Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Parsley seed progress 5/1/2012
Tam's year old Parsley 4/27/2012
Herb gardening is nice.  I think it's easy to grow them since they act like weeds for the most part.  When you go to the grocery store, take a look at the cost of those herbs.  Wowie are they expensive!  Growing them is cheap, cheap, cheap.  All you need is a little patch of soil and a little tender loving care.  You saw the parsley seeds I planted a bit ago.  When 
I got home on Monday, I was pleased with the progress.  While in Charlotte, I was impressed with my daughter's parsley.  It never went dormant over the winter months and as a result, is taller than my grandson! As you can see from the year old parsley, it has some rambling tendencies, as all herbs do.  For this reason, it's in a raised bed.   Mine are also in containers for this same reason.  It is not uncommon for me to have my herbs carry over from year to year and this happened even when I lived in Chicago, so it's not only in warmer zones.  Most of the herbs like lots of sunshine and good drainage.  There are tons of websites that give great tips on how to preserve the herbs - two of the most popular being  hanging upside down to dry  in a cool, dry, dark place or freezing.  I often just go outside and pull from the plant as I need it - except lavender.  I hang the lavender flowers upside down as they bloom to try to get the plant to become a bit bushier, rather than taller.  Keep in mind that when using fresh herbs, you don't need to use as much as when using older, dried herbs.  Fresh herbs are a little more potent and give a bit more flavor.  The basil is coming a long nicely finally.  I'm not exactly thrilled that it's all bunched together, but at least it's coming up at last.  I was getting a little worried for a while. 
Basil seedlings  5/1/2012
 I'm trying to pick out little basil babies here and there and move them to more appropriate places in the planter now and again, hoping they will not die.  So far, one has crapped out.  We'll keep trying and see what happens.  These bunched up little puppies will cramp each others' style so they can't stay this way.  Soon, I'll have to thin them out.  
The last thing I wanted to talk about were the beans.  Those beans, as you may recall, have been a real challenge this year.  I lost a total of 4 bean plants and my avocado to whitefly.  So, I thought you'd like to know that the remaining bean plants have already been harvested once and are again loaded with beans waiting for Saturday's visit of the little gardener to arrive and gather up the harvest in his basket.  He was so excited about what we gathered that I just don't have the heart to harvest without him.  These beans can wait until the weekend to be cut from the plant.  Considering the rocky start we had, things are indeed looking rosy once again.
Bean harvest 4/22/2012

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