Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Garden in May

Siam Queen Basil and Rama Tulsi Holy Basil in Bloom

The bees in my neighborhood love the basil flowers. Siam Queen is a Thai basil with a dramatic violet flower head and Rama Tulsi is a green stemmed Ayurvedic basil with lavender flowers. This spring, I intermixed strong scented herbal plants among the peppers, melons and squash to see if that might deter the bugs that damage the pepper plants and possibly keep the destructive melon flies from finding the baby melons and squash.

Australian Butter Squash, Flame Tomatoes and Chiriman Squash

During the first week of March I started planting melons, watermelons, squash and flowers and I'll continue planting these seeds until the end of May. The garden is just starting to hit one of it's high points of the year - the watermelons and winter squash are trailing all over - it's green and wild and looks like a mini rain forest.

Chiriman Squash, Lemon Grass and the Red Harbanero

Recently, Michelle who writes the "From Seed to Table" blog shared how she starts lemon grass. I had planted lemon grass from seed last year and didn't realize it wasn't the same lemon grass used in Thai cooking. Like French Tarragon, Lemon Grass for cooking is started from a cutting. I was able to get a lemon grass stalk started and rooted successfully - mahalo Michelle! 

The Red Harbanero produced a huge amount of peppers in April and it's just starting to flower all over again. I've planted so many different types of pepper seeds and so far there have only been 3 that the bugs don't bother much - Red Harbanero, Tabasco and Jwala. 

The First Japanese Climbing Cucumber

All of the cucumber plants that were flowering in February were badly damaged by powdery mildew so I pulled the plants and started over. The new cucumber plants are growing like crazy - it looks like a mini jungle. Yesterday I harvested the first 3 cucumbers.


  1. It really does look like a jungle there. They all seem so happy.

  2. Hi Daphne! I love it when the cucumber vines grow all wild and produce a lot of cucumbers. I juiced 2 cucumbers with some celery from my garden morning - it was so ono!

  3. Everything looks fantastic, especially the cukes! Where did you get your seeds for the Japanese Climbing Cucumber?

  4. Hi Richard! Mahalo for your kind comments! The Japanese Climbing Cucumber seeds are available through Seed Savers and Baker Creek.

  5. I'll check out the sites. Thanks for the info!

  6. So green and lush, my basils struggles in our climate, it's too dry for them.

  7. Hi Mac! I'm surprised it's hard to grow basil in the high desert. My garden books claim it does well in poor soil and dryer conditions. However...I have to water my basil every day and twice per day in the summer or it wilts.