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What's in your garden, 2012?

What's in your garden, 2012?
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  • Post #31 - October 17th, 2012, 11:13 am
    Post #31 - October 17th, 2012, 11:13 am Post #31 - October 17th, 2012, 11:13 am
    Tomatoes have quit ripening and are slowly being picked off by the squirrels. Basils (Thai and globe) and tarragon still limping along, a few more harvestings will finish them off. Thyme, oregano, lavender, rosemary and mints are still pretty happy. Recently built new garden boxes and planted with winter crops: blue Scotch kale, winter spinach, and hardy lettuce greens.

    My herbs are all in boxes on my porch rail; this was my first year with them. I know the thyme, lavender and rosemary could survive the winter, but I'm not sure about the oregano, and maybe even the tarragon... will those make it if I baby them along, or is it better to just replant with new ones next year? Any hints on how to help them survive a Chicago winter? In California, I had them all in the ground, but that seems like it would be a death sentence for herbs here...
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #32 - October 17th, 2012, 6:33 pm
    Post #32 - October 17th, 2012, 6:33 pm Post #32 - October 17th, 2012, 6:33 pm
    I know the thyme, lavender and rosemary could survive the winter, but I'm not sure about the oregano, and maybe even the tarragon... will those make it if I baby them along, or is it better to just replant with new ones next year?


    Much depends on the size of the container. The thyme will probably make it, depending on how cold it gets in January/February; based on hard experience, I'd anticipate kissing the lavender and rosemary good-bye - neither are built to overwinter outside in Zone 5 in containers. The tarragon and oregano, though, are a 50/50 proposition. If the pots are big, and the mulch and snowcover adequate, you may be OK. (I'd mulch the thyme, too, though I've overwintered it before in window boxes successfully.)

    Good luck! And remember, it's not a personal failure if they die. Shrug it off, and pick up some new ones in the spring.
  • Post #33 - October 17th, 2012, 8:05 pm
    Post #33 - October 17th, 2012, 8:05 pm Post #33 - October 17th, 2012, 8:05 pm
    Thank you, Peg... if any of them make it, I'd be amazed, but I really wanted to give them the best chance possible. I appreciate you sharing your know-how and experience!
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #34 - October 17th, 2012, 10:26 pm
    Post #34 - October 17th, 2012, 10:26 pm Post #34 - October 17th, 2012, 10:26 pm
    I bring my potted rosemary inside every year and am rewarded with flowers in mid-winter. It's in a pretty big container, too.
    "The only thing I have to eat is Yoo-hoo and Cocoa puffs so if you want anything else, you have to bring it with you."
  • Post #35 - October 21st, 2012, 2:16 pm
    Post #35 - October 21st, 2012, 2:16 pm Post #35 - October 21st, 2012, 2:16 pm
    Image

    The final harvest from my bhut jolokia, that makes over 350 off one plant this year
  • Post #36 - October 21st, 2012, 2:21 pm
    Post #36 - October 21st, 2012, 2:21 pm Post #36 - October 21st, 2012, 2:21 pm
    WOW, Jason! That's awesome!
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #37 - October 21st, 2012, 6:07 pm
    Post #37 - October 21st, 2012, 6:07 pm Post #37 - October 21st, 2012, 6:07 pm
    Nice haul, Jason! That's enough firepower to level a good-sized city. :shock:

    Great year for chiles, and this sudden spurt of 70+ warmth is ripening up my habaneros, Thai Dragons, and Caribbean Reds nicely. Now picking red serranos, too. The lemon verbena and both varieties of basil that I'm growing have perked up nicely, as well. Good to see the garden (both in-ground and container-bound) looking so healthy & verdant so late in the season. Go figure!
  • Post #38 - October 23rd, 2012, 10:19 am
    Post #38 - October 23rd, 2012, 10:19 am Post #38 - October 23rd, 2012, 10:19 am
    JasonM wrote:The final harvest from my bhut jolokia, that makes over 350 off one plant this year


    Holy cow! I'm lucky if I got 25 off one plant. That and my Trinidad Scorpion plant were the worst producers. The others did more than fine, though. And your bhuts are heck of a lot greener than mine.
  • Post #39 - November 16th, 2012, 7:09 pm
    Post #39 - November 16th, 2012, 7:09 pm Post #39 - November 16th, 2012, 7:09 pm
    Cut down most of my container chile plants, and harvested the last few Pequillos and Thais, and roughly 50-60 Habaneros and Caribbean Reds. Imagine my surprise to find that the 5' Tabasco plant is nowhere near dead, and is actively ripening in the ballpark of another 40+ small yellow-orange chiles. Think I'll give the big guy some water when I tend to the mums and kale tomorrow. He's sure earned it.

    PS action shots to follow this weekend, after I plant the last ornamental alliums (v. Christophii, AKA 'Star of Persia') that I bought at last weekend's Holiday Party at Gethsemane Garden Center in Andersonville - they have a fabulous bulb collection, and they were all 50% off. Couldn't resist. Bought eight more, as they are show-stoppers, and I only have a couple. The flowers are nearly a foot in diameter, and they bloom during early summer, making a very nice bridge flower between the spring bulbs and the Asiatic lilies and Sweet William, and an early roost for pollinators.

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