Growing a vegetable garden is such a rewarding experience. There is so much to learn and every day is a new experience. As gardeners and farmers, we rely on nature to provide us with essentials that are needed to make things grow. We have been lucky this summer to have been granted lots of rain (so forgetful growers like me don't have to replace dead plants as often) and enough sunshine to give the plants a good start. That being said, if we have other resources that are readily available and will help our plants do well, we should use them. I have my parents who are long-time gardeners and have enough years of experience between the two of them to grown food for an entire nation. Although they don't always agree, it would be silly of me to not use them as valuable resources when it comes to asking for advice. Clearly I don't always ask for advice and that's when things go terribly wrong. But, that's also when I learn the best lessons. Lesson #1 - take the time to make a quick call when you have a question. Lesson #2 - Patience is a virtue!
This is the bed where I had planted some lavender about 4 years ago. It was growing so well and it was almost carefree (I just enjoyed it...I didn't even water it!). I think it liked where it was planted. But, last fall, I thought it was getting too bushy so I cut it back (without looking into how to do it). It turns out that you should ideally wait until spring and then, when it starts to show greenery, cut it back just above the new growth.
I waited and waited (and hoped and hoped) that they would start to show some greenery...anything. But, as you can see from this picture, the stems got more and more dry as the days went on. It was growing nice weeds but no lavender! So, I dug them up and replenished the soil with some manure from the garden center.