Friday, September 4, 2009



Parsley, basil majoram

The season is here. It’s herb gathering/harvesting time. September is the month to start drying all those herbs you have grown and used all summer. This is what I do: I harvest my bay leaves, oregano, thyme and majoram and other herbs. I place them in brown sandwich bags and put those bags in my car. The herbs dry inside the warmth of the car. The car smells wonderful during the drying and when I open the bags a day later, they are completely dry and have retained a lot of their color. Now I place the herbs in a sealed container for winter’s use. I appreciate the bay leaves the most in the dead of winter since they are so expensive when bought at that time. I use my bay leaves for soups and pasta sauces.

Herbs ready to be placed into brown bags

It is almost time to bring in the plants that I have placed outside for the summer. I’m talking about those big houseplants. This is what I do: I place a bulb of garlic inside the soil of each plant. The insects that might be abiding there will be repelled by the garlic and flee the plant. After two days, I then bring the plant inside, knowing the bugs have left.

Garlic being placed into plant's soil

I love my basil plants. I grow as much as the grounds at Woodloft, (my home) will allow. I harvest the leaves and place them alternately in a glass jar with parmesan cheese. I place it in the freezer for the winter. When opened in January, it is like summer in a jar. I use the combination in pastas and salads.They also make a great winter gift.

Layered basil and parmesan cheese

Now is also the time to plant garlic. If you plant garlic in the fall, it will be ready for an early spring harvest. All that you have to do is to plant several whole garlic bulbs about 2” underground and cover with soil. This year, I ended up with a huge number of small garlic bulbs. I was disappointed until I tasted them. Wow! They were strong and pungent. The smaller the bulb, the more flavor. I’d show you a picture, but we ate them all!

All these ideas are tried and true. (by me) More herb tips soon.

Hope you enjoyed these early fall garden tips.

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1 comment:

  1. You are amazing. I have been gardening my whole life and been fighting aphids and spider much of the time. Since we are a military family who moves every three years, the bulk of our "gardens" have been in pots. Just last month I lost my favorite chocolate mint plant to the damn aphids and it wasn't the first plant I've lost to them. We have been fighting the spider mites and aphids for decades. I asked several, professional, gardners and not one had told me about the garlic bulb. You rock!! And I love your suggestion about how to dry the herbs. I've always hung mine up and that can make a real mess! Thanks, Lynne, you're the best.


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