It’s been a long time since my last container garden update. I originally planned to do a three month update, but I lost track of time and upon reflection decided that I might as well just wait until four months had passed. As you can see in the picture above, for the most part my garden is still going strong.
Planting a lot of basil plants was definitely a good decision. We’ve made four batches of pesto and eaten many meals involving basil in other forms (including a lot of hake with awesome). There’s still quite a bit of basil left right now so I anticipate we’ll also be able to preserve some more before the end of the season.
Some of my plants are running into problems, however. The two above have developed small black spots on most of their leaves. I’m not entirely sure what’s causing this. My best guess would be that the containers are too small, as this isn’t happening in those plants that have more room for their roots.
One of the plants is just about dead. I’m not really sure what happened to it. I harvested a lot of its leaves for pesto a couple of weeks ago when it appeared to be doing fine, but since then it’s lost most of its leaves and shriveled up. I suppose it will be getting too cold for basil pretty soon anyway, so it’s not a huge loss, but I still want to know why it died!
And, of course, I’m sure you’ve been dying to know how the garden sock basil is doing. As you can see, it’s still alive! I’m actually not surprised, since it managed to hang in there for the first two months when it really seemed to be in danger. Unfortunately it really hasn’t grown very much. I’ve probably picked only a small handful of leaves off it all season, which is really not what you’re going for when growing basil. I can see the garden sock working well for something like flowers, but I don’t think we’ll be turning to it for edibles next year.
In better news, my “white bucket basil” is still humongous, despite the fact that I keep snipping off large portions of it to eat. I think this is awesome because the only reason we even used the bucket was because we were out of other containers but still had basil plants left. I guess the plants really appreciate having room to expand!
The two tomato plants are really wild. Although we staked them when we first bought them, I never bothered to figure out how to get them to grow up the stakes so they’ve been growing out every which way instead. We actually bought a second stake for each container, which helped a lot, but they’re still kind of all over the place. At first glance, it even looks like the Early Girl is growing cherry tomatoes because the cherry tomato stalks have invaded the space so much.
I don’t really know what’s typical in terms of tomato production, but it seems like we’ve been doing pretty well. The cherry tomatoes are now ripening constantly and we’ve probably picked several small bowlfuls. It feels like there have been fewer Early Girls, but there are quite a few green ones on the plant right now so perhaps we’ll be getting a lot more before the end of the season.
Neither plant is looking quite as vibrantly green as it did earlier in the season. I don’t know if I’m not watering enough, or if perhaps this is just normal as a plant matures. Or maybe they’re just not happy with the fact that it’s been over 90 degrees most days over the last three months…
I’m so pleased with my pepper plants. The two plants (in one container) have been growing beautiful red peppers.
And, new peppers are still coming in! At some point they’re going to run out of time to turn red, of course, but maybe we’ll end up with quite a few green peppers, too.
I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with what I think is blossom end rot, but it hasn’t been a huge deal. Some peppers have had bad spots on them, but after reading about solving blossom end rot I decided it was too complicated to deal with. I may be overwatering or underwatering, but no one can really tell me how much to water because there are so many different factors so I decided not to worry about it. Most of the peppers are unaffected so I guess that just not dealing with it is an okay strategy in this situation.
Chard and Mint
The chard is still going strong. It looks pretty little at the moment because I harvested a bunch of it a couple of weeks ago. I actually need to be better about staying on top of harvesting it, because for some reason it doesn’t seem to do well with growing really big leaves. They start to dry and wither up before they grow to be even close to the size of the chard leaves you can get at the store.
My mint plant is getting bigger all the time. Although making mint extract with a bunch of the leaves trimmed it back for a while it’s now even larger than before. I’ve also been using some of the leaves to replace mint extract in our favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe, but I probably need to come up with a big project to really trim it back. I shall think on that one.
This post is shared at Living Green Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday Fresh Foods Blog Hop, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Sunday School, the Morristribe’s Homesteader Blog Carnival, Monday Mania, Pennywise Platter, and Simple Lives Thursday.
How’s your garden doing? And can you share any ideas for how I should use my mint?
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