jmhall23
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Cleaning out veggie garden

Hello All!

I am new to gardening (I live in Washington zone 8b), I am trying to plan my garden for this upcoming spring. I have been given a space to use, last spring it was full of herbs (also the previous gardener had mint outside of a container so it was all over this space) and lettuce. I just removed all that I could pull up a couple weeks ago but there was a lot of roots that I noticed. If I till the soil and plant new herbs will anything grow back from what I tried to remove?

Also, im doing some research and am overwhelmed by the possibilities I will have 3 4x12 raised garden spaces (new that im building) I am confused with the terms perennial and biennial.. I get that they mean 2 years and more than two years... but what if I want to change my garden for next year? How do I know im removing the plants good enough?

Sorry if these questions are obvious ;D

imafan26
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Re: Cleaning out veggie garden

Welcome and congratulations on your new garden. Mint can be very invasive. If you don't get all of the roots, chances are it will be back.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cleaning out veggie garden

There's no such thing as removing what's there well enough that none of it will come back. Doing weed control through out the season is just part of the gardening life. Once what you plant in the spring is sprouted and a few inches high, if you lay down a thick layer of organic mulch (can be shredded paper, pulled weeds, grass clippings, fall leaves, pine straw, etc etc), it will go a long way in suppressing the regrowth of roots and seeds in the soil and new ones that come in, as well as preserving moisture in the soil, and ultimately breaking down to add nutrients to the soil.
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imafan26
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Re: Cleaning out veggie garden

Herbs are annuals: basil, coriander, dill, arugula,borage, chervil, fenugreek, nasturtiums, roselle, perilla, epazote, sesame

Biennials which will grow the first year and flower in the second: parsley, caraway, green onions

or perennials like: mint, rosemary, bay leaves, Mexican tarragon, sage, lemon grass, garden chives, garlic chives, oregano, thyme, lavender, ginger (it does die back to the ground every year), turmeric, horseradish, scented geraniums, echinacea, verbena, lemon balm, bee balm, pineapple sage, and hot peppers.

There are many others that I still have not mentioned. Most of the shrubby herbs and spice trees will be perennial in milder zones. Others will require winter protection in colder zones. Herbs are a very diverse group.

Invasive herbs like the mints, lemon balm, artemesia are best kept contained in pots and they do need to be monitored to keep them from choking themselves out or escaping. The herbs that are not hardy in your area should probably also be kept in pots so they can be sheltered for the winter.

Even among the herbs there is a wide range of soil preferences and light requirements. Most want to be in the sun, but the grey leaved herbs require much less water than the mints and their relatives (they all have square stems), which prefer a moist rich soil. Rosemary, and lavender are two herbs that I know that prefer well drained soils that are not too rich.

Some herbs like dill, borage, perilla, fenugreek, cilantro, caraway, flax seed, and nasturtiums will only grow best for part of the year for me.

Many of the herbs will reseed and come back, that is what happens for me with lemon basil, thai basil, sesame, epazote, and perilla. The fennel would probably also reseed, but I collect the seeds and pull the fennel usually before that happens. Fennel can be a perennial, but I grow finocchio fennel for the bulbs so I start with new ones every year.

Spearmint, plantain, and gotu kola are weeds in my garden. The gotu kola and plantain blew over from the medicinal herb garden, the sesame from the Children's garden, and the mint escaped .
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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digitS'
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Re: Cleaning out veggie garden

The only weed-free garden is one that is temporary and matches the time the gardener has for weeding. Weed seed will come from everywhere to populate your soil with plants you have no or little use for.

To limit the amount of time required pulling them through the growing season, really try to get as many of those mint roots out as possible. Loosen the soil and work with the realization that even tiny segments will likely grow a new plant.

Since you posted this in the vegetable forum and since most herbs are used in such limited amounts, I'm thinking that you intend to grow some vegetables. There are only a few perennials, like asparagus. Biennial veggies aren't likely to give you much trouble. You will harvest your head of cabbage, for example. By the end of the season and after garden clean-up, there are no cabbage plants left to bloom and set seeds in the following year. If you leave a kale plant to continue the harvest, the leaves will lose quality as it begins to bolt to seed in the spring. Time to get it out of the way.

Have Fun in 2015!

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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jal_ut
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Re: Cleaning out veggie garden

Till it up and plant. Yes you may get some re-growth. Plus some weeds coming from seed that comes on the wind. Weeding is part of the gardening scene. You just plan on it. Hoe them out, pull them out, whatever it takes. If you keep the green off those long-lived roots they will eventually run out of energy and die.
I spend more time weeding than planting, harvesting and watering put together. My water comes from the reservoir 3 miles down a canal that is lined with weeds, the water comes with weed seed in it. Weeds are a fact of life. They are in the soil. They come on the wind. Water and plant weeds. Just have to pull them out and hoe, hoe, hoe.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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