Tag Archive: Basil

Epic Herb Fail

So…I admit it, sometimes I’m having a bad day, or I’m hormonal or I’m just a moody bitch. This past Monday, all three aligned to occur at once and when I saw the little black flying bugs on my herbs, I acted before I thought.   It’s not something that I do regularly anymore, but Monday was such an epic fail of a day that it was the basil leaf that broke the camel’s back.

Little black, flying bugs I hate you.  Between them and the outrageously hot July, it was getting tough keeping them misted enough, watering them enough but not too much and just overall keeping them alive and happy.  So before I could even think about, the herbs…dead and alive…were relegated to that herb garden in the sky.

That sound you hear is the broken heart of a green thumb.  So…once I got down feeling sorry for myself and my herbs, I did a little research and found out how to kill the little boogers, getting some good info in the process.  Why did I not do this beforehand, please see paragraph one. If I have one regret about this, it is acting before I thought it through. But we all get to do that sometimes in life and this was my moment. Hey, I could be sitting here, lying to you about it. Telling you the mythical herb God came down from the mountains of Herbacia and took my herbs as his yearly sacrifice, all the while cackling. Enjoying my heartfelt and bereft screams to him..”Not my herbs, you bitch!” but no, I told the truth.  I had heat, black flying bugs and a terrible, no good, bad day.

So…where does that leave us? Well, it leave us with a little more room in the kitchen and a new plan. I am one of those people who tends to dive in at the deep end (swimming metaphors are weird when you don’t swim) with things. If I don’t know how to do something, I tend to pick something overly complicated to start. Yes, I just make things more difficult. With gardening, I already have a green thumb, I’ve already grown things and I’ve already tested my abilities so I figured the more, the better.  Well no, maybe not in this case. I am going to take a step back and start small. I am going to grow basil and MAYBE one other herb, but definitely basil to start. I had the best luck with it. I am going to do a little research, take some notes and start again.

It’s not failing that makes us who we are, most people fail at some point. And at some point, we all have to fall on our sword a bit. What makes us who we are is what we do once we fail. It’s ok to go off and lick your wounds for a short time, but you can’t let it beat you.  I have faith in my ability to grow things and I have faith in my ability to pick myself, clean the potting soil out from under my fingernails and start again.  I am going to master one herb, then the next. And believe me when I tell you, I will master them.

Good news is I do have a good amount of basil to work with now. I was able to get some chives, sage, cilantro and parsley out of the deal before it all went south. So, I know it can be done. So,  HERBS: MACH 2 (electric boogalo) is coming to a blog near you!


My herbs in happier days…



Herb-tastic, even. So…I have herbs. Ok, I should really say that I have greenery because they haven’t fully sprouted yet, although a few are going gangbusters.

After about a week, less actually, we had some growth in the Tarragon and the Chives. After another day, the basil started sprouting. This is the Basil by itself and the seeds I threw in with the Basil plant I already had going (and I wish they’d had Sage seedlings when I went because I would have liked to do the same thing with the Sage plant.  Following that it was the Oregano, Cilantro and Parsley.


See?  The beginnings of something great! What worried me was the Rosemary. It was proving to be a bit shy and wasn’t doing much of anything. This would make me the saddest of the sad because my favorite herb is Rosemary and were it not to grow, I would take it very personally. But, as luck would have it…bit of a slow grower.

Rosemary...thank the herb goddess!

So, not much yet…but it’s getting there. Very very very slowly.  Ok, well I knew this wouldn’t be an overnight sensation of herb-acity! (Yes, I can work in a lot more of these so be careful about how you tread in the comments mein leiblings).

So, today I pruned the basil plant back by grabbing some of the leaves and I’ll use them tomorrow for something. But the thing was about to tip so I figured it was good timing. Did the same with the Sage and fried it up (I cannot tell you how fantastical Sage is when you fry it up in a bit of olive oil) with some Polenta cakes (don’t get excited, I bought a package of organic Polenta from Trader Joe’s, I didn’t make it myself).  So, I had some leafy greenness!

Happiness is a fully grown herb!

Check out my 1970s counter top! You should see the fake wood paneling on my walls. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I wish I was.

But I can hear you, my gentle readers, saying “The Hell?! Where be photos of the growth? Those herbs are lovely but you didn’t grow them sister, show us the goods!” And so…I shall and remember, patience is a virtue as I have a world of bad puns at my disposal and I am not afraid to use them.

Let’s break it down…going from left to right. The two at the very left are Rosemary. I hope by putting them together, they will compete to grow the fastest.   Next to them, Cilantro in the back (which is something people either love or hate. I love it) and  sweet Basil in front of it. You can never have enough Basil. Really.  Next door to them is Parsley and in front of him, if you couldn’t tell, Chives.   I suspect that is what is going to have to be replanted first. They’re leaning a bit as you can see and what was interesting is that they were leaning into the Sun.  Next, Oregano in the back and then Tarragon, looking startlingly like each other.

A few more snaps!

Basil Plant with some growth and herb-lings!

Ok kiddos…there we are, about 2 weeks out and we have growth! It’s always good to know that the skills you think you have do show themselves!