Around My Edible Garden

February 2015

Betwixt and between – the idiom for this time of year in the garden. It is neither growing season, nor is it completely dormant. At times, it is covered in snow.

snow_blueberries_feb2015Bluecrop blueberry canes in the snow.

At other times, since the snow never lasts for long, it is beginning to show more inklings of life. The rhubarb continues on its way, undisturbed in its bed. It’s a plant that really doesn’t like being moved. So, once in place, it is best to leave it alone unless it really does not flourish. It is also slow to establish. This one took a few years before it began to really grow, but now I can be assured of a good spring crop. I’ve had difficulties with rhubarb in the past – in a different garden – due to lack of sunlight and moisture (hard to imagine the latter in England!). Since I only have room for one plant in my urban garden and am lucky now to live so near the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle, I can indulge in forced rhubarb before my own plant comes into its own.


But, to play it safe, as more snow is due, I’m primarily using herbs grown in pots on the kitchen windowsill. There are always basils on the windowsill – even in summer as they are slug magnets outside. In addition to my 2 foot tall Greek columnar basil – just out of the picture frame – are pots of standard wide-leaf Basil and the small leaf spicy Greek basil. Next to these is the newly sprouting French tarragon, a tender herb that cannot tolerate the cold weather, so it comes inside to over-winter along with the lemon verbena. Also, you will note from the photo, there are a two celery bunches in a jar of water. No, I have not gone mad! A friend of mine showed me the trick – pick bunches of celery from the market with as much of the root end still intact. Once you’ve used a number of the outer ribs, put it in a jar of water and place in a sunny location. Instead of flaccid celery you find months later in the bottom of your crisper and wonder if it is only good for the compost heap, you will have a supply of fresh celery leaf for stews, soups and salads. And, yes, it does produce roots, making me wonder if it would transplant into the herb garden for a steady supply of celery leaf through the summer.


So, harvesting herbs on the windowsill except for the occasional foray out to the herb garden for some rosemary or thyme.


Tasks to be done:

  1. Rake up any matted leaves and dead plant matter from the herb garden. The recent winds and snow fall left a mess!
  2. Do a little research: Can you transplant celery outside once the weather warms?*

*As chance would have it, just after writing this task, I happened on a post by The Kitchn on regrowing celery from a store-bought bunch. So, that answered my question. Yes, you can grow celery, either in pots or outdoors, generated from the root base of store-bought bunches. So, save those celery ends!

Around My Edible Garden is my monthly diary entry detailing what is happening in my garden this past month, part of the Garden Share Collective (GSC), maintained by Lizzie@strayedtable (click on the “links in collection” icon below to view all participants). A chronological listing of my garden blog posts is listed Diaries in the Menu bar.


    • You can always have a garden on the windowsill! It is a great place to cultivate herbs. I realise now that a week has passed since I’ve been answering/commenting on the blog (naughty me!) and can now tell you that the celery has been sprouting away like mad. better than finding horrid limp bits in the refrigerator – which is what used to happen on a regular basis!

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  1. wish I had seen this post 2 days ago when I checked out a massive celery root! Never fear, I know now what to do next time. Super envious of the snow. In Sydney it is humid and hot and sticky and ants are invading the pantry and it needs to stop #rantOver


    • Let me know if your celery works out for you. I love using celery leaf as it has so much flavour – much more, I think, than the actual ribs. I’ve now discovered this can also be done easily with spring onions – using the tops, clipped like chives. No more limp veg in the crisper!


    • If you buy celery, it would be easy enough to root the ends for future outdoor growth. The plant is biennial, so it will seed in its second year/growth. However, it seems to me to be a good plant in the herb garden – to use the leaves and eventually the seeds in cooking.


  2. Lovely to feel the chill of late winter from your post and the hint of promise as the snow melts.
    I saw something on FB just yesterday about things that re-grow in jars and now can’t find it amidst the debris of nonsense that accumulates there. So I looked it up on Pinterest- seems there is quite a lot of windowsill farming going on. Must try it too.

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    • Yes, the garden is small, but definitely productive. A bit of a mess now (outside camera view, of course!) with the winds, snow and rain. But, there are areas showing life and I can’t wait until warmer weather arrives and I can give it a good “spring clean”.


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