End of Summer in the Garden

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Here in San Diego, September can be our hottest month, as well as the start of fire season. There are the hot blasts from Santa Ana winds that can blow well into October. These are hard times for gardeners who struggle to keep plants, vegetables, herbs and flowers watered and alive. Remember, we have had only a trace of rain since May, and this is normal!

September marks the third bloom cycle of the year for roses, and light fertilizing is in order. I wait until we are in mid-October before planting fall bulbs.

Some of my favorite herbs begin to look leggy and a bit tired. Basil needs lots of water here and by late September, I usually pull it out. We don’t have frost during the winter, living as close to the ocean as we do, but it gets colds enough to blacken basil once the weather cools in late fall. I have thyme and other herbs year round, but basil is quite seasonal.

Here’s a little trick I do to save some:

1. Add washed basil leaves to your food processor

2. Add some water and process to make a slurry. Only add enough liquid to finely chop the leaves.

3. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for 24 hours. Then place cubes into plastic baggies, label and freeze again.

They will last 6 months and are a nice addition to soups and stews.

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2 Responses to End of Summer in the Garden

  1. Sunchowder September 23, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Lovely post Liz! I really enjoy comparing our growing seasons–FL vs CA. This is a great way to save basil 🙂

  2. lizthechef September 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Thanks for visiting, Wendy!

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