Fall is finally here and I can start to harvest my garden. Yaay!
If you haven’t seen my original garden post, you can do so here to see what my garden looked like when I first planted everything back in July.
This was my first time maintaining my own outdoor garden and I definitely learned a lot this year. We started off with the following:
1 Basil plant – eventually ended up with 3 (2 in garden, 1 in pot)
1 Cilantro plant
1 Oregano plant
1 Thyme plant – eventually ended up with 2 (1 in garden, 1 in pot)
1 Lavender plant – eventually replaced with another in a pot
1 Rosemary plant– eventually ended up with 2 (1 in garden, 1 in pot)
1 Parsley plant – ended up replacing with a another in a pot
1 Spearmint plant
Red bell peppers
Sage (added later in a pot)
Mint (added later in a pot)
So here’s the update on each one.
Since we used it so much, we decided to add another to our garden and another to the deck for quick and easy access. The 2 plants in the garden are flourishing and doing wonderful. The original one we put in is almost 4 feet tall. The one in the pot got a fungus within the last couple of weeks and is dying unfortunately.
She was eaten early on this summer and never made a come back.
He spread out pretty wide, but I don’t think reached his full potential due to him being on the shadier side of the garden.
The one in the garden was seemingly doing well, but ended up dying recently, I think the amount of rain and it being so low to the ground ended up killing it. The one in the pot on our deck is flourishing and I use it often for tea (great for inflammatory issues) and in cooking.
The initial plant I put in the garden seemed like it was off to a great start but eventually wilted. After further research I realized they didn’t much water and now the one on our deck has flourished and flowered! I thought this would’ve been one of the easier crops for me to grow, but turned out to be one of the most difficult. Next year, I’ll definitely plant these separately.
She’s one of, if not, my favorite herb of all time. The one in the garden is growing nice and tall with long leaves. The one I planted in a pot on the deck for frequent use ended up not getting too big and the leaves were much smaller. Partially due to how much I was cutting it and using it, the other due to overcrowding by the sage and lavender, which blocked a lot of her sunlight.
The initial plant in the garden was quickly eaten by the groundhog in our back yard so I ended up replanting a new one in a pot on our deck and it has done extremely well. We even ended up having to cut some of her back. I will definitely keep her off the ground next year to optimize my harvest.
Seemingly this was one of the largest plants I had growing in the garden. It grew wide and tall, but I think I either waited too long to harvest, or the excessive rain killed it.
RED BELL PEPPERS
These were absolutely beautiful and exciting to watch grow. We’ve had about 4 or 5, 2 of them were eaten/bit by the groundhog so we weren’t able to use them. The few that we did pluck were absolutely delicious. We ate one red and the other green. They don’t turn red as fast as I thought they would and we got a little impatient with the last. They were absolutely delicious. I was surprised at their size; they’re nowhere near the size of the peppers you see at the grocery store.
My babies. From the start we knew we would have a lot of these to harvest and we were right. We’ve plucked about 3 so far (while still green) and watched them turn on our windowsill. The others are still on the vine and slowly but surely turning. I can’t wait to use them to make my own scotch bonnet (a traditional Jamaican hot sauce made from habanero peppers) and some habanero jam. I used one of the peppers in a curry I made this past week and even though it wasn’t fully yellow/orange it gave a good bite.
We had 4 of these plants in our garden and they grew big and spread so far. We were really hoping to be able to eat some but the groundhog beat us to it. We watched them start to grow from the flower, but as soon as they would turn pink/red the groundhog gobbled them down. Next year we hope to have a sturdier fence to keep them out.
This plant by far surprised me the most. This was one of the smallest plants I planted when I first started my garden and is now over 7 feet tall. It hangs over our fence now and has produced dozens of tomatoes. We’ve lost a handful to squirrels and groundhogs; we even lost an entire branch of the plant. Thankfully it’s produced so many we haven’t missed a thing. The girls absolutely love them and they’re super sweet, Mckenzie eats them like candy. They didn’t turn a bright red like I thought, but even orange they’re delicious.
I added this on a whim to fill my pot and it has grown beautifully. I can’t wait to harvest these in coming weeks and attempt to make brown butter sage recipes.
She’s in a pot next to my potted basil and wants to spread out so much that she’s got vines hanging over. I’ve used sooo much of this in teas, drinks, etc. and I’m so happy at how rapidly it grew. However, the same fungus the basil got, she did too so the leaves and vines are slowly getting dark brown/black spots on them. I plan to salvage what I can and just monitor the rest.
For my first year, I think I had a successful run. I definitely learned my lesson with wildlife, harvest as soon as they start to turn color, and get a sturdier line of defense than chicken wire. As far as the plants that died, I’m not quite sure what I can do to prevent the fungus from growing or plants from getting washed out in the rain, but I’ll try again next year. If you have any tips or tricks to keeping your garden going all season, drop a comment below.