Starting the Kitchen Garden 2016


After looking at the 10-day forecast with 60s for highs and 40s for lows, I decided to start planting my kitchen garden today.

First up – Sweet Basil.  

I always fill two large rolling planter boxes with Sweet Basil.  

I like to start with buying three full flats so I can start making pesto batches like a crazy pesto lady in a week or two.


Just my preference, I throw out all the little tags.

I used to hang on to every. single. tag.

Probably a new gardener habit.  Once you learn what is what, you don’t really need them.

Now I like to keep the beds tag-free.IMG_4002Resized

However, I do like the big tags that are at the end of a container flat.

If you buy a flat of Bonnie Plants the tag is stapled to the end.

See how much more information the container flat big labels offer?

Simply Fantastic.


I rip them off the container flat and reuse them to label my own containers – like this…


One big label vs. all those little plant labels.


When I’m planting with these biodegradable pots that have a plastic outer liner, I like to open them up with a serrated knife.

Note: You can get great kitchen utensils for your garden at Goodwill.


Nothing fancy.

All the old gardeners know – there are lots of times when kitchen utensils just work better in the garden.


Here’s a video of how I pot up all the sweet basil…

Again, not rocket science – but everyone has their own methods.


I always make sure Rosemary is in my first planting of the year.

Rosemary is the herb for remembrance. Nobody knows that anymore. We’ve lost all those old traditions.

I remembered Mary Beth and Emerson today.

There’s a pot devoted to nothing but Rosemary in the middle of my kitchen garden.


Time travel back to Christmas with me. I have to tell you about how long my herbs lasted from last summer.

This past winter was soooo mild.

I kept harvesting herbs through Christmas. God had handled the freeze-drying for me.


Here’s a garnish bowl I put together for our Christmas Celebration – and all the herbs were cut straight off of the plants from the kitchen garden.


This is what dried dill looks like…

IMG_0522 (1)Resized

And, of course, the Rosemary.

It looked pretty awesome for December 17th don’t ya think?!

Matter of fact, it looked just as fresh as it did today when I planted the new stuff. (smelled great, too)

IMG_0523ResizedThyme… so pretty.

I love sprinkling the thyme leaves over a cheese plate


And some Colorado Blue Spruce Sprigs (because it was Christmas, after all)


Having a Garnish Bowl ready to go before guests arrive makes it so easy to plate up whatever your guests are bringing and make it look extra special.

Ran across this pic of the boys as I was tracking down the garnish bowl pictures.

Apparently, I did manage to feed this crew some pizza before the party so they could exercise a little restraint when the guests walked in the door with the food.IMG_0531Resized

And, no – I didn’t garnish any of the pizza slices.

Ok, enough time travel.


Fast forward to today.


Emma needed to finish up her Kumon before helping me with the planting.

Sonny was so distracting – trying to get her to come outside early.


Ah, the blurred tail.

Stay focused, babe.


All done and ready to garden!


The last thing we planted today was a few cold crops – this bed was supposed to be all butter crunch lettuce…. but I see we’ve got some iceburg lettuce mixed in.


I know, I know. They got a little co-mingled with my little helper today. We’ll straighten it out tomorrow.

Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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