Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Coffee Chat!

Missy, here. Time for our Wednesday chat! And yesterday's post, with Mindy's recipe for bruschetta--plus all the comments after--gave me my question for today...

You gardeners, please share your best tips for successful herb gardening. In particular, I'd love to know any tips for growing basil. I haven't had much luck. Well, I don't have much luck with growing anything. No green thumb for the Belle!


  1. The best crop of basil I ever had was when I planted it among the tomato plants. I had them on the west side of the tomato patch, with a basil plant between each pair of tomatoes. They were fantastic!

    Other than that, herbs have been off and on for me. The perennials do well (sage, thyme, etc.), but the annuals are a bit harder. Cilantro is one of my favorites, but it goes to seed so quickly.

    As I'm in the process of planning my new gardens, I'm not sure where to put the herbs. Maybe in the perennial garden...

    Except mint!

  2. Oh my gosh, Jan. I think I need to do some research. I didn't even know herbs could be annual and perennial! No wonder I keep thinking I've messed up! I thought they were all perennials. :)

    Still, I wonder why my basil won't last. I may have to try your trick! I love to plant tomatoes.

  3. Jan's right, basil and tomatoes like each other in the garden!

  4. I have this well-loved book called Carrots Love Tomatoes and it's about companion planting to help ward off disease and pests. Plants can also NOT like living next to 'somebody' else and that can cause problems too.

    Now,I can't seem to grow peppers in my current house. I've tried everywhere and no matter what they just lose leaves one by one and then shrivel up and die...after they start to get peppers though, and my hopes are up. But the peppers are mush. Anyone know what that could be?

  5. Kav, we had trouble with peppers as well. Only grew tiny little ones that were hardly big enough to eat!

  6. Peppers like potassium and phosphorus, but not nitrogen, and too much fertilizer can cause the leaves to turn yellow or stunt the plants.

    They also like moist, but not wet soil, and some say irregular watering can cause blossom end rot.

    I've been able to prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes by adding lime to the soil when I plant them - I wonder if the same thing works for peppers?

    1. Thanks Jan...I'm game to try it this year. It makes sense that it could be the soil. I never thought of that. Crossing my fingers!!!

    2. We used to grow veggies for sale, and peppers are persnickety. They like full sun, dry leaves and moist (not wet) roots.


      They don't like being watered from above. And Jan's right, people over-fertilize them and get lush plants and no fruit or nothing.

      Now when I grow them I put them in. Mulch them. And leave 'em alone. I don't pick them usually I let the whole bunch get ripe (some get red) and then harvest all at once and freeze them. If I want fresh ones I leave one plant to pick the fresh ones from. But it seems I get a much better yield by letting the first fruits naturally age on the plants. And that's not the same for tomatoes and soft fruits but it seems to work for peppers.

  7. Wow. Lots to learn! Maybe I'll just buy them at the grocery or farmer's market! :)