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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How does my (herb) garden grow?

With some inside, and some outside, and I can’t think of a rhyme at the moment.

As the colder weather came on, I dragged the pots in and out of the garage. That worked OK for a while, until it got into the low 20s one night and the basil started getting frostbite. Then I moved them inside, putting them on the coffee table by a window. Mrs. Fetched, for some reason, didn’t want them there (it might have had something to do with the basil almost touching the ceiling)... but I convinced her to wait until I got the carpet down in the outbuilding & things moved back in. That turned out to be a great idea, because she helped & recruited the boys to help as well.

So. In the outbuilding, with a window by day and a plant light by night: basil, marjoram, oregano, and thyme. The oregano especially is liking its new surroundings, shooting out several large sprouts, but the marjoram (after clipping dried stems and flower buds) and thyme are both showing plenty of new growth. The basil dropped a lot of leaves after its frostbite episode, but is showing some new growth here and there. I’m clipping off dried flower stalks and stems that don’t have any growth, hoping the rest of it will come back a bit better. Basil likes lots of light and lots of water, I’ve found — if I don’t water it every 2 or 3 days, it starts to wilt.

Outside: parsley, rosemary, and sage. That rosemary is one tough hombre — The Boy actually ran it over with the van once during the Summer of Discontent; it bent over and sprang back up like it was nothing. It wintered over like a pine tree, shrugging off the cold with aplomb. But my uncle (a retired chef) had the Food Channel on when we were visiting him (he lives fairly close to my mom & bro), and the Barefoot Contessa went out and clipped some fresh rosemary off a plant that must have been the size of some of our shrubs. Now where’s that plant food??? My mother-in-law uses sage in her canning expeditions; she knows she can get what she needs when she needs it. The parsley hung around and did OK through the summer, but really started thriving when the cooler weather arrived. I had a cilantro plant going, but it died for unknown reasons during the summer... maybe too much water.

I want to make a bed for growing garlic... but as cheap as garlic bulbs are at the supermarket, I might not bother.


  1. What a wonderful description of the herb garden!

    Now that the rain has settled a little here in No. CA I'll check out what didn't drown in the latest rains! I have a covered and sort of enclosed patio so I may borrow some of your ideas!

  2. Heh — if you have basil, just leave it out in the rain. When the tropical systems were drenching us pretty much all through July, my basil plant shot up like two feet.


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