Container Garden Update — September 5, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

September 6, 2015 post here. September 7, 2014 post here.  September 8, 2013 post here.

Well, we learned something about basil — holding out on the harvest is a very bad idea. Over the last ten days the weather has cooled, and the basil didn’t dig it at all. It went from almost totally healthy to dying off in that short span of time… On Friday I brought it all inside. Note the computer mouse for scale in the middle of the stack and the camera case at the bottom right:

160905 basil

Maybe 10-20% of the basil was “fresh” and not yellowing or turning purple. It’s a bummer, but it’s definitely a lesson. The plan for next year is to harvest 50% of the basil on August 1st and most of what’s left on August 14. We’ll probably also harvest more aggressively throughout the summer.

Basil really is a hothouse flower.

On the bright side, we harvested 30 pounds of stuff this week, not including the basil:

160905 tomatoes

We’re at 85 pounds for the year. That’s waaaay behind last year’s 200 pounds on this date.

Over the next seven days the weather forecast calls for cloudy days in the 60’s with some rain. If the weather doesn’t improve we may be harvesting almost everything else over the next two weeks, regardless of ripeness.

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Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

3 comments to Container Garden Update — September 5, 2016

  • That too bad about the basil. The weather has so much to do with how our gardens do, that’s for sure. It looks like a nice haul of tomatoes though!

  • You mentioned at one point that last year’s basil went bitter during preservation. Have you determined if the basil goes bitter during a “turn” like this, or if it’s part of the preservation process?

  • A.J.

    As of right now my suspicion is that a significant amount of the basil we’d been trying to preserve was bitter before it ever went into the freezer. We wound up tossing all of the frozen bags so that we could start from scratch.

    This year we tasted a bunch of different leaves, and any that showed signs of bitterness were discarded. (No point making more “bitter” pesto.) We have yet to test this year’s freezer batch, but we’re hopeful that screening out the obviously bad stuff will fix the problem.

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