Tag: basil

Herb Garden On the Move

Thank you to you if your loved one did not return from service to our country.  Memorial Day is a time to remember and to hold those lost close in our hearts.

The roller coaster of temperatures has been an interesting challenge this week.  Monday was hot and humid.  Friday we had frost through out the area.  Monday is supposed to be 85 degrees.  We have had some rain, but sunny and windy weather means the soil is drying out and more watering.

I did re-locate the herb garden.

Left - cilantro; Top middle - thyme; Middle - winter savory; Bottom middle - oregano; Right - basil
Left – cilantro; Top middle – thyme; Middle – winter savory; Bottom middle – oregano; Right – basil

It took a good portion of the day, but the herb garden was moved.  Many of the plants were large.  So I only took a small section of them.  If the re-located plants do not make it then I will try another part of the plant.  I really like how this new garden bed looks.   I also added a toad house.

The toad house a cool place to hide
The toad house a cool place to hide

Toad’s eat a lot of insects.  The also tend to eat the insects I do not want eating my plants.  So I like to find ways to encourage them to hang out in my garden. One way is encourage them is to create a shelter where they can go if the sun is intense or they need cover.

Earlier this week on a Micro Farm inspection walk.  I noticed my grapes had been chewed down.

Chewed down grapes
Chewed down grapes

I suspect rabbits ate my grape vines, but I have no proof.   I have added protection so the grapes can recover.

I planed about 150 onion sets.  It took some planting plan changes but I got them all in.

The home of almost 200 onions
The home of almost 200 onions

I have written for several weeks about my rain barrels.  Last week I painted them to help improve their appearance.  One disadvantage of using rain barrels is the low flow pressure.  Raising the height of the barrel uses gravity to increase the pressure.  I have my barrels raised up on cement blocks.  Hopefully, a few flowers and plants can help mask the blocks.

Flowers to mask the cement blocks.
Flowers to mask the cement blocks.
The coleus is no doing so well
The coleus is no doing so well

I was hoping to use coleus to cover these blocks.  It is not doing so well.  I am afraid there might be something in the soil they do not like.

This week I have a bunch of seedlings to transplant.  I also need to start some new seedlings for second crops.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

Unexpected Productivity or Who Knew?

Earlier this afternoon I started to wonder what had happened around the Micro Farm this past week.  The events of the week that first came to mind were good things, and productive, just not around the Micro Farm.

Then I went out to take pictures to document the plant growth of the past week.  The pictures tell the bigger story.   After a light rain in the middle of the past week I realized I needed to re-configure the angle of the gutters.  After thunderstorms today the gutters are working better.

These are things growing well on the Micro Farm  Upper left - strawberries; Upper right - rhubarb; Lower left - blueberry;  Lower right - peas
These are things growing well on the Micro Farm
Upper left – strawberries; Upper right – rhubarb; Lower left – blueberry; Lower right – peas

The rhubarb is coming along well.  It has been a very dry spring for us, and I was concerned it would slow down the rhubarb.  I am please to see it doing well.  I have a rough history with this blueberry bush.  It has been there for about three years.  It has watch me kill its three other compatriots.  Now it is full of green growth.  I am very happy to see it doing so well.  I am looking forward to strawberries, basically for strawberry-rhubarb pie.  Hmm. Now I am hungry.  The peas are pushing their way through the pine needle mulch.  They are looking very strong.  Although, it has been unusually hot here for about a week it is expected to cool down.  This is good news because peas get tough in the heat.

Upper left - cilantro;  Bottom left - basil; Right - alyssum
Upper left – cilantro; Bottom left – basil; Right – alyssum

I have grand plans to re-located my herb bed this spring.  I have a spot that gets a little more shade that I think would be more conducive to herbs.  It would also let me get away from a wildly aggressive mint plant.  So I started a bunch of basil and cilantro.  I also use flowers to help with insect control.  I like alyssum, or carpet of snow, so I started several six packs recently.  It will not be long before they are placed in the gardens.

So while I was thinking not much happened, I am thrilled to be wrong.  There is much more to do this week.  It would be nice to get more done than I think for two weeks in a row, but that might be expecting too much.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

Green to Red. Red Means Go

Mid-July I had received an email informing me late blight was in the area. (You can read the post here.) I decided not to use spray on my tomatoes.  In last week’s post I showed how the blight had killed most of my tomato plants.  On Monday night we picked all the tomatoes, ripe or not.  Regardless of the blight I think it was a successful tomato harvest.

Tomatoes just picked
Tomatoes just picked
Tomatoes almost a week later
Tomatoes almost a week later

Can see a difference in the two pictures?  You may notice a few tomatoes missing because we have been using them.  Mostly, we have been canning this week.  We made ketchup, Swedish Chili Sauce, and salsa.

Some of you canned products from the past week.
Some of you canned products from the past week.

I grew all heirloom varieties this year, and was impressed with their production.  One new variety I grew was Mr. Razz.

A Mr. Razz Tomato
Mr. Razz Tomatoes

Knowing little about these I was excited to see what the fruit would look like.  My opinion is that it would make a very nice market tomato.  It is medium-sized with a wonderful shape and flavor.

Last year’s big producer proved prudent again this year.

A Pruden's Purple Tomato
A Pruden’s Purple Tomato

This is its ripe color.  Not a deep red or purple just a faint, mellow color.  These are really big tomatoes, typically about half or three-quarters of a pound.

All the heirloom tomatoes are meaty and are excellent for how we use them.  I think both Mr. Razz and Pruden’s Purple would be great for slicing.

I am glad I picked all the tomatoes.  I am not sure I can handle more tomatoes than we already have.

My volunteer sunflower is now facing down.  Taking pictures today I notice someone has been enjoying the sunflower seeds.

Suspect sunflower seed shells
Suspect sunflower seed shells

Whoever has been eating my seeds certainly has done a good job.

Half the seeds. Gone.
Half the seeds. Gone.

This evening I will cut off the flower so I can enjoy a few of the seeds myself.

Tomatillos in their husks
Tomatillos in their husks

Mostly neglected this year have been my tomatillos.  They require very little attention and are very productive.  Inside their husk is their tasty fruit.  I gently squeeze the husk to find out what size the fruit is inside.  After I get enough, a delicious spicy salsa will be made.

Back porch basil
Back porch basil

Thinking about all the tomatoes spurred me to start some basil on the back porch.  It looks really good so far.  My plan is to try to keep the basil going as long as I can.  I will probably bring it inside when the nights get too cold.  I also have some cilantro and thyme started as well.  The thyme seeds were several years old and have not germinated well.  The cilantro is on the second planting which is going much better than the first.

What do you do to preserve your bounty?  What do you grow in excessive amounts?  What did you enjoy eating at your Labor Day picnic?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.