Tag Archives: cilantro

Garden Update

24 May

Thought I’d provide a garden update since it’d been a while since I’d planted my mini “garden.”

They’ve all been doing very well and I’m so pleased with them all!  With all the random summer showers, I can’t keep up with their growth!  I’ve made SO many strawberry mojitos using the mint — which, don’t you think the strawberries have been extra delicious this season??? And the basil and cilantro gets thrown into anything I can think of.  Although, I will say that I learned this morning that I’ve been picking the leaves incorrectly.  According to The Skinny Gourmet, I shouldn’t be picking individual leaves, but actually cutting the stem right above the newly sprouting leaves.  It makes sense this way — the basil has been growing really tall and the leaves are huge, so cutting the stem allows you to keep your desired height while preventing the whole plant from toppling over from the weight.  Also, didn’t know this, but according to The Skinny Gourmet, if you notice any flowers trying to sprout at the top, get rid of them! As for everything else, I’ve been cutting them by the stems because the mint and cilantro love to grow sideways.  Lastly, the lavender I’ve continued to leave alone.  The flowers have just started sprouting a couple of weeks ago, so I think she’s taking her sweet time.

As for all the vegetables:

Sorry! I couldn’t get my phone to stop focusing on the backdrop, making the jalapeños blurry….

And my mom gave me this last one a couple weekends ago.. they’re not spicy peppers, but they’ll look like jalapeños when they’re grown.  They’re super delicious and super crispy when you eat them raw with some GoChuJang (Korean chili paste).

Finally, on to flowers:

When I planted these, there were two types, Cosmos (the actual blooming ones) and Verbena.  However, in recent months, the Verbena have not been doing as well as you might be able to tell… nope, they’re pretty dry and I have one clump of flowers left in them.  I know I’ll have to take it out to let the Cosmos do its thing (still pumping out beautiful pink, violet, and white flowers on a very regular basis), but I haven’t quite decided if I want to repot the Verbena with the hope that the roots are just crowding vs. trashing them.  I knew I’d be taking my chances by mixing the two flowers into one not-very-big pot, so I’m not all that surprised. According to the labels, which my dorky self keeps, both of these need 6″ of spacing on all sides of them for adequate growing.  Again, I just took my chances.  But to stray you away from my risky behavior… see the delicious herbs in the background?? 😉

At least I know I’ll be saving these babies in the end either way:

What about Hank, you ask?  Hank’s hanging out and confusing Kade’s friends in the neighborhood.  Yes, I actually had a neighbor tell me that his medium-large size dog, Roxy, stared at Hank for a good 5 minutes to make sure Hank wouldn’t hurt said neighbor.

On a side note, if you’re Instagramming like me (ninasquared) and follow Lauren Conrad, she had recently posted a photo with lots of Cosmos.  But my dorky self got super excited about this…

Spring is Here!!! (At least, I think so)

13 Apr

We’ve had some wacky weather… It’s 90 degrees for a few days and then drops down to the 60’s… creeps up to a wondrous 70-something degrees and then drops again with storms intermixed.  But it doesn’t matter! I can still take a beer or glass a wine and sit outside while I watch Kade play.  And that, my friends, is the good life.  Admittedly, the last couple of weeks had me desk-ridden.  You know the semester’s coming to an end when the papers and projects pile up.  Yes, those same projects that you procrastinate until the very last minute. Guilty!

Last weekend, as a reward to myself for getting all that stuff done, I finally got to plant my yearly plants!  (I can call it yearly if it’s the second time I’m doing it, right? )  Anyhow, we ran into a bunch of issues last year – like starting late in the game, not drilling proper drainage holes for the pots, over/underwatering, etc.   Basically, my thumb was looking a little yellow instead of a happy green.  However, I still managed to avoid buying basil and cilantro last year and got to eat a couple of my jalapeños, so all was not lost.

I am super determined to manage my veggies and herbs much better this year.  We got an earlier start (the labels for all the plants I got this year recommend planting in the spring) and I decided to try something new too.

First off, we started off fresh.  I cleaned out the pots with clorox-diluted water and replaced the old plastic with a new one.  Oh, and I used clorox-diluted water only b/c I know it helps to kill off bacteria in a flower-filled vase and decided to give it a shot, not because I actually googled it or heard about it from anywhere else.  I like to stay edgy like that.

Then, Hubby lovingly drilled holes into the bottom of the new plastic pot: (note:we did use screwdrivers and hammers, but the bottom started to crack.  Drilling was quick and easy and did not risk crackage)

Then, here’s where I decided to buy myself some insurance.  Well, I guess I didn’t buy anything for this.  And I don’t know if it’ll actually work. Again, I used the old noodle instead of googling so I make ZERO guarantees that it works.  I took a plastic bag and went to my neighborhood UPS and gave a sweet smile and asked if I could pretty please have some styrofoam peanuts.  I go there often to ship off sold books, so they know me fairly well and helped me out… and yes, the 2 boys laughed at first.

To give you a better idea of what’s going on in my head, I’ll share this with you:

Still lost?  How’s this?

Are we on the same page yet?  It’s okay if we’re not… I get a lot a lot of blank stares when I try to express my thoughts.  Seriously, no one can keep up with me.  I promise Point A leads to Point B… in a very roundabout way.

For you smarties, you probably figured out that I was trying to create my own drain in anticipation for those summer downpours we get.  I don’t know how well it’ll hold up or if I’m going notice my plants sagging one day, but might as well try!  The little spray nozzle peeking behind my beautiful Ikea pot is my diluted clorox solution that I used to help clean and brighten the inside and outside of the pot.  It had been sitting outside all during the fall and winter, so I’m sure my neighbors were questioning my  judgment.

Anyhow, this is what I leave you with:

Below is a close up of the herbs (and see our new guard dog?  He hasn’t been officially  named, but I’m leaning towards Hank… Hank was a last-minute purchase when he caught Hubby’s eyes from the register)

From left to right: Mint, Basil, Cilantro, Lavender

And then of course, we had to give red bell peppers and jalapeños another round!

They look exactly the same, so I kept the tags on their respective sides

There you have it!  And in case it comes up, I used Miracle Gro’s Moisture Control Potting Soil.  I always get potting soil instead of gardening soil because I feel there’s a difference in the way the water is absorbed.  I love fresh soil though, so soft and clean…. and most importantly, worm-less!  Also, I’m lucky because my neighbors don’t seem to mind the greenery.  Probably because I told them they could use the mint for their own mojitos (yes, that is the only reason I added mint to the mix this year.  Why wouldn’t I pay $3.50 for an unlimited supply when it cost $2 for 2 stalks???)

Oh, and I got giddy when I went into Whole Foods and found some beautiful pink ranunculuses (spelling???) the other day.  Kade was a little iffy on the whole deal at first….

And it only took a day for them to open up and straighten up like this:

Oh, and I do add a small clump of brown sugar to store-bought flowers because it seems to keep them fresh longer.  And that I learned from someone else instead of pulling it out of my you-know-where.

Happy Friday the 13th!!

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