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Valuing the margins  RSS feed

 
Honor Marie
Posts: 21
Location: San Francisco area, USDA zone 9
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What's going on at the edges of your annual beds?

Weeds like to set themselves up in the gap between my mulched pathways and my wooden raised beds. Then they slip in between the boards to invade the bed. I'm thinking I need a new approach. Since the edge of the pathway is such an enticing spot, maybe I should plant something there. There is no rain here in the summer, so it would have to be something that can survive on a few drops of irrigation runoff. Maybe wildflowers? Bulbs?

How do you defend/maximize your edges?

 
Emilie Thomas-Anderson
Posts: 50
Location: Ben Lomond, CA
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I tend to get "weeds" at the edges between my annual beds and paths, too - dandelion, plantain, and purslane especially, all of which are edible! You might try planting/encouraging purslane in those spots. It's drought tolerant, grows nice and low (at least, the wild version does; you can buy seeds of varieties that are more upright, though) so it won't obstruct sunlight for your annuals or get too annoying in your pathway, and it makes a tasty cooked green.

A California native bulb called Brodiaea laxa might be an interesting option, too. Very drought tolerant with pretty purple flowers and supposedly edible bulbs (though I haven't tried them yet, so can't attest as to their palatability).
 
Charli Wilson
Posts: 312
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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cat chicken urban
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I have spring flowering bulbs around the edges of my beds, they're the first things to sprout and flower months before it is warm enough to plant my main veggies- they let me know that spring is on the way! And they've flowered and done with by the time I get the veggies in the beds, so they don't really take up any room.

I plant daffadils and crocus and snowdrops- but they're for my English climate.
 
Jan White
Posts: 104
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
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Herbs might work well. In my garden, oregano spreads into a nice low-growing mat quite quickly and keeps weeds down with very little watering.

If you're not worried about productivity, maybe sempervivums or sedums.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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Jan White wrote:Herbs might work well. In my garden, oregano spreads into a nice low-growing mat quite quickly and keeps weeds down with very little watering.

If you're not worried about productivity, maybe sempervivums or sedums.


Actually, that's a very good idea. I frequently consider doing knot style borders with thyme varieties, they're easy to keep under control. There are small rosemary cultivars which should, likewise, be easy to keep to a manageable size. This is my first year with a curry plant, but it looks like it will share the same growing habit. Probably winter savory, garlic and traditional chives grow into a dense stand, if you let them but mine haven't wandered the garden yet. Mind you, it's probably to dry where I'm not watering occasionally. Anyone else want to chime in with smaller perennials herbs that could work here?

Sorry for grabbing your idea and running so far with it, I'm just kicking myself that I didn't do this instead of having a dedicated herb bed. In fact, the more I think about it the more I think it might be worth transplanting my herbs around the garden and repurposing that space.
 
Jan White
Posts: 104
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
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Casie Becker wrote:[Anyone else want to chime in with smaller perennials herbs?

Sorry for grabbing your idea and running so far with it, I'm just kicking myself that I didn't do this instead of having a dedicated herb bed. In fact, the more I think about it the more I think it might be worth transplanting my herbs around the garden and repurposing that space.


Run all you like!

I use larger herbs like sage the same way - just harvest them more to keep them small.
 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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