Gardenology Update 7.7.11

It has been about seven weeks since I planted my potted plant balcony garden, so I thought it might be time for an update, especially considering the recent scandal that took place there.

The number one piece of good news that I have about the garden is that I have three little jalapeños on the pepper plant!

Aren't they cute?

Some herbs are doing well, and some herbs are. . . not. Specifically, the cilantro. It dried out and started flowering within 3 weeks of planting it. I know I have a history of killing plants, but I’m blaming this one on the weather. After 1-2 weeks of diligently removing the flowers every night in an attempt to coax the plant back into leaf-producing mode, I gave up. As soon as a coworker pointed out to me that I could just let the failed cilantro experiment go and it would start producing coriander seeds, I threw in the towel. And started researching Indian recipes.

Sadface cilantro, jubilant rosemary

The cilantro has just started to produce little clusters of green coriander seeds. My best friend Melissa visited this weekend, and being the curious cats that we are, we popped two seeds off the plant and tasted them raw. They taste like cilantro. Go figure.

The rosemary is doing very well, and I have already used it twice with red bliss potatoes. The first time was tossed with potatoes in olive oil and roasted; the second time was in creamy rosemary mashed potatoes (to die for).

I have gotten some use out of the basil too, and the parsley is still hanging in there but remains untouched by my mighty garden-to-table spatula.

Still I have only produced one tomato on the patio tomato plant, which is one more than I have ever produced on any other plant, so I’m pretty darn proud of that tomato.

Wait a minute. . . . .

Where did it go?

The only tomato I ever grew has literally disappeared in the middle of the night, straight from my second floor balcony. It’s a mystery and a tragic loss. There was no evidence and there were no witnesses, although I think Isabelle might know something.

Ever since the incident, she has been dropping hints like, “that’s just nuts!” and “what a squirrelific situation!”

I did a little research (i.e., called my mother) and discovered that in periods of drought, squirrels will steal garden tomatoes for hydration. I wish I could have seen the little squirrel pluck my tomato, which was 3-4 inches in diameter, off the vine and carry it up to his nest. Must have been comical for anyone but me, as I am still mourning the loss of the fruit of my labor, and Isabelle, who probably sat idly by, helpless to stop the theft as it occurred.

I’ll let you know if I get another tomato. Izzie and I are planning a complex squirrel trap to humanely catch the thief in the act, should another tomato appear on the plant. This one isn’t going anywhere until I’m ready for it. Fool me once, squirrel.

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