Tag Archives: basil

Mothering on Mother’s Day

14 May
Garden View on Mother's Day

Garden View on Mother’s Day

On Sunday, I took my mother and my son to a plant sale at St. John’s Cathedral where Plant a Row for the Hungry were having a small event. They didn’t have a big selection of vegetable plants, so I bought my flower-loving mom some Geraniums. As usual, I picked up a packet of free seeds from Plant a Row, and made a donation to the church’s nursery for a special Mother’s Day tote bag.

Goodies from Plant a Row 2012- seeds, coupons, sign, and tote bag

Goodies from Plant a Row 2012- seeds, coupons, sign, and tote bag

On our way home, and hungering for some plants, I decided to stop by Paulino’s Gardens. The place was packed! I bought my mother some more pretty flowery plants that she likes, and of course, I could not resist to buy some for myself. I bought a comfrey plant, which I had been on the lookout for since their leaves make a really nice organic fertilizer. I also bought a grown Borage plant, since my seedlings are still really tiny.

Comfrey

Comfrey

Finally, it was around 1pm when I made it to the garden. After a Gayatri mantra chant, I immediately set out to work. I gave the soil one last airing, gathered the babies, and got down and dirty!

The scoop: Three different kinds of tomatoes, Heirloom, BigBoy, and Ildi. Bell peppers of different colors, an Anaheim chili, and eggplants are the stars of the show. To help them, I invited some of their friends over: basil (to aid in flavor), borage to deter tomato worms and improve flavor and growth, marigolds (to keep flies and mosquitos away), chives, onions, and leeks. This year, I have been studying up on companion planting. After all, you are who you associate with (In Spanish, “dime con quien andas, y te dire quien eres”) This link has been super beneficial to me in determining who to plant next to whom.

View of the garden plot

View of the garden plot

After I did all the planting, I kept coming back to admire the garden, pausing to smile at the plants in their new abode, and marveling at an awesome Mother’s Day.

containing the contagion

9 Apr

It’s barely April, but tireless aphids don’t keep calendars. I have my first plant in quarantine. The young pretty basil has been infected. To contain the contagion, aside from removing from the other plants, I tried a tobacco and catnip tea.

A youngen herself, the Burley Tobacco plant teamed up with the teen catnip and donated some of their leaves to the cause. Before taking any leaves, I usually sit with the plant and give a prayer of permission and gratitude at her offering.


I chopped the few leaves and placed in a shallow bowl. I let them soak in water for 48 hours. I seeped through a strainer, and sprayed on the basil leaves and stems.

Since the basil is a small plant to begin with, I only used a few leaves of both the tobacco and the catnip.

Tobacco is said to be a natural insecticide. The effects are short-lived so it does not harm the plants. Do not spray on peppers, tomatoes, or any other member of the nightingale family as they are very sensitive to tobacco. Catnip is also said to be an excellent bug repellant, especially for larger bugs like cockroaches, mosquitoes, and caterpillars. I added a few leaves of catnip for an extra kick, but it would not have been absolutely necessary. I anticipate spraying the basil a couple of times in the next two weeks.

When I first bought the Burley Tobacco plant from the nursery, I thought it was more of a curiosity, a conversation piece. I had not anticipated she would be put to work. But she jumped at the chance!

I hope this tea takes care of the aphids before Mother’s Day (date of last possibility of frost for Colorado) when they will be transplanted in the garden plot.

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