutgrass, bermuda grass and bind weed. Some weeds are pretty easy to eliminate by just mulching but not these! They grow under the mulch, bermuda and bind weed just keep on growing stolons until they find a place to emerge and then BOOM! The whole area is covered. Roots of both are easily broken and go clear to China so once they’ve established, you can never really get rid of them. Back years ago, when I was still using RoundUp, even THAT didn’t help.

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  2. David The Good on August 10, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Yes! I’ve let some of the broccoli bloom before just because it brought in so many pollinators. Last year I let the whole salad garden go to seed for the same reason – check it out:

    Nice to see there’s another gardener who feels the same way.

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  3. Nebraska Dave on August 10, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Susy, I would have to agree with Ilene with the weeds but the most difficult thing for me emotion wise would be to tear down all the tomato, bean, pepper, and cucumber plants that have produced their hearts out for the entire season. I usually let them grow into death by frost just because I don’t want the season to end. It’s a sad day for me when the seasonal garden cleanup begins. It’s about three months of rest before the spring seeds are planted in their little pots and gardening begins once again. I really have a tough time this year getting rid of the extra plants I grew just in case of a weather event like last year. I still have tomatoes and cabbage struggling to survive in their little pots they were started in oh so long ago. The cabbage I may plant for a fall crop just to see if it works and the tomatoes will just have to be euthanized. It’s sad to see such healthy plants just get composted.

    Have a great day in the herb garden.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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