Posts Tagged ‘basil’

This heat wave is really getting old. Yesterday was 38 (49 with the humidity). For the Farenheit folks out there, that’s 100 (120 with the humidity). Hello..??? We’re in Canada. That’s too hot. But – I’m still not craving ice and snowmen. So, I’ve been staying inside with the AC on, or in the pool. Life is hard. 🙂

I’ve been keeping an eye on my garden – for the past two days, I’ve come home from work to find them sad and wilted but a good watering perks them right up again. The basil and parsley are doing very well – used basil in some meals this week. And I’m finally seeing tomatoes and peppers! Not sure what’s up with the cukes though – lots of flowers, but nothing growing yet.

I see tomatoes!


More tomatoes

Parsley and basil (Thai basil and Cinnamon basil)

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After a couple of days of wondering why my tomato plants hadn’t borne any flowers yet, yesterday evening, I spied the beginnings of a few blooms! Very exciting. Hopefully this means that cherry tomatoes will eventually grow!

The two types of tomatoes I chose to grow were both determinate types, one red (Tiny Tim) and yellow (Honey Bee). To be honest, I don’t remember which plant is which but they’re two very different types: there are tall, lighter-coloured green plants and then much smaller plants that are a darker green. When tomatoes end up growing, that’s when I’ll be able to tell which is which. 🙂 Who knows how I got them mixed up…

Tomato plants with the beginning of small yellow flowers

Let’s take a moment to remember how they started…little seeds in their jiffy pellets….

This pic was taken a few weeks after the initial sowing.

I’ve been feeding them fertilizer according to teh instructions, watering as much as they seem to need it… That, paired with the sun they’ve been getting made them apparently very happy plants.

And the basil is doing well too – I’ll be snipping some to use today so they’ll start getting bushier. I see pesto in my future. Awesome.

Cinnamon basil, sweet basil and lemon basil

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First off, I should really begin this post with a disclaimer…just to remind everyone that I am not a gardener. Ya…we all know how that turned out. Those Green plants are actually still alive today – go figure…over a year later too. Take that Mother Nature!

I don’t pretend to be a gardener… (That’s we have people come by to take care of our yard). I don’t expect to be successful at my first attempt at growing vegetables. I did pretty good with the herbs, so I’m motivated and feel encouraged. And besides, it’s on my Life List to grow my own vegetables. There’s not much room in our backyard for any kind of vegetable plot since it’s already fully landscaped so I did some research and discovered container gardening. It all sounded simple enough so I bought a book (one thing you may not know about me – I buy books about everything I want to learn about). There’s nothing like curling up on the couch with a book about learning to “container garden” (or sew, or 365 ways to cook pasta, or learn spanish, or will and estate planning, or a travel guide to the destination of the month…you get the drift).

So, I finished reading the book, decided what I wanted to grow (basil and tomatoes), did lots of research online for the best varieties and various reviews people had. I decided on basil and tomatoes because I typically cook with those a lot and would love to have fresh ingredients on hand all the time. I decide on my strategy (seeds vs transplants – I chose seeds because I want to see them grow from scratch), figure out what I need to get them started (I chose the Jiffy pellets since it seemed really simple), confirmed the timing (should start seeds 6-8 weeks before last frost, at which time they should be ready to move outside – hope I understood that part right but we shall see).

So. Out to the garden store we go. Found the jiffy pellets right away and ended up getting a “kit” that came with the tray and all the pellets. The pellets are little peat discs that, when wet, poof up and you insert (sow) 2-3 seeds into each one, then cover the tray with the plastic cover/dome to keep things warm and moist in there, which seeds apparently enjoy.

Jiffy Kit/Greenhouse

I chose 3 types of basil: Sweet basil, Cinnamon basil and Lemon basil. Mmmm Can’t wait.

Sweet Basil

Cinnamon Basil

Lemon Basil

I chose 2 types of cherry tomatoes: Tiny Tim (red) and Honeybee F1 (yellow). Both types of tomatoes are “determinate” (which means they’ll only grow a certain height and aren’t “vine-y” like the “indeterminate” types so they don’t really need much in terms of stakes or support since the plants won’t grow very high. Don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about? 🙂

Tiny Tim

Honeybee F1

So – got home, set everything up, my seeds are sowed (sown?) and domed, pellets are identified. Now all I have to do is wait. Patiently. Salads and other dishes with fresh tomatoes and basil are just around the corner, even my fave pasta dish.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of “Val the gardener strikes again” when it comes time to transplant the baby plants into their containers. Even I know that’ll be entertaining…

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