Gardening: summary of a year of hail and squirrels

posted in: Gardening, such as it is | 9

Predictions call for a hard frost tonight. If we don't get one, we may have a few more tomatoes and the tiny zucchinis may have time to get big enough to contribute to part of a meal.

However, we're close to closing out our gardening experiment for the year. It has not been a blazing success, but we do have this, which my daughter gathered in a few moments ago:

Garden_3205

Parsley, sage, thyme, (no rosemary), and one home-grown zucchini. We also got a few tomatoes, and I have enough basil, clipped two days ago, for two batches of pesto.

Perhaps not remarkably abundant, but very pretty shades of green.

I know how to preserve basil in several different ways. I'm deciding what to do with the other herbs: freeze, dry, ? My daughter will probably saute the zucchini with a bit of garlic. We just had some (purchased) kale that way. She does a lovely job cooking simple, fresh vegetables.

We left the carrots and beets in the ground. They should be fine even if the temperatures drop. We haven't eaten any of our crop of root vegetables yet, so we're looking forward to seeing what happened underground. We think there's something down there under the leaves.

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9 Responses

  1. Dry the thyme and sage. Freeze the parsley: wash, chop, and stuff into ice cube trays, then cover with water and freeze. (Rodale’s Stocking Up recommends covering the chopped parsley with boiling water, to blanch it a bit before freezing.)

  2. Thanks, JC! I’ve hung the thyme and sage in the back of my office (with light yellow crochet cotton . . . it was what was handy). The parsley is washed and in the fridge to stay fresh until I get to it. I have ice cube trays.

  3. Biggest issue was your late start, I think. Our stuff has survived hail before, when the plants are bigger. I don’t think we got frost last night, but I haven’t looked out the window yet. At least you are set for an early start next year! We don’t plant anything outside until Jun1. Earlier than that doesn’t seem to help much, and you just have to worry about frost.

    You can put the herbs in the oven at 200 degrees for a while to speed up the drying process, especially in this yucky weather.

  4. A frost makes root vegetables even better, sweeter.
    You can also leave Kale in the garden well into fall.

  5. I’ve been wondering, based on reading, whether we could actually start kale or chard this late. . . . Some places say yes. With snow predicted for last night (we didn’t get it), I’m a little doubtful. . . .

  6. Yeah, the late start compelled in large part by the repeated hail. . . . Larger plants got creamed here this year, as well as small ones. The half-inch stuff is hard to resist.

    And we’re definitely ready for next year. We’re already planning squirrel-proof cages.

  7. For the sage–Make a nice sage-walnut pesto and freeze it. Great on pumpkin ravioli. Folks say, you can make pesto out of anything, parsley pesto might be nice, but thyme…?

  8. Ooh, sage-walnut pesto??? Sounds yummy! Thanks!

  9. In an earlier post you mentioned the animal invaders to your garden. We are currently in the season of trying to prevent chipmunks and mice from trying to get into the house.

    I picked up some Critter Ridder http://www.havahart.com/ourbrands/critter-ridder at H*me Dep*t. It’s mostly capsaicin and black pepper oil.

    I spread around the borders of the house…then to check effectiveness, put some mouse traps inside the border of CR. So far (1 wk.) nothing has messed with the mouse traps. So I’d say it’s pretty effective….but a tad expensive.

    Something to keep in mind for next year’s garden?

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