Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Grow: Herbs and More

Lemon Thyme, German Thyme and Lavender

Living in North Texas we get some pretty extreme weather.  From ice and snow in the Winter to triple digit temps in the Summer.  So I do what any right minded person would do: I do container gardening on the patio.  Easy. Cheap. Manageable. So much less maintenance, and, when the weather gets dicey?  I move them under cover with no trouble.

Sweet Basil
I bought one basil plant at the Home Depot for $3 and we have been eating off this monster all season.  From caprese salads, to sandwiches and salads, it is a Summer staple we love each year.

The rosemary comes back year after year. This one is 5 years old. I cut it back after the Winter in the Spring and use the tender shoots for fresh herbs.  I keep the old dried up ones and use them in my smoker too.

The chives have been coming back for almost 5 years.  I have to keep trimming them off about every two weeks and they come back tender and delicious.

The spearmint was new this year. Summer in Texas = Mojitos, right?  so I grew this and it is DELICIOUS.  Also awesome when cut in chiffonade and added to other Summer time dishes.

Chili Piquin
The Chili Piquin is a native Texas pepper. Tiny and fiery hot they make an amazing jelly, some totally delicious salsa and when dried I use them like crushed red pepper (careful! they are HOTTER!).  At the end of the season we let the plants dry out and the birds enjoy the dried up remnants of my harvest.

Chili Piquin Planter
I grow almost everything in "Earth Boxes."  They are planters with a water reservoir in the bottom and they really help in the Texas Summer heat.

Better Boy Tomatoes

This is the second year I have had any success with tomatoes.  Early in the season planting is the key I have learned.  Copious amounts of water is also key.

A staple on any Texas table, you just have to grow Jalapenos.  I pickle them as "CowBoy Candy"  sweet and hot pickles for salads and sandwiches.  Delicious.

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