I was recently reviewing my 2020 gardening resolutions. While some, like traveling to garden shows and gardening tours did not happen, I did manage to add some spice to life this year. Expanding the herb crop was one of my goals.
When one of the containers of my carrot-in-a-bottle experiment failed, I threw a few parsley seeds into the soil as an afterthought. Despite being in a shady spot on the front porch, the parsley did well. Now that it is fall, I have brought it inside and we continue to enjoy fresh parsley in salads and sandwiches.
I found some seeds during a quick trip to the grocery store which were planted in a small container with soil mix and placed it in the sunny front window. The first seedlings shriveled up. The second time, I got one plant. It took me most of the summer to get it to about 3 inches tall. I picked a few leaves off my plant today to add to pasta sauce. The wonderful scent of the freshly chopped basil is an added bonus.
For Mother’s Day, one of my daughters bought two seed kits for me. They consist of small pots lined with plastic coating, ceramic beads for drainage, pressed coconut fibre and a variety of seeds. As reviews suggest that the fibre might not be the best growing medium, I used half fibre with some soil. The oregano did great. Some was added to the pasta sauce too.
I planted thyme in the second seed kit pot but it has not done well. I read a great article that indicates that thyme does best outside. It also outlines many possible health benefits.
Basil and thyme are great companion plants for tomatoes. I will try growing some outside with my plants next summer. The herbs are said to help keep pests away.
I was lucky to visit a university greenhouse just a few weeks before lockdown. In one room, bees from a past research experiment were luxuriating in fragrant rosemary. Sadly, my rosemary did not flourish. I planted it in with thyme which came in the same kit. I now realize was a mistake as rosemary prefers drier soil.
I already had a nice clump of chives in the back, but we never ate them since they were ground level in a pet accessible area. I moved some to a container out front that had previously been used for flowers. The chives thrived in the sunnier spot. We were able to use a lot them in lieu of onions. I even used some blooms in vases to decorate the kitchen table.
Despite the setbacks, looking I am happy with the progress I made with this 2020 gardening resolution. Things don’t always go as planned and I am happy with what was learned. I am hoping for a more predictable and successful 2021 season for all.