When Will They Die? (And What to Do When They Do?)

NewGirl1257(7)October 8, 2012

Hi all, this is my first year ever of having any kind of garden. I inherited a garden with my new home.

I have many many lovely basil plants, and I've been told to pick it all and make pesto - but I don't think I'll have the time for a week or two. I'm afraid the temperature will drop low enough that it will all die. When can I expect most of my garden plants to die? Do they all go at the first frost?

I have one plant that is already dead - a cantaloupe vine. It died overnight! I assume because it got too chilly. What should I do with the dead vine? Should I pull it up and put it on the compost pile?

Now that I type this out I realize that the questions seem kind of silly, but would love any perspective you guys can provide.

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Hey newgirl:
I don't know what part of the state you are in but down here in Snowflake, (Va.), we can usually coast until the tail end of October with Basil, Sage, etc. Unfortunately the Basil has probably started blooming on you and you have missed the peak time to make pesto. (before the bloom stage) but it will still taste better than store bought. Another thing to consider is to cut it coarse (less bruise) and freeze it in your ice trays and then put in storage bags (read ziplock) and freeze same until you wish to add it to soups stews whatever. If it has made seed.....save it for next season and use quicker. Welcome to the wonderful world of gardening....never enough time.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Hi newgirl and welcome to the forum! Yes, compost everything as it dies back except those things that are diseased. Those should go to the landfill unless you are seriously into composting and maintain a hot enough pile to kill off the diseases.

There's no such thing as a silly question if you need an answer. I hope by now you've had a chance to harvest the basil. Like mmstiner said, it will be better than anything you buy in those little jars at the store! I sometimes let it go to seed so I can avoid having to buy seeds the following year and then harvest the leaves to dry for winter use. Yes, it's better when younger, but who cares when it's so good anyway!

Good gardening!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:42AM
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