Beans, Basil, & Tomatillo

We’ve been harvesting pole beans for a couple weeks, but lately they haven’t produced much.  I suspect that the very hot weather from two weeks ago caused them to stop blooming.  New flowers are appearing, so we should get more beans soon.  The leaves of some bean plants on the end of the row have had holes chewed in them.  I saw an adult Colorado potato beetle on one leaf, so that could be the culprit.  It also could be Japanese beetles or grasshoppers; both have caused similar damage to my beans in past years, but I haven’t seen them on the beans this year.

flowering pole beans with leaf damage

flowering pole beans with leaf damage

Basil has grown well in the heat.  In the photo below, the plant farthest away (second from the right) is lemon basil; the others are sweet basil.  The basil is in cages to protect it from rabbits.  We have been using the abundant sweet basil leaves in salads and sandwiches and of course in pesto.  Basil is very cold-sensitive; a hint of frost will make it turn black, while other plants are unaffected.  It’s difficult to preserve basil’s flavor.  Dried basil has little flavor and frozen basil turns an unappetizing black, as I mentioned.  Two methods I’ve read about but haven’t tried with sweet basil are to store it in either oil (preferably olive) or vinegar, then use the flavored liquids in cooking.  The vinegar method works well with dill and with lemon basil.  The acid in vinegar helps prevent spoilage, but if you store herbs in oil you may need to sterilize the jars and pasteurize the oil and herbs.  Perhaps the easiest method is to make pesto and freeze that.

basil growing in cages

basil growing in cages

The “volunteer” tomatillo plants in raised bed number one have fruit that is ripening.  We planted both regular and pineapple tomatillo in this garden bed a few years ago.  Pineapple tomatillo fruit are small and bright yellow, and taste like…you guessed it, pineapple; you can eat them raw, straight off the plant.  These look like the regular tomatillo, but I wonder if they are a hybrid.  I guess we’ll find out when we eat some.

ripening tomatillo fruit

ripening tomatillo fruit

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About brianbreczinski

work: chemist, NMR manager; hobbies: gardening, reading, photography, electronics, biking, woodworking
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5 Responses to Beans, Basil, & Tomatillo

  1. Pingback: Weekend Harvest 02 | gardenblog2013

  2. Pingback: Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans, & Blackberries | gardenblog2013

  3. Pingback: Weekend Harvest 03 | gardenblog2013

  4. Pingback: Transplanting Herbs & Planting Okra | gardenblog2013

  5. Pingback: Beetle Battle | gardenblog2013

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