June 9, 2011
It may not look like much, but I love my little garden! I'm not quite sure if I can call it a garden, but the assorted containers on our back porch (which isn't quite a porch either) are doing well, despite not being in the full sun. I could move them to an area that gets more sun, but I selfishly love having them right outside my back door, even if they grow a little slower . I am surprised by how much fun I had planting them all and now watering them, moving them around and making sure they are doing okay.
I have basil, mint, parsley, dill, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, peas, a strawberry plant, arugula, lettuce, nasturtiums and calendula. There is a pot with two cucumber plants which I hope to trellis up the porch as it grows. I also have two hanging tomato plants. I'm not sure how well they will do, but I guess tomato plants in containers sometimes do better hanging than growing upwards. You can buy upside down tomato planters, but I decided to make them myself since I had some sturdy green canvas on hand. After I sewed them, I stuck the tomato plant in the bottom and filled them up with soil. They are pretty heavy and I'm a little nervous about strong winds, but I hope they will be sturdy enough.
It was amazing to see the tomato go from hanging upside down to growing up toward the sun in a matter of hours!
A few people have asked me about the best way to harvest basil. I wait until they are big enough and look for a spot where two new leaves are growing next to the stem. I pinch the stem off between the two new leaves which will grow and allow the plant to branch (I drew a diagram, I hope it helps). You can continue harvesting them this way as they grow. We celebrated our first basil harvest with accompanying tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
It's only Thursday, but I'm already looking forward to spending my spare time this weekend in the kitchen doing some baking, early season canning, and getting ready for a food swap! I hope you have a delicious weekend, too!