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Monday, January 10, 2011

1/10 Harvest - back from the (almost) dead

I remember the good old days (i.e. last year) when I got really excited about every single plant in my garden and monitored for the slightest visible evidence of vegetative growth on each of my plants.  Well, I still care and I still think that growing plants are exciting, but I'm going to admit to you all that I've been getting a bit... lazy.  Even though my winter gardening responsibilities involve only indoor plants, I haven't spent nearly as much time or effort on taking care of what few plants I have.

One of the near-casualties of the diminished gardening effort on my part involved the potted basil.  Remember when I planted some basil cuttings to winter them indoors?  They grew really well for a while, and then they almost died because I stopped watering and harvesting them.  The plants got too heavy and tall for the grow box, and they they started wilting and drying up from lack of water.  I know, I know, I was a totally bad plant mom.

About two or three weeks ago, I felt bad enough and decided to clean up my act.  I took a pair of scissors gave my basil a much needed trim.  After cutting off all the dead branches and leaves, I was left with a basil plant whose main and most side stems were dried brown.  There were very few leaves left on the plant and I didn't think it would make it.  I wish I had a picture to show you, but I didn't take a picture of this almost-dying basil.

But now it's alive again!  The miracle of consistent watering!


I'm thoroughly pleased to report that the top of this basil plant is busy growing new branches and leaves.


Here (pictures above and below), you can see how the main stem and most of the side branches are dried and brown.  I really thought that this basil was toast.  But surprisingly enough, there's somehow life in there, and new leaves and young branches are growing out of the dry and brown ones.


I've been harvesting a few basil leaves here and there for things like homemade pizza, pasta and salads.  It's not much, but it still allows me to eat something that I've grown myself, and that makes me happy.

Check out Harvest Monday for other winter gardeners' bounty!

22 comments:

~Holly~ said...

Mmmm...fresh basil in January! Score!

xoxoxo said...

Wow! I decided I am not a "cilantro during winter" kinda girl myself. It was just too hard.. or maybe my flower pot was too dirty for my indoor taste... either way- CONGRATS on your Zombie Basil!

mac said...

Wow, overwintered basil, it's amazing.

Dirt Lover said...

Suh-weet!!! Congrats on your overwintered basil. Maybe now you need to convert a spare bedroom into a grow-room??
~~Lori

meemsnyc said...

I always forget to water my indoor plants, and they suffer because of it. Ooops.

vrtlarica said...

I have only one indoor plant. And it never gets the attention like my garden plants. I don't know why is that...

Daphne said...

Ah for fresh basil in winter. I have a tendency to kill indoor plants. I keep thinking about starting some, but know better. The indoor spring seedlings have enough to worry about.

Shawn Ann said...

I love my outdoor garden, but have to admit, I am pretty bad with the indoor winter garden too! But, I do have winter basil as well! Amazingly. I have been using them to test my lights so that I can make sure my seedlings do well this year! But I am pretty neglectful of all those plants, seedlings as well, until I get them all outside and the weather is nice again! Something about winter...it's just a bummer all around!

Dan Owen said...

This time of year, I get through the cold and cloudy days by looking through seed catalogs and planning for the 2011 growing season. Like me, my indoor plants are just getting by until things warm up once again. So, hang in there and it will be spring before we know it!

kitsapFG said...

I was feeling kind of blue for that poor dehydrated basil plant but look at him now! Growing like there is no tomorrow. Amazing what regular watering can do! ;D

Mark Willis said...

Sounds very much like my recent experience! What a satisfying feeling it is to be able to eat something you have grown yourself. I try very hard to ensure that there is always SOMETHING edible in my garden throughout the year, even if it is only herbs for flavouring other things.
With consistent care, those Basil plants will reward you for months to come.

Lexa said...

Don't feel bad. I think both plants & gardeners need a time of rest. That's what Winter is all about!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I'm inconsistent with my indoor watering, too. I do keep the rosemary plants watered by dumping any coffee, tea, or water I don't finish on them. I know they won't be very forgiving if they start to give up. I had to throw a couple African violets away the other day, and will probably lose more of them.

You've inspired me to try keeping some basil going inside for winter use.

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