Growing winter herbs|Trisha Shirey|Central Texas Gardener

Growing winter herbs|Trisha Shirey|Central Texas Gardener

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One of the things I love about the Fall planting
season is the variety of herbs that we can plant but it can’t grow in the rest of the
year, like cilantro. Now I’m always unhappy to see my basil go, but I plant cilantro where
the basil was in the garden. And if you’ve ever tried cilantro in the Spring you know
it’s just not successful, it goes to seed immediately. So when you’re looking for cilantro
in four-inch pots, it is often very crowded in the pot, so if you look at this pot you
can see there’s probably eight or ten or more cilantro plants. And if you were to plant
them just like it is, it’s going to do okay for a while, but then the plants are going
to start to struggle, and probably die. And if you have had trouble growing cilantro in
the past, that might be why. Now this plant is kind of small so it would be rather easy
to take it apart and divide it and separate it. This plant, however, is quite crowded
and the plant is a little bit larger so it looks like it would be a better buy but really
it’s going to be a struggle for that plant to survive just like it is. So what I would
do is I would plant it, and once it’s planted let it grow for a little bit but as it’s growing
I would take out one or two of these extra plants all the way down to the base. You can
take that into the kitchen and cook with it, but that way this plant is going to eventually
have just one or two at one place and it will survive and do much better that way. Now another
plant that is fabulous to get started in a cool season is parsley, both the curled parsley
and the Italian flat-leaf parsley are great to start in this cool season and get established.
Again this plant is multiple plants in one pot, there are many many plants in there,
and this one is a little bit further along, the roots are extending out from the pot a
little bit, so again I might go in a cut some of those all the way down to the base. This
one, however, is fairly crowded, but with much smaller plants, it doesn’t have a root
system that’s winding around and twisting around too much, so that could be teased apart
and separated into probably eight or ten different parsley plants. Same thing here with this
fennel now this is really, really crowded, I know there’s at least twenty plants there
and so to divide those, just gently squeeze the pot, pull it out, you see the roots are
kind of twisting around so separate those out, sort those out, and you’ll just gently
pull it apart, it’s best to do this when the soil is a bit damp, so tear it apart, and
you can take these little divisions that you got, and you might have two or three plants
in each division, and pot those up in the pot, let them sit for a week or so for the
roots to heal or repair, or you could also put them in the garden and just protect them
with a little bit of shade cloth. Now again, this is a dill that I don’t mind having extra
fennel, because it’s a great butterfly plant, and so the larva of the swallowtail butterflies
come in and feed on the fennel all the time, in fact, I take the larva of the swallowtails
off of my dill and my parsley and I put them on the fennel so the fennel can be their host
plant. This is dill that’s stretched a little bit long, so that would not be my best choice,
I would prefer this dill, and it’s going to be easy to separate and divide. Also look
for roots that are really twisting and winding around like that, make sure you’re pulling
them out and really separate them before you plant them. Now even with some vegetables
you’ll get really crowded pots, this little arugula plant has five plants in the pot,
that’s all the arugula that I ever plant, that’s plenty arugula for me, so I would separate
this out into five plants and separate them about twelve inches apart because it gets
pretty big. Now this little pot of spinach has a lot of nice healthy little plants, but
there’s a lot of spinach in this one little pot. That needs to be separated before it
goes in the ground. When you’re pulling these apart and separating them, you have to give
them a little protection from sun and wind so that they’re not stressed, so the way I
do that is with my trusty rebar garden hoops, and use this lightweight row-cover that gives
them a little bit of wind and sun protection and I started using the bulldog clips from
your office supply store to hold that row-cover on, you can also use the little spring clamps
too, and you can use these same hoops for deer-netting, you can also use the same hoops
for a heavier-weight row-cover for winter protection for when your plants are going
to be in danger of freezing, you can use the heavier weight row-cover. So all these tips
will get you off to a great start with your fall garden. For Backyard Basics, I’m Trisha
Shirey. Thanks for watching.

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