It’s the time of year again!

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Basil Sowing2 Feb 20

It’s my favorite time of year. The greenhouse at Rutgers Gardens is open! It opened a couple of weeks early this year, so I was able to get in to start some herb seeds earlier than usual. There’s a little bit of marketing in my seed sowing schedule. If I sowed all of my seeds at the same time, some … Read More

The Blooms of December

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We have had an extraordinarily warm fall. Rosemary will generally bloom twice a year; once in the spring and then again in the fall. But this year has been so warm that the rosemary in the herb garden at Rutgers Gardens is still blooming in December. At home, my basil cuttings are doing so well that one has started to … Read More

DIY Vanilla Extract

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I do a lot of baking, especially during the holidays. Vanilla extract is an important part of my favorite sweet treats. It’s a “flavor potentiator” meaning it enhances other flavors including our perception of sweetness. Vanilla extract is usually made from ethyl alcohol, water and low grade vanilla beans. You can increase the quality and flavor by making your own … Read More

Wherein each child gets his own room

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Last year when I wintered over cuttings of Pesto Perpetuo basil, I put all 4 cuttings in one container and left them there until they outgrew the container and had to be separated. At that point, the root systems were large and tangled and hard to separate. The poor plants not only had to endure transplant shock but additionally having … Read More