Monday, July 9, 2012

Herbs, Your Garden Sentry

Did you ever think of your herbs as being garden sentries?  Well, they can be.
What exactly is the definition of sentry? The dictionary says it's this: A guard, especially a soldier, posted at a given spot to prevent the passage of unauthorized persons.
Even though my herbs are not soldiers, I have been using them as guards and sentries, and the "person" they are guarding against are deer!  When I created my Square Foot Garden, I planned my herb 4x4 square so that it would be on the side of my yard that the deer were most likely to pass by. My herb square contains rosemary, oregano, thyme, along with others, but these three are good deer deterrents.  Deer have very sensitive noses, and they don't like to be near anything with a powerful scent. 
At the entrance to my garden area, I placed a pot of herbs at each end.  One contains lemon balm, because I like it, and the other container is mint.  Deer hate mint.
I  planted two marigold plants in others squares with the vegetables. (Marigolds are not herbs, but I thought you might like to know, if you didn't already, that deer and rabbits do not like marigolds-- well, the rabbits will nibble the young early buds at the beginning of the season, but after that, they will not touch them.) Each marigold takes up a 12-inch square and it was hard to give up the space to a flower, but it has proven to be a big help. The scent of each marigold will penetrate 10 feet, so you really don't need many. If you like to make it pretty, plant a row of marigolds around your garden, or even make a border of lavender, one of my favorite "sentries." I plan on edging my daylilies with herb sentries next year, just for extra protection.
The season is far from over, but so far I have not seen a deer print anywhere near my garden, and no rabbits have stopped by for a nibble The raccoons are not digging into my root vegetables, either!  I have begun to harvest a few things, and, so far, have not had to sacrifice anything to my hungry woodland friends, thanks to my herbs, my  garden sentry!

You might also like to visit my cooking blog at An Herbal Bedfellow.


DocSly said...

Jane, the pictures are beautiful and the advice is great. I have trouble growing herbs. Might I water them too much?

Jane Marie said...

Hi Doc, Good to hear from you again! Yes, most herbs love the drought and actually do well in sandy, well- drained soil. Watering once a week is all they generally need. Also, make sure they don't crowd themselves out. Years ago I was not attracted to herbs because whenever I saw them in a special herb garden they always looked so dry and uninviting. I then learned that's what they liked!