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Adventures in Apartment Gardening

Hello and happy Friday!

Remember how I wrote back in April that Matt and I were trying to start an herb garden? Well, it’s time for an update on how we did!

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We had a partial fail and a partial win. We originally tried to grow all the herbs from seeds. We used a starter kit (detailed in my previous post), and then, as soon as they had sufficiently sprouted, we replanted them in our railing boxes, as seen above in the photo via my Instagram page back in early May. Unfortunately, a few weeks after we did so we left for Italy, meaning that they were left without water for about 2 weeks. Oops. Proooobably should have thought of that.

As you can imagine, when we arrived home most of them were dead… with the exception of our reigning champions, parsley and dill! Look how awesome they are doing!

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So proud. :)

As for the rest of the retail space, we decided this time to just go ahead and buy fully grown plants and replant them in our boxes. We did this about a month ago and I’m happy to say they are thriving!

To replace the basil that died while we were in Italy, we planted a Thai basil and purple basil plant, both of which have gotten HUGE. (Um, anyone have any great recipes that use a lot of basil? I already have a good pesto recipe – I need to make that soon!)

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In the other box, we planted two pepper plants and a tomato plant (that was specifically noted as being good for small spaces/window boxes), which are also doing well and getting huge. Hooray!

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Look, little peppers!

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Funny story – the other plant has spicy peppers on it, and I took a HUGE bite of one of them a couple weeks ago. OUCH! I’ll save those for Matt next time. ;)

Do you have an herb or veggie garden? How’s it doing?

Time to finish up some work before my friend Jess arrives for the weekend! Can’t wait to see her. Have a great weekend, everyone!

I’ll leave you with some Friday reading:

By the way, if any of you are interested, I revamped my sponsor page with some cheaper options for fellow bloggers!

Comments

  1. 1

    Have you heard of the tower garden? It’s a hydroponic growing system-a home version of the growing system used in living with the land in Disney World. It’s ideal for small space gardening.
    Check it out…sunsetlandscape.towergarden.com.

    I just harvested the most amazing yellow squash and I don’t have a green thumb.

  2. 3

    I’ve started adding basil to salads. I just pick a bunch before dinner, cut it with kitchen scissors, and mix in with greens. It adds a great flavor. Basil is also really good added into turkey burgers.

  3. 5

    How pretty your peppers are – isn’t it a great feeling of achievement having something grown in your own flat? I usually have some herb plants and something more experimental – like small orange peppers or a sweet potato (it just started growing in my cupboard…) – and than I am one of those people who eat a fruit and think “hey, why not pop the seed in some soil?”. Outcome: there are three little plants growing in various pots on my kitchen sill and I don’t know what they are and if I even planted them. One smells a lot like mint, and I am pretty sure I did not have any mint seeds at hand…

  4. 7
    Jo Lynn says:

    Did you know you can freeze basil for use in stews and soups in the fall and winter? I discovered this last year when my garden was overflowing with it and I just couldn’t make another batch of pesto! You can get info at http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2006/06/how-to-freeze-fresh-basil-weekend-herb.html

    There’s an interesting recipe in this month’s Cooking Light called “Grilled Chicken Thighs with Thai Basil Salad” (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-chicken-thighs-thai-basil-salad-50400000129500/). It uses both Thai basil and sweet basil in place of salad greens. It looks like one of those recipes that’s either a homerun or a strikeout–no in between about it! If I get around to making it next week, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • 8

      I didn’t know you could freeze basil! I will def try that. And that recipe sounds perfect!!

      • 9

        I was also going to suggest freezing the basil. You can also freeze pesto, minus the parmesan. I freeze mine in an ice cube tray, then once frozen pop out the cubes and put in a freezer bag. If you need just a serving or two of pesto for pasta, chicken, etc etc you can just grab a few cubes without having to commit to thawing the whole batch. It’s great!

        I love your herb garden! I’ve been growing my own herbs for years now and just love having fresh herbs readily available, and I’ve saved so much money and enjoy the fresh, healthy flavors.

  5. 11

    I did an herb garden last year and it was fantastic. I love growing small plants that can be used in my cooking. Too bad it didn’t survive my move…and since I’m moving again this summer, I opted not to try any plants this year. But I’m already planning out my garden for next year! I can’t wait to plant a whole salsa kit: peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, onions….mmm

  6. 13

    That’s so great you can grow some herbs and veggies! I’ve always wanted to, but it’s crazy impossible in a teeny tiny apartment in NYC. Enjoy the goodness!

  7. 14

    You can make my Artichoke Basil Lentils! Its a great dish, I always end up using dried basil but it would be awesome with tons of fresh basil! http://strengthandsunshine.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/artichoke-basil-lentils/

  8. 16

    I want to grow an herb garden in the covered area of our yard! This just inspires me to get cracking on that. How cool to be able to have fresh herbs on hand ALL the time.

    With Basil, some Thai curries or noodle dishes come to mind! I’m sure it would taste fantastic in salads too.

  9. 17

    Nice! We have a mini garden as well and the basil always gets huge. You could make some basil butter with it. We also put it on homemade pizzas, eggs, salads, and make a lot of caprese salad.

  10. 19

    Fresh produce and herbs are the best! We live in a townhouse, so we can’t have a big garden, but we planted a few fresh herbs in pots. Right now we have basil, parsley and mint! All the herbs are doing really!

  11. 20

    The last time I did an herb garden, my basil died out after a few months and I totally forgot about it. Then a few months later I went outside one day and it seemed like overnight the plant came back to life. I was way too excited! :)

  12. 22

    I have a pretty nice veggie garden going in my backyard. I started all of them from seed inside during the spring so I could put them outside as soon as the last frost date had passed.

  13. 23

    I’m thinking about trying to grow some herbs, but think I’m going to go replanting a plant route.

  14. 24

    The dill is really impressive! I would have been very sad about the basil dying–it is my favourite fresh herb.

  15. 25

    Love this! I have been meaning to start an herb garden on my patio (I have a condo) and this just gave me the inspiration to do it!

  16. 26

    I planted herbs on my patio this year, too. My Basil is out growing my planter. It’s so nice having fresh herbs when every you like though!

  17. 27

    If you leave for a while fill an old wine bottle with water and stick it in the soil upside down. The herbs will drink the water as needed and you won’t come back with dead herbs!

  18. 29

    Awesome herb garden! I have never had luck growing cilantro – both in pots and in ground. It doesn’t last long. :( Thai basil is yummy in spring rolls and pho. I like a combo of roast pork tenderloin and shrimp as part of my spring roll filling. I use regular basil a lot in pastas, pasta salad, and roast tomatoes and goat cheese dip. I’ve saved a lot of money and love the convenience of growing my own herbs. Happy gardening! :)

  19. 31

    Your herb garden looks great. Japanese Beetles ate my basil to the quick! Looks like Swiss cheese! Try making refrigerator dill pickles with your fresh dill. I load mine up with lots of fresh garlic too & every time I eat them I think I’ve died & gone to heaven!!! You and Matt enjoy the rest of the summer!!

  20. 32

    You can make Summer rolls! For a quick meal I like stuffing mine with lots of fresh herbs and skip the rice noodles. For protein I sometimes do eggs, smoked salmon, or leftover chicken/pork chops.

  21. 34

    We have a bunch of herbs/fruits/veggies and LOVE walking into the back yard for fresh goodies. Our rosemary plant has become a full on bush so we are always having rosemary potatoes, salads, etc. No complaints :)

  22. 35

    We have our first ever vegetable garden this year. I am having some fails and some successes. I am learning a lot. Your herbs look great:) BTW, thanks for the hydration link. I have been wondering a lot about it, since it has been so hot during a lot of my runs.

  23. 36
    Roadrunner says:

    Thanks for the update on your garden, Anne. Looks like your thumb is turning green. How about tomatoes next? There’s nothing like home grown ones… Hope the run went well!

  24. 38

    I don’t know if you have room, but you might want to put your tomatoes and peppers in bigger pots! I think tomatoes do best in like a 5 gallon pot or more, but I’ve kept them in flowerpots before due to space restrictions.

    And I’ve heard that cilantro is very difficult to keep alive! Mine pretty much bit the dust.

  25. 40

    When I grew basil last year (on my balcony, too!), I had NO idea how quick that stuff grows. I couldn’t keep up with it!! Of course, we moved and bought a CSA instead of growing stuff this spring/summer, and now I want a lot of basil because I’ve been on a pesto kick. So far, we’ve actually gotten in each week in our CSA, but I’ll be sad once that’s not the case anymore!!

  26. 41
    Erin Cope says:

    You need an Earthbox with a self-watering system. earthbox.com
    They are the best.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] close by sharing a genius idea that Jessica gave us over the weekend. On Friday, I wrote about our adventures in apartment gardening. When Jess arrived, I was saying how our tomato plant was starting to fall sideways (tomato plants [...]

  2. [...] We decided on big grilled chicken salads. I marinated some chicken breasts in BBQ sauce for a couple hours in the fridge during the day, and then we used a grill pan to grill them. As for the salads, we used some of our homegrown herbs and veggies! [...]

  3. [...] Thai basil that we have growing in our porch herb boxes was getting seriously out of hand last week; we may have created an herb monster and I love it. [...]

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