Garden Tour: Spring 2013
I’m keeping things simple in the garden this year. I’m sticking to what has been working for me well the last few years, and that’s herbs and tomatoes in containers. I find them so much easier to maintain as far as weeds and watering go, my kids really help in the watering department so it’s fun for them too. I added a few new herbs to the collection this year, ones I always find myself in need of and I added two more pots of tomatoes.
We cooked with our first “harvest” just last night…
Take a look at what else is growing out back this year:
Thyme and Mexican Tarragon (new this year!)
Thai Basil (new this year too!)
Sage and Chives – these guys are so easy to keep up year after year – I’ve had these plants for at least 4 years. My son loves tasting fresh chives every time he’s out here.
Rosemary – I grow this in the ground as a shrub – it’s become more of a beast, needs a little trimming. Smells amazing if you brush up against it as you walk by. Another herb that has been with me for years, very easy to keep up with.
Mint – from my grandpa, it’s been with me forever. It always brings back childhood memories of living in NY where we had hedges and hedges of fresh mint growing along our walkway. My sister and friends and I would be constantly tasting it, like my kids do now. It goes to sleep every winter and before you know it you start to see green pop up in the dirt come spring, super low maintenance herb. Mojitos for me again come Fall! 🙂
Fresh Oregano – mild, but so flavorful. It goes wonderfully in tomato salads but my favorite is to add it along with olive oil to roasted red peppers.
Culantro – another old favorite of mine that I’ve had for almost 6 years! I gave up growing regular cilantro last year, it never lasts long for me and I’d rather use it’s more potent cousin culantro – shown here. Very easy to maintain, will continue to reproduce as you pinch off the spiky flowery looking parts. You can also pinch those off and use them as cuttings to start new plants. That’s how this one started after a neighbor gave me some from their plants, it was the first time I’d ever seen this herb. Use it as you would cilantro, just need less of it and I chop it up finer.
Key Lime and Meyer Lemon Tree – I picked this little tree up at a Farmer’s Market about 4 years ago specifically for a big pot just like this. They told me it could take a few years to see some fruit. My grandpa would rather see this little tree in the ground, but I like it in a pot. This year I grew my first key limes on it! Very exciting 🙂
One of four tomato plants – this one is a cherry tomato plant. I have 2 cherry tomato plants and 2 patio tomato plants this year. (on a side note: my grandpa has over tomato 60 plants in ground this year, he cut back from the past where he’s had over 100. I want to be him when I’m 81 years old!!!)
And how can I forget….Basil. Started from seed (always works best for me). The more you use, the more it grows!
I was a little sad to not have a full garden going this year, but I know realistically that I just wouldn’t be able to keep up with it in the heat while pregnant (learned that during my first pregnancy almost 9 years ago! 🙂 ). The herbs are truly my favorite part of gardening, they bring me so much inspiration and flavor in cooking, especially this time of year. I’m really excited about this year’s container garden.
Are you growing anything this year? Share! And share how you love to cook with any of the herbs in my garden…I would love to hear ideas!
Check out past garden posts from the blog here.
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You’re so lucky you can already enjoy the first harvest from your garden, Aggie! Can’t wait until we can too, but it’s too early to plant still yet – only 45 degrees today here in southern NJ. Brrr! Definitely want to try the Culantro, hadn’t heard about it before reading your post. 🙂
brrr 45!!! It’s been such a weird winter for everyone. My grandpa usually gets his seedlings going here in early February (and keeps them in a warm spot and covered when need be). March is usually when I get started, though it was a lot later this year. My in ground garden has never really been able to handle the summers here so it’s almost necessary to start early!
I hope it warms up for you very soon! And yes, try that culantro! The texture is a little different, but the flavor is more intense.
ALWAYS love your garden and herb posts, Aggie. Makes me want to come visit and have you cook for me! 🙂
I would love that Sandy 🙂 I feel the same about your garden!!
Right now I have a few herbs growing indoors, but it’s still too cold outside to have anything growing there. Well, I do have a few leftover sprigs of kale that are coming back from last year. That stuff is resilient…which is what is needed in my yard (between the weather and my poor gardening follow-through!). Thanks for sharing these photos and this post – it is inspirational!
Most of the stuff I grow seems to be resilient too Marly – for the same reasons! I finally found the perfect spot in my yard, and the herbs that have lasted the years seem to be very forgiving 🙂
Wow, I am so jealous! I can’t even imagine having tomatoes in my garden right now. I guess I need to move to FLA! 🙂 Totally loving the culantro too….gotta find that!
Hey what do you put on your garden to keep insects and bugs from attacking? My garden bit the dust this past year because we were afraid to put certain stuff on it because I was expecting.
I’ve struggled with bugs in my in ground garden in the past too Meagan. Haven’t had much luck. With my containers however I don’t have as many problems. I do find caterpillars eating up my plants at times (just found a ton on one of my mint plants – figuring out how to deal with that one, moved it for now so they wouldn’t migrate to my other plants). The caterpillars you can just flick off (or spray off with hose) and really manage it that way. They can do some damage so keep an eye and get them early (look for holes in the leaves, they are black and usually hang on stems or under leaves).
I’ve read up on lots of natural ways to help with bugs, but honestly haven’t tried much. Heather at Farmgirl Gourmet or Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer may actually know more about it!
I garden organically, not professionally, but for myself. Bugs are always a problem here in WV – lushness of life brings lushness of bugs too! I have found that products from Gardens Alive help. Simplest of all are home-made remedies. You can check online for sites that provide help for people that don’t want chemicals dangerous to you and yours. I have used baking soda and very mild organic soap mixed in water for a variety of insects and plant diseases and it helps a lot. Strong sprays of water (not strong enough to hurt leaves) do wonders. Research organic gardening sites and you will find lots of information. Pregnant mothers and fathers need to be very aware of what is happening in environment! I love the container gardening ideas – so simple and moveable when weather gets rough! Thank you for your site.
Thank you so much for all of your tips!!
I CAN”T WAIT FOR MY TOMATOES! We also planted bell and jalapeno peppers. We have strawberry vines that are growing and flowering like crazy, but no strawberries 🙁
aww, hope you get some strawberries! I’ve never tried those, but funny our season is about over here in FL!! I love growing jalapenos, they seem to do pretty well! Good luck with all of it, can’t wait to see pics 🙂
Absolutely beautiful herbs and tomatoes, Aggie! I do love my tomatoes and herbs home grown! Your Grandpa sounds like mine used to when he was in his 80’s and even his early 90’s. He’d plant enough vegetables for the town almost but he loved tending that garden and sharing his bounty!!!
I’m finally growing stuff this year and I am SO SO SO excited about it! It’s just a teeny potted plant garden, but we have jalapenos, thyme, cilantro, basil, tomatoes, zucchini and mint!
Spring has only just started in the UK about a month late! I can’t wait to start potting up again and growing tomatoes e.c.t. Not only does it save money and taste great, but it makes the garden look so pretty 🙂
I love how organized you are already! I can’t even really start gardening yet (if I do). But jeez … I’m totally in love with your screened in pool again. I hate the bugs that dive bomb us and the slithery and creepy crawlies that end up in the pool. That’d sure save a lot of hassle. Oh my mind is working now…
Wow! I love your setup, Aggie! The weather here hasn’t decided yet what it’s doing so I’m scared to plant yet. Hopefully next week!
This is amazing! I have such a black thumb.
It’s too early to plant but I do hope to have a small herb pot on my condo deck and a pot or two of basil.
Wow, I am jealous! I do not have the time or the patience to grow anything, except my kids LOL! 🙂 Everything looks so fresh and wonderful!
I get it! I like to escape to the backyard to water my plants often enough 🙂
OMG Aggie, I am so jealous! And I can not believe how much is in full bloom already. I am going to an Edible Plant Sale (in 2 weeks) to buy starts for my (container) herb garden. I can’t wait 🙂
Yay!! Have fun!!
Jealous that you have tomatoes from the garden! We are still at the seedling inside the house stage. We are doing a real garden again this year after not having one last year and I am so excited! The mint in a container is a great idea. That stuff goes crazy and invades everything!
Oh that mint can totally take over. It is plentiful in the pot 🙂 Good luck with your garden!
Oh how I love every word and photo in this post!!!!! Your garden is gorgeous!!! I would kill for that sunlight right now!! Pick some basil for me.
I need to come hang out with you, in your warm FL sunshine! Really, I could just sleep out on a pool lounger and eat fresh picked herb salad, I’d be no trouble at all. 🙂 Culantro? I need to keep my eye out for that! And look at that rosemary bush, wow! Rosemary doesn’t survive the winter here, so I have to start from scratch each spring. I’m going to take a cue from you and simplify my gardening this year. I LOVE it all, but a big garden IS alot of work. I get the most enjoyment from a couple tomato plants and whole lot of herbs, that’s what I’m going to focus on!
My rosemary is slightly out of control. 😉
Thank you for agreeing with me about a big garden being a lot of work, I have garden guilt this year, lol. But I’m with you, I get the most enjoyment from exactly what I have this year, and I know I can keep it under control 🙂
Come visit!! Your lounger awaits!
I always love your potted assortment. Those herbs look amazing and tomatoes already!
Jealous! It’s still cold here! Your garden looks fantastic!
I always love to see your garden posts because herbs are the only thing I’ve grown so far. I’m going to have to check out Culantro… I LOVE Cilantro, so I’m hesitant to make the switch to a much homely-er plant, but I use a ton of Cilantro so it might be a good move.
I love cilantro so much! Do you have any trouble growing it where you live? Mine never lasts long so I figure it’s easier to pick up a bunch at the store when I need it, I am tempted to try again – though the culantro saves me every time 🙂
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Love this Aggie! Our garden is amazing me this year and we have all sorts of new stuff we are trying… carrots (pulled my first one today just to see if they are big enough yet–probably have another month or so), peas, swiss chard, beets, fennel, spring lettuce mix, and our massive cherry tomato plant that has taken over both of our garden beds. It’s 5 foot by 5 foot… easily! I think we have yielded over 300+ tomatoes from it and I probably can easily get another 100 or so from it. 1 Plant!!! I grew cilantro from the seed in the garden and it grew… like crazy grew. Now we are eating cilantro in everything! The one thing our garden is lacking is basil! Must buy a plant soon! Your container garden looks fab!
Thanks for a tour of your lovely garden. There’s still frost warnings most nights here, but the celery I regrew from the last of the CSA farm share plants has survived last week’s transplantation, the shallots and garlic have sprung to life, the mint is happily ensconced near the new rain barrel . . . I’m just waiting on the tomatoes, basil, squash, and greens to get going.
And my rosemary didn’t survive the winter–no idea why, as I’ve never lost a rosemary before. Time to get a new plant!
Thanks for the tour–I’m try some mojitos this summer in your name 😉
This garden looks lovely 🙂 I always enjoy getting a peek at what people are growing!
So envious of your garden, it’s so pretty! We just put ours in near the house, and the pest guy said move it or put it in containers because of the termite chemicals. So I need to go ahead and move it where I was going to put it next year.
So inspired! I’m from central Florida too and love to hear about gardening successes here. Hoping to do a little better this year with a few herbs. I am anxious to try culantro!
Herbs are a great place to start! Our sun is so hot down here, I have had so much trouble over the years, but finally found what works. My herbs have always done well in a spot where the sun isn’t beating down on them directly, but where they get plenty of light (under the awning by my front door or filtered by the pool screen). Total trial and error – good luck! And happy to meet another central Floridian!! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello 🙂
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