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Garden 2019

I’ve got 28 tomato plants: The row on far right is 3 different varieties of heirlooms I started from some old seed I had on hand. Glad they germinated, but I still lost about half in the seedling stage.

I’ve just kind of thrown it together this year when I could find a minute between other projects. But it’s coming along really well! I grew everything in it from seed except for my basil and two bell pepper plants.

As if I needed more tomato plants: I saved some lower limbs I pruned off my garden plants and dropped in my watering can of rain water to root over a week ago. One is even blooming.

What is my method of pest control this year? Mix 1/2 cup water with a cup of vinegar, a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, one crushed garlic clove, and a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Pour that mess on a salad or down the drain, then get you a bag of seven dust for the bugs. ?

But if you insist on organic gardening, try picking each bug off with tweezers, then humanely drown them a few minutes by submerging them in a comfortable cup of warm water.

Seriously, we really should do all we can to protect our pollinators. We’re screwed, on the food supply without them.

Using These Three Products This Year

They do make natural bug killer sprays, and to be honest I have and do use them. Honestly, I prefer my garden as chemical free as I can. If you only have a couple of plants it’s not as much of a chore. But to really do it organically, you have to really inspect your plants, use more proactive measures and incorporate different methods. It’s not impossible, but it’s not for your run-of-the-mill lazy gardener.

A big thank you to Baton Rouge sculptor, Becky Gottsegen, for her basil gimlet recipe.
No one can make them as good as hers, but here’s her recipe:

Recipe: Basil Gimlet

1 cup basil lemon syrup (see recipe below)
3/4 cup vodka OR 3/4 cup gin
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup ice cubes

fresh basil sprigs
lemon zest strips

Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher until cold, then strain into 8 – 10 ounce glasses half filled with ice.

We both like it better with gin!

Recipe: ​Basil Lemon Syrup

4 cups packed fresh basil sprigs (top 4 inches; from a 1/2-pound bunch)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
9 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Strain syrup thourough a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.

Kenny Ellis
the authorKenny Ellis

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