Herb Garden Update

Hiya, and have a wonderful Wednesday!

I apologize in advance for any abnormal use of commas and capitalization, as I’ve been studying Swedish for the past two weeks – it’s closely related to English so it’s easy to get all mixed up. Just now, I really had to think whether or not you’re supposed to capitalize days of the week in English.

Anyway, as I’m busy studying for this exam I’m taking on Friday, today’s post shall be short and sweet – an update on project herb garden! Plus a nice spring pasta recipe that you’ll be able to whip up in a matter of minutes from fresh seasonal produce. So if you’re busy, too, here’s pasta primavera coming to the rescue!

Pasta with Pesto Primavera

It has been two weeks since the last update on the herbs, and they’ve grown a little since then! The growth has been quite slow, though – I don’t know if it’s completely normal, or if the fact that there’s quite a few of them in the same pot has any effect. If you have any insight to this I’d love to hear it! Anyways, they’re still doing quite well – still alive, which is a big thing for me. I’m thankful for every day that I wake up and they’re out here soaking up the first rays of the morning sun.

Kale

As I promised, I’ll be sharing the steps I’m taking in order to enjoy home-grown herbs – maybe you’ll be inspired to try it, too! I mean, if I, as someone who can’t even keep a cactus alive, can grow my own herbs, anybody can.

There are only a couple of things I’ve been doing since the previous update, and for revision’s sake, here’s what I posted back then – instructions from the very beginning.

  • Get yourself some potting mix and dampen it in a separate container before dividing between starting pots. To play it safe, I used a mix that was specifically for herb gardening. For the starting pots, I went with almond milk cartons – just cut around the middle so that you’re left with the bottom part with about 2-inch walls. Poke some holes in the bottom for extra water to drain out.
  • Press the seeds lightly into the soil and sprinkle with some extra potting mix. Spray with water, and cover with cling film. Poke a few holes into the film or leave an opening on the side for ventilation. Keep spraying a couple of times a day so that the soil stays moist but not saturated.
  • When the seedlings are out, transplant into bigger pots with holes in the bottom. If using clay pots like the ones in the picture, soak them for a while before filling with potting mix, since the clay absorbs a lot of moisture – you don’t want it to suck all the moisture out of your mix! Cover the bottom with gravel or small stones for water drainage, and fill with dampened potting mix. At this point I just went with an all-purpose mix. Dig deep holes into the soil for the seedlings – you can plant up to 5 seedlings in one pot if they are large enough. Gently take the seedling by its leaves, and lift off the soil around it with a pencil or a small spoon etc. Try to get the root out in its entirety. Transfer into the hole you just dug in the bigger pot, and try not to fold the root when inserting it! Pat the soil around the seedling to close the hole. Water well.

And here’s what I’ve done since then!

  • After a week spent in their new pots, the seedlings should have rooted. A good indication are the proper leaves that start coming out after a week or so. When you’re at this stage, you can start giving them fertilizer for faster growth and better taste. I use a herb fertilizer that I found in the local store, it has nothing else than molasses and water in it, so it’s just extra sugar for the plants. You can fertilize every two weeks, but I wouldn’t do it more often than that. Fertilizing is completely optional.
  • Spray with water every couple of days, and water generously every time the soil has dried out. To avoid drowning the herbs, wait until the soil is actually dry – two or three times per week should be enough.

Basil

It looks like we still have some waiting to do – meanwhile, go and grab yourself some fresh herbs from the store and make the most delicious springtime pesto pasta! Updates on herbs will follow in a couple of weeks – that is, if they’re still alive. Have a sunny day, everybody!

Print me!
Pasta with Pesto Primavera
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 


Servings: 4
For the pesto
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup mint
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp water
For the pasta
  • 250 g dry pasta (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 250 g asparagus
  • 250 g broccolini
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 225°C / 435°F.

  2. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water, bring to a boil, add the pasta and a pinch of salt. Check the package for the correct cooking time (usually around 10 minutes), and drain a couple of minutes before to leave al dente, as we will reheat it later.

  3. While the pasta is cooking, spread the asparagus and broccolini onto a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes until tender, but be careful not to burn the tips.

  4. While waiting for the pasta and veggies, add all pesto ingredients to a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth enough for your liking. Add olive oil if needed.

  5. Pour the drained pasta into the saucepan. Take the veggies out of the oven, and chop into 1-inch pieces. Add the veggies into the pasta, and pour in the pesto. Mix and reheat if needed, as the pesto might cool it down. Serve immediately.

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