Mini Veggie Garden: Lessons Learned
What an impressive crop, eh?
I must admit, keeping up with my garden was easier than I expected. Although I certainly made my fair share of mistakes, we still yielded some delicious produce.
One valuable lesson I learned is that the information on the seed packet is extremely important.
My cilantro, as seasoned gardeners would say, has “bolted to seed.” Now that I’ve done a little research on this tasty herb, I realize did everything wrong, so the bolting is not surprising. Cilantro likes lots of moisture, and I was utilizing the run dry/soak through method of watering. It also needs frequent pruning; I had not pruned it at all.
One really hot day can shock cilantro and make it bolt to seed.
Since I potted it with other plants in a large container, I made it impossible to bring it inside or move into the shade as needed. So I remain reliant on the grocery stores for my cilantro needs.
But there’s a silver lining: Cilantro is grown from coriander seeds, so now I can wait until the seeds brown and harvest coriander to dry and grind.
In addition to learning that I need to read the seed packets, I now realize you should also keep these packets. I thought I planted little finger carrots, which have an anticipated maturation between 50-70 days, but since I had discarded the packet, who can be sure?
After 80 plus days, my carrots still seemed a little on the small side, probably because I didn’t adequately thin them. Yet my daughter has enjoyed eating some that I pulled.
My tomato plant and cucumber bush gave me little grief and produced well. The chives, as well as both the flat- leaf and curly parsley, also flourished. The pepper plant took a bit of a beating in the South Dakota wind and early August storms, but now has tomato-cage support and seems to be making a comeback.
All in all, I am considering this a success. So far …
Although it’s not the healthiest option, you can try this recipe for honey-roasted carrots with ones you grow, or from the store.
- ½ pound (8 ounces) of baby carrots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, tossing lightly to coat.
- Spread the mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake until just tender, or to desired degree of doneness, about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.