I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rescue me

Right around the holidaze, and well into the Winter That Would Not Stop, not even for a freakin minute, and after the December snowstorm had mostly melted, guess what I found pokin' its tiny little self up through the ravaged earth? The French tarragon I forgot to dig up and bring inside in November. So it was hastily dug up right then and there, lest the garden gods snatch back its second chance at life, and it has been growing happily on the light stand since. I don't think it was more than a couple millimeters tall when I found it, and has grown several inches since then (sorry 'bout mixing the measuring standards).

Then after the February blizzards mostly melted, I went searching for the herbs that were left in the ground intentionally, as under "normal" circumstances things such as oregano, thyme, and rosemary can handle the winters here.

Sure enough, there were a few survivors, so I brought in and potted up a representative of each just in case we get nailed for a FOURTH snowstorm/blizzard/whatever before old man winter is finished with us. The rescues included thyme, oregano, lavender, and lemon balm (which nuclear fallout couldn't even kill, so I don't know why I brought any of that in). They are all recuperating in ugly little black starter pots now, and today got to spend a little more time in the sunshine, as for some unexplained reason we have had reasonable temperatures this weekend. The lemon grass on the right was actually brought in well before any snow, so it's been creeping along inside all winter, despite the occasional nibble from the cats. The lavender in the middle is pretty spindly, but should survive. I'm afraid the rosemary succumbed, so new seeds have been started.

And the basil seedlings that got started in November (inside) are actually attaining some size now, after spending two months in an applesauce cup (yes, all four of them were started in the same cup. They were getting rather snug). They are all much happier in their new (old) pot.

I usually grow Basilico 'Monstruoso' as the normal summer basil, because it really does get geenormous. This one is 'Cameo', and was developed for pot culture. Despite being compact, it is supposed to put out respectably sized and flavored leaves. So far so good. The leaves are actually big enough to do a little cooking with. The plants are 3" tall or so, after being liberated from their cruel and unusual confinement, and I'm looking forward to some pesto here very shortly. Which reminds me, the herbs that will be put out in the spring need to get started- time to rustle up some more applesauce cups.

Update 3/19/10: the basil seedlings are doing much too well in one 8" pot, and will be upgraded to at least a 12" pot very shortly.


  1. I really enjoy all your posts about gardening. Due to health reasons we didn't plant one last year, but this year we'd like to get one going. We always have to plant a little late because of work. (After April 15th)

    Do you know much about raised bed gardening?
    Any suggestions on where to look?

  2. Funny you should ask, as raised bed was the way I began gardening. Check out Mel Bartholomew's book "Square Foot Gardening", and go to his website "http://www.squarefootgardening.com/". It is all covered there!

    You don't necessarily have to spend a lot to build a raised bed, and you can start out with just a small one; there are several ways to do it, so start with Mel's suggestions.

    Also take a look at http://www.vegetablegardener.com/, because they have a wealth of ideas, and Mel does a feature from time to time with Patty Moreno, The Garden Girl, who has a website at http://www.gardengirltv.com/.

    The fun has just begun!

  3. Thanks. I'm off to look for this book.

    We want to at minimum grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and a few fun things like that. Those items you can eat all summer long and never tire of.

    I can buy local string (green) beans far cheaper than I can grow them and onions, too. I'm not sure about any other veggies though.

  4. Funny you should mention string beans- they have been very pricey here as of late (which they probably should be, since it's only March). Also try spring onions instead of bulb onions this year, as spring onions in my area are pretty expensive to buy, but very easy to grow, and can produce a cut-and-come again crop if you get the bunching kind. And get some herb seeds planted- herbs such as chives, parsley, basil, dill, and oregano are easy-peasy and great for small spaces.