On the Garden

Tomato Basil Pasta using fresh basil from my garden. I’m so sorry you don’t have smellernet, because this dish made my kitchen smell divine! I’ll share the recipe at the end of the post.

I haven’t mentioned how the garden is coming along . . .

Well, it’s a mixture of success of disappointment. I’ve learned some things for the future.

Things I Have Learned:

1) If you don’t “thin” out your plants properly, the plants themselves will be thin and under developed.

In my zeal to have things grow this year, I placed between 3-5 seeds in each hole. I did this on the sunflowers, the corn, and the zinnias. In the past I have only put 1 seed in each hole, and they have sprouted . . . incompletely. I really wanted my sunflowers to finally be a full row (instead of the interspersed ones I have always had) and I had trouble with my corn last year as well. So this year I figured – the more the merrier!

This would probably be true, but everything I read on packaging and my faithful gardening resource, google, said to thin out your plants when they’re 3-5 inches tall. I never did.

Because then I felt this hope that the more plants would be more awesome.

Then my neighbor Rick came over and commented on how thin the individual plants were. I didn’t tell him that I hadn’t pulled my extra plants to allow one per to grow thick and strong.

But I had also noticed my sunflowers were having the same problem. They were two feet high, but thin as a pencil. That’s not right.

So I went out and finally thinned them out. We will see if they correct themselves at this point or if I will have to wait till next year to have a beautiful row of sunflowers. *SIGH*



2) Wave Petunias -ahem- suck. I bought them at Costco because they were a great price – $10/flat. I read on my gardening resource, google, that they were great for pottings and hanging baskets, but didn’t say much about putting them in the ground except one thread on a forum that said they did great in the ground too.

But they’re horrible. Regular petunias mound and spread and fill in over the summer. My wave petunias have hardly moved. They look spindly and flat instead of mounded and full. They don’t have as many blooms on the plants. I am very disappointed in them. I will not be doing wave petunias again.


Other things in the garden are doing wonderfully. All my vegetables are taking off. I need to read up on how to help my peppers produce better, but other than that, everything seems on course. My zuchinis and squashes are going gang busters, and in about ten days I expect to have 15-20 squashes. We have used the lettuce for salads and burgers for all of our barbeques of the past week (we’ve been to three in the past week).


We had a spring crop of peas. They we delicious. The kids (and I) enjoyed picking them and eating them as snacks when ever we were outside. But we didn’t really get enough to can. Maybe I will plant more next year. It just is kinda a bummer because they take up room in the garden, then they finish, but it’s too late to plant something else. Also, they didn’t trellis well at all. I will have to work on that for next year.

And now, for that recipe that I know you’re dying to try!


Tomato Basil Pasta

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: It feeds my family of 6

Tomato Basil Pasta


  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb. Pasta of choice. It doesn't matter, just what ever you have on hand.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Shy 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
  • Tomatoes. I used grape cut in half, you could use any just cut them into about 1 to 1/2 inch pieces
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch pieces


  1. Cook pasta in salt water (you want your water to be like sea water, so don't be shy with the salt).
  2. While your pasta is cooking, heat your olive oil in a pan. Add your smashed garlic and let it warm until it's fragrant. Don't let it get brown! (Brown garlic = yuck!) When the garlic is really starting to be pungent, add your tomatoes, and let them warm through. You don't want them to break down too much, just get warm and a little juicy. Add your cooked pasta. If it's a little dry, add just a little bit of your pasta water. (It might be a little dry depending on how juicy your tomatoes are - this is just a judgement thing). Finally, tear up your basil and add your mozzarella, and stir together into your serving dish.
  3. This is so fresh, and so tasty. It is perfect for a summer evening. It's fast, light, and easy!


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