I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but growing season is over around these parts. After three mornings of frost and waking up to snow yesterday, the plants said ‘I’m done.’
This growing experiment has been both educational and fun for me. After my first growing season, here’s what I learned:
Container plants produce smaller produce. I expected regular-sized tomatoes and peppers and I got small ones. At first, I thought it was me, but I realized that the plants yields are based on what resources they have available to them and I only gave them a little bit of space. In return, they gave me little produce that I preferred over the selections at the store.
- Basil grows like weeds. Ironically, I thought the basil plants would produce a moderate amount of herbs. Wrong. Every time I picked one leaf, 12 more grew in its place by the next morning. When it was time to winterize everything, the basil plants were still going strong. The base of the plant had literally turned into a thick stick. Seriously?! I should have enough dried basil to get me through the winter.
- Cilantro is finicky. Of all the herbs, I wished that the cilantro would have grown more robust. I chalked it up to the sucky north/west sun the patio gets. Our last place had great east/south sun so the cilantro grew pretty good. Sigh. Maybe it will do better inside.
- Mint has a rooting system that scares me. I think I like mint less than I thought I did. I don’t really use it for anything, but it smells great, so I like growing it. When I went to dig it up though, the root system had literally grown around the pot. What the…? I’m not easily creeped out, but considering there were MAYBE four mint leaves above the surface, the 14″ roots made me wonder if I wanted to bring it in the house. Death by choking plant.
- Where’s the oregano? I planted oregano and had no idea it actually grew until I lifted the basil and cilantro plants. Lo and behold a small vine of oregano was underneath like ‘next year, can I get my OWN pot?!’ Sorry, oregano. I’m new to this.
After I took inventory of my growing experience, I decided which plants I could bring in the house for the winter. I chose cilantro, mint, basil and oregano. I took pieces of the plants and seeded them in the house.
I had a couple of spaghetti sauce jars and thought they would make nice planters. A little paint, a few stripes and two metallic Sharpies later, I’d made cute containers for the mint and cilantro. The green vases were rescued from my job where they had been relegated to a life on the dust shelf.
And you know what? These would be great gifts for people who love to garden. Yeah… I know it’s winter time, but wouldn’t it be cute for starting seeds next growing season? I know I wouldn’t mind getting one as a Christmas gift.