The fragrant herb is happy in three separate areas of the garden — near the tomatoes, near the asparagus and near the peppers. As a beneficial companion plant to all three of its neighbors, it should be making them happy, too.
I started the seeds inside and moved the transplants out in mid-May. After a week or so of “settling in,” some mulch where they’re in full sun and a dash of organic fertilizer, they’ve taken off.
Their heady scent certainly makes weeding nearby less of a chore.
Although I angst because some plants aren’t at their best, Kevin pointed out that we’re having success with more than basil.
The peas are producing; the Swiss chard and lettuces are pluckable; we’ll eat our first zucchini this weekend; the black currants and black raspberries will be ready to harvest soon; the peaches are swelling; the beans are blossoming, and we’re still picking strawberries.
We already made garlic pesto from the scapes, and the stems are putting the last of their energy into bulbs that are probably the biggest we’ve ever grown.
Last night, while pruning the tomatoes, I spied tiny fruit forming.
The peppers — all six varieties — are loving this heat, the tomatillos are gaining height daily, and the soybeans and lentils are coming along.
Other berries, the beach plums and the grapes are doing just fine — although we did squish our first Japanese beetles this week.
I noticed flea beetles on our two Thai eggplant — all that germinated and survived from two seedings. But I can spray them with soapy water and they should recover. It makes me wonder, though, if I should’ve purchased the hybrid seeds. Maybe the heritage Asian delicacy doesn’t transition well to upstate New York.
The fall crop of cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and bokchoy will soon be ready to move outside — minus all the violet of Sicily cauliflower one of our cats could reach while we were away at an art show. The catalog listing stated that violet of Sicily is far easier to grow than traditional white varieties, but apparently only if you keep it out of the mouths of adventuresome felines.
So, despite that our initial forays into “orchardry” aren’t batting a thousand and many of our perennials are growing v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, we are filling our plates from land that used to be covered in grass.
And I still can’t get over that basil.