Fall Gardening

Even though it is still 90° outside here in Southern California, it is time to think about planting for the fall and the best thing to focus on is herbs! Herbs are great for everyone because they don’t take up much space and they are pretty resilient which makes them wonderful “starter gardener” plants.

I had my spring/summer herb garden going, but unfortunately I ran into some issues. First, I was too focused on looks rather than sense and planted mint with my other herbs. Mint takes over! You can plant it on one side of your pot and it will pop up on the other, this can happen in the yard too so beware! Secondly, I had a pest issue with some very hungry caterpillars. Both issues left my herb pot a little worse for wear.

So, as you might be able to see in the pictures, I used a large galvanized steel bucket for my pot. I drilled some holes in the bottom for irrigation and it lies in a bed so there was no need for a pot dish. Only the rosemary, curry, and some sprigs of sage were fit to stay and everything else I ripped out. The pesky, but delicious, mint’s root system had wrapped around the entire pot probably causing some of my other plants grief. I saved the mint and transplanted it into its own pot.

After everything was out, I replenished the volume of soil with Miracle Grow Moisture Control which I find to work really well. I just saw that they have come out with an organic product which I will be trying next because I like to keep it natural! I worked the new soil into the old and then was ready to plant.

Going into the pot was oregano, thyme, green and purple sage, and parsley and cilantro seeds. These are all great for the season in that they will grow in this climate and that they are some of the most popular ingredients for fall and winter dishes like savory stews, soups, and roasts. Yum!

I planted in a fashion that I could separate areas for the cilantro and parsley as they look a bit similar. I also labeled everything because even if I can identify everything in my garden I like others to be able to explore. I also really like how it looks.

In another pot where I already have some chives growing, I decided to plant some garlic cloves. Garlic is a bulb plant and all you have to do is separate a clove and it is ready to plant. You simply bury it about an inch deep. When the green of the plant dies, your whole bulb is ready to dig up. It is a fun little multiplying trick garlic does.

The other things I planted over the weekend are Blue Hubbard winter squash, spinach, romaine lettuce, and rainbow chard. My tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and hot pepper plants are still going strong and I am waiting on my zucchini(late start) and butternut squash to be ready.

I’ll keep you updated! (Hopefully in the form of some great recipes with my homegrown produce.)

P.S. Of course I have basil in my garden! I just keep it in a smaller pot so I can bring it inside when it gets colder. Basil might just be the most important herb in my book. Maybe it’s tied with rosemary. (*Tip* I love to buy the basil plant from Trader Joe’s. It always produces the biggest and most flavorful basil.)

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