Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gardening recap

It's mid-October. I just moved all the herbs from underneath the mulberry tree to up against the house, in the hopes that more direct sunlight and some extra warmth will keep them going a little longer. Something Alaskan in my brain still hurts at that statement, but it's true.

I would bring them inside, but... two cats. That does not end well, or cleanly. In fact, it's dirt and roots and leaves everywhere...

As things go, I know now not to try to grow cherry tomatoes in a planter, because when the gigantic tangle of tomato vines gets higher than 6 feet tall, the sheer wind resistance will start pulling the planter out and knocking the whole thing ever in every bad blow. I currently have it braced with dowels. Next year, I think I'll try planting tomatoes in the actual ground, by the fence, where the tomato cages will be more anchored.

I'll also try a different varietal. This one didn't say it'd turn into a 6 foot tall tangle reminiscent of briar hedges, either, but... the search shall continue. (And my brain is now imagining a riff on the fairy tale cottage overtaken by roses, only this one with cherry tomatoes... actually, this particular varietal would do that in a heartbeat, if it lived long enough!)

Also, next year, no more thai chili peppers. Too hot to eat regularly, and this plant is putting them out by the handful. No, more than that... the stems are starting to bow under the weight of peppers. Apparently I must have some ideal growing conditions, but I don't like them that much!

Maybe some sweet peppers next year?

The rosemary, because I didn't use it enough, has crowded the oregano out of the pot. Next year, I'll have to start a new pot with just oregano - and the same for parsley, as the thyme has decided it is small but mighty, and taking over the world!

On the bright and shiny, I kept everything but the dill and the cilantro alive this year, which is a vast improvement over my first year of gardening in Texas. Next year will be better yet!


  1. NO great loss on the cilantro... :-D

  2. I will concur with old NFO. If I want soap, I know where to find it.
    Now, losing the dill? That's depressing.

  3. For the peppers: wash, cut off the stems, and freeze them in either a quality freezer ziplock, with as much of the air out of it as possible, or in a vacuum sealed bag. While they won't be "crisp from the garden" after being frozen they'll be fine for salsas, or jelly, or other cooked applications where perfect crisp texture isn't needed.

    You can do the same with the tomatoes actually if you want. Next year look for a "determinate" variety. Most that you can get seeds for are "indeterminate" and continue to produce and grow throughout the season, while determinate varieties set most of their fruit at about the same point and are less likely to turn into a jungle plant.

  4. Old NFO - the reason I planted cilantro in the first place was because I know I'm the only one in this house who likes it, and what's the point of having an entire cluster go off when I'm only using a few sprigs? But it has its place in Thai food, darn it, and the dish just doesn't taste right without it.

    Orvan - I was sad when the dill bolted. I fought valiantly, and got several good dishes out of that plant, but once the temperature went above 90, that plant was determined to bolt, seed, and die. *sigh*

    I'd do an indoor plant except, well, cats. Cats and indoor herbs are a gleefully, joyous, muddy-pawed, dirt-everywhere mix... that ends poorly for the plants, and the person trying to clean up the house afterwards.

    Ruth: I have one jar of peppers soaking in bourbon following LawDog's direction, and one pack in the freezer following your direction.

    My biggest hesitation on getting determinate tomatoes is that they won't set fruit above 92 degrees, so I'll have to get the timing on the planting right or I won't get tomatoes at all. (And you have to replant after summer's back is broken to get a fall crop.) Maybe next year I'll do both, to hedge my bets!

  5. I have to admit that setting fruit at high temps isn't a problem I have, so that never occurred to me. Good luck!