Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Bringing the Garden Inside
This summer we had our most successful vegetable garden ever. Not to say that we had an overabundant harvest, but we had tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, green onion and several herbs. The plants did pretty well except for the cucumbers and zucchini which withered after we only harvested a few of each. I learned too late that is was probably due to diseases. I’ll know to watch for that and try to prevent similar damage next year. It was inspiring to have fresh vegetables grown by our own hands. The kids benefitted from being in on the process from starting seeds in March to harvesting in August.
Our flower gardens are still a work in progress. We have been in this house for a year and have made a lot of improvements to the overcrowded and disorganized gardens that were here when we moved in, but it still has a long way to go to get to what I envision. That’s a whole other post though.
So now that the summer is over, we’re working on our garden cleanup. I’m attempting to save seeds for next year and hopefully start some herbs indoors to have during the winter. My mom has been saving seeds forever and she often passes them on to us. This will be our first time saving our own. Here’s some of what I’ve already collected.
I have so many coriander seeds! I hope to plant some in the house for winter herbs (We use a lot of cilantro in cooking) and grind the remaining seed for coriander powder which we use as well. I’ve put some of the hibiscus seeds in soil to see if they will grow. It’s been about 2 weeks and all I see is dirt. Maybe it’s not going to happen. Oh well. You don’t know if you don’t try, right?
I have some of the veggies drying for seed too. The cayenne peppers make a nice kitchen decoration while they dry. Once they are dry we’ll grind them up (seeds and all) for red pepper flakes and powder. We eat a lot of spicy food. Can you tell?
I was feeling sad about the harvest season coming to a close and our lovely gardens browning, but the seed saving and plant propagation is getting me excited about what we might do over the winter. One success that I’m so happy about is our basil. I learned that you can put basil cuttings in water to root and we’re doing just that and it’s working. See the before and after pictures below. If nothing else, we’ll have some basil in the house over the winter and, if we’re lucky, maybe a few extra plants to give as gifts.