Tag Archives: garden

What we all need to plant this year…

2 Apr

Garden for Life

This is such a lovely article by my insurance broker Lois, that I had to share it. As the days grow longer, I’ve been pondering my gardens and how they will look this year. Lois takes it a step further, reminding us that life is a garden that must be tended with care…

What we all need to plant this year » South Shore MA Insurance News & Information | Lois Drukman.

What will you do?


Kitchen Garden – Early August – and Recipe

5 Aug

The first tomato

My kitchen garden is small, and mostly healthy, but I think the final result will be a low yield this season and that’s okay. I’ve already enjoyed a couple of small tomatoes as well as rosemary, basil, lemon thyme and cilantro. There’s more to come, as you can see from the picture. Also, my Christmas cactus seems very comfortable among the herbs and veggies, so I expect amazing blooms from it around early December, when it usually blooms.

The first tomato, harvested and admired for a day, was added to sliced fresh mozzarella and a few leaves of fresh basil inside two slices of my favorite sandwich bread, buttered, for a quick and delicious panini. I use my panini pan, which has a heavy cover to press the sandwich together, aiding and abetting the delicious meltiness on the inside and crunchiness on the outside, but it works on a regular grill or frying pan with another heavy pan on top to compress the sandwich.

With this garden setup, I’ve gleaned some new insight about gardening by observing, reading, and talking to experienced gardeners. I’m fairly certain I’ve not fed the plants often enough. And I learned that cilantro likes a sandy soil, which I did not provide, and which I imagine is why it has steadily withered to just yellowish stalks with barely any leaves. See the photo below if you want to know what that looks like. Good lesson, and I was lucky enough to harvest cilantro very early in the season for use in a few terrific batches of homemade salsa and guacamole.

After years of battling with slugs, I’ve vowed (once again) never to attempt growing marigolds. Whether in the ground or in plant pots, my marigolds have always been decimated by slugs. I’ve put tiny little containers of beer out to help the slugs to get drunk and forget about the marigolds. I’ve added crushed egg shells to surround the base of the marigold plants, as I read that slugs would rather not travel over ground cover with sharp edges. We must grow super-powerful slugs in our yard (maybe it’s the beer!), as these deterrents have been unsuccessful after repeated applications. I know you can pour salt on a slug to kill it, but I just can’t do it. Like having a baby, though, I’ll probably forget about the pain of the slug battle with the passing of time and plant marigolds again in a couple of years…

Sad cilantro

Sad withered cilantro, in a pot with lazy basil

Happy August to you! Please share any gardening tips you may have, particularly with regard to slugs.

Kitchen Garden Update

15 Jun
Kitchen Garden 06-15-11

Progress in the Garden

It’s June 15 – the kitchen garden is progressing nicely as you can see from today’s photo – and my Christmas Cactus has joined the group to take advantage of the tremendous amount of liquid sunshine falling from the skies of late.

I’ll update from time to time…

Click here for the original Kitchen Garden Post

Kitchen Garden – The Beginnings

26 May
Kitchen Garden in May

My Kitchen Garden

Here’s my little back porch kitchen garden this morning, two and a half weeks after planting day. The sun is finally shining after many days of cold and rain, so I wanted to catch a photo just as things start to progress. Actually it has rained just about the entire time since I brought these plants home from the store and planted them in my own pots, including the grass seed in the small pot. The rain began as I crouched in the yard repotting everything, and soaked things beautifully for most of the past two weeks.

We’ve already enjoyed the basil in caprese salad (sliced tomato, mozzarella, basil, good olive oil, salt and pepper) a couple of times, but I fear it may now be suffering the effects of too much water and too little sun. If it continues to wilt, I’ll replace it over the weekend. The cilantro (Wikipedia tells us it is the leaves of the coriander plant) is perfect in your favorite tomato salsa recipe, with or without avocado. Cilantro looks like parsley, but has a bit of a citrusy bite to it.

The rosemary will find its use mainly in chicken and pork dishes on the grill all summer and into the fall, then I plan to over-winter the rosemary plant indoors. I’ve seen that work well for others, provided the plant has adequate sunshine.

I chose two varieties of container tomato plants, one produces slightly smaller fruit, which I don’t expect to harvest until late August. Meanwhile, I’m religiously pinching off the small green shoots that crop up at 45 degrees or so in the elbow between two branches. This will help the plant grow tall and strong.

I planted regular old grass seed in the smallest pot because I saw the idea in a magazine and love how the grass adds a delicate texture to the grouping. No mowing required.

I’ll tend and water, pinch and feed, and talk to my little kitchen garden for the summer and enjoy all the delicious gifts it provides.

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