Container Gardening: Vegetables and Herbs

I finally made it to the garden center on Sunday. Usually I would have done this on Mother’s Day weekend, but this past month has been busy.

I didn’t realize that three weeks had slipped by, and was surprised at first at the small selection. The fact that vegetables were on sale, and that there were so few to choose from, really made it sink in.

I was after the usual: vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

A few varieties of tomatoes and some Hungarian Yellow Wax peppers made up my vegetable selection. I had started lettuce, peas, carrots and radishes from seed weeks ago but so far the lettuce seems to be the only thing working out. I have not had success with carrots and radishes. Even though the packages say the seeds are container friendly, they will sprout but never grow a root that I can eat. I plant them for fun anyway, thinking maybe this year will be the year.

I thought this Patio tomato and Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper would be good roommates, so they are sharing a pot. This is based purely on how they looked, not on anything that I maybe should have looked up about how well they grow next to each other. (Oops.) I picture the tomato plant being the sloppy one and the pepper being the tidy, efficient half of the pair. The pepper is always cleaning up, trying to keep the absent-minded tomato on track. But, the tomato gives good hugs. Just look at those fuzzy leaves.

A Patio tomato and Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper
Perfect roommates: a Patio tomato and Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper

Herbs are pretty dependable on my balcony. Here are the staples: oregano, basil, and cilantro. If they look a bit smushed, it’s because just moments after they were planted in their new home, my daughter stumbled back and fell—but luckily these three heroes broke her fall and caught her as she sat into the pot. (She wasn’t hurt and we both laughed at the cartoonish aspect of it.)

Oregano, cilantro, and basil
Oregano, cilantro, and basil (sat on for extra flavor)

I planted the rosemary and tarragon together. Not only because they both like well-drained soil, but because they are both tall with thin leaves. They seemed like they could be good friends. I’m sure they both wish they were living near the Mediterranean. (That makes three of us.)

There was an interesting note on the tag of this Artemisia dracunculus French that says, “Know your tarragon! True French tarragon should have a subtle anise flavor and if chewed, should make the lips numb. Not to be confused with Russian Tarragon which is tasteless and a weed.” (Source: Gilbertie’s Herbs)

Rosemary and tarragon
Rosemary and tarragon

This is a new one for me: chocolate mint. It’s just like the name says, and I want to eat the whole plant. I’m planning to pick strawberries soon and I’ll use this when I make strawberry shortcake. I think it’s going to be great!

chocolate mint plant
There is a chocolate aroma in the leaves of this chocolate mint


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