Herb Garden, 2010 — First Harvest


About three weeks ago I finally put in some herbs out front. My back yard doesn’t get enough sunlight to grow anything useful — plenty of hostas, but that’s about it. The front yard though? Great googly-moogly.

That first picture is a cilantro plant. It’s gone absolutely crazy. Which is cool, because I loooooove pico de gallo.

A little snip with some scissors — start from the outside and leave the smaller leaves near the stem for the next harvest — and I’ve got a couple of handfuls to work with.

On the other side of the front steps are the rosemary and thyme (with a backdrop of snapdragons and … something else I hope to identify when it flowers).

I chose silver thyme strictly for how it would look in the garden. It smelled the same as the other thyme plants, so I might as well go for looks too, right?

Across the driveway, where I planted last year, I’ve got a “volunteer” cilantro plant that I didn’t put in. It just came back from last year.

I hadn’t planned on putting that there, since it didn’t do well last year. But if it wants to come back anyway, who am I to argue?

Next to that are the chives, which I did expect to come back. I planted that three (or four?) years ago and it keeps coming back stronger.

I’ve already harvested this twice. Anyone know a good use for an abundance of chives?

Next to the chives are a couple of basil plants. This time I know they’re going to be big and bushy, so it’s just the two of them.

And finally, behind the basil, the tomatoes.

I’m not at all optimistic about the tomatoes. I got plenty of green tomatoes last year, but not a single one ripened on the vine before the first frost. The fact that they all fell over when they got big didn’t help. That’s why I’ve got four wire frames all up against each other. And this weekend I’ll be putting some six-foot stakes in to hold the frames up. Fingers crossed …


  1. Chives? What can’t you do with chives? I’ll put them in/on salads of various stripes, on sandwiches, eggs, fish, chicken, hot dogs (yes!), potatoes, in bread, in butter, in dips…..on and on. I can’t think of an herb you can put to more uses except maybe parsley.

    I guess I wouldn’t put them on sweet things, like ice cream (unless you have a very weird ice cream flavor, fruits or cakes.

    Everything else though….why not?

  2. I love chives in eggs. My husband doesn’t really like onions, so I use chives alot to give dishes a slight onion flavor. Also, I put chives and parmesan cheese in homemade dinner rolls.

    Your garden looks wonderful! I am a new gardener and have never grown anything before (besides helping my grandma). I am desperatly trying to grow herbs because they are so darn expensive. However, I am trying to grow them inside and I think that may be the problem. Did you plant your herbs from seed or get starter plants?


  3. Oh my God, bread, why didn’t I think of that?

    Kayla, I used starter plants. I’ve tried from seed before and I don’t have the patience.

  4. Mary Platt says:

    To save your tomato crop at the end of the season, before the first frost pull the tomato plant up by the roots and tie the plant upside down in a cool protected place. The tomatoes will continue to ripen for a long time as they hang there on the plants. I did this one year. I hung the plants in the garage and picked tomatoes for about six weeks (the last ones were used on Thanksgiving Day).

  5. Mary, I’ve heard that before. Will definitely try it if I’ve got any green ones left at the end of the season.

  6. Cassie Brindza says:

    I love to use lots of chives in my deviled eggs. Great in scrabbled eggs as well.

  7. I have been using a lot of chives lately. Just had a craving for them. I think next year I will plant some too. I have a few herbs going in my backyard, gets a fair amount of sun, but not a lot. This year though is just a bad summer here in WA, he have hardly had any sun to help my garden grow. In my upper “herb” garden I have, 2 cilantro plants (more starts to come), 3 garlic, 2 oregano, lot of lettuce (we started them from seeds, so when they get a little bigger, I will need to seperate them out a bit) and one parsley. I also had a basil, but it died, so did my moms, don’t know why, but I have some seeds that I started and are looking good. I also have a pumpkin in the corner. In the back of the back yard we have, corn, tomatoes (purple, romas, and beefsteak), sunflowers, jalapenos, strawberries, and beans (black beans I think). I have onions started in a planter up on my patio and am waiting for them to get stronger. I have plans already coming into place on what I would like to plant next year, and rosemarry and chives were topping that list for the front yard as well as blueberries. I can’t wait already and I hope we have a better summer next year.

  8. oh hey I forgot one. In addition to my starting some new basil indoors, we have some epazote started too. For those that don’t know what it is, its a Mexican herb (where hubby is from). My husband and I use in our chilequiles…yum.

  9. Funny about your cilantro coming up by itself. I planted heirloom tomatoes six years ago at MY OLD HOUSE and they pop up all over the place at my NEW house ten blocks away. (I did bring some compost with me.) I guess they love me and wanted to come along.

  10. I read somewhere that you used to be able to tell who was fertilizing the front yard with the chamber pot by which yard had tomatoes sprouting up.


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