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Old 04-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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ISO advice on how not to kill an herb garden?

After years of threatening i invested in a potted herb garden yesterday. i now need advice on how best not to kill it!!!!! it on the step of my patio door. Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted!

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Old 04-26-2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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What have you planted? My mother always has an herb garden and so far it's done pretty well no matter what. Usually she grows basil, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, spearmint, and a few others that she changes up every year. So far it's just been a matter of watering them. They've all grown really well with minimal care. Check out a few online resources - if you've got herbs that are particularly difficult to care for, the internet will tell you! Other than that, all I can say is good luck :)
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:48 AM   #3
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lol, - you mean what has the man in the shop planted???? In it is parsley, two types of thyme (archers gold and silver posie), oregano, pineapple mint, sage and a taill curry plant (which smells lovely). Most of the instructions on the little cards just say to keep watered but i have been known to kill the hardiest of house plants!
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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I routinely grow rosemary, chives, lavender, thyme, sage, and basil. I've never had any real problem growing them as long as I pay attention to keeping them adequately watered. Along with my "regulars," I add parsley, cilantro, oregano and anything else I think I'll use in my cooking. Lots of fun and smells oh, so good! I love brushing by my lavender or rosemary plants. Mother Nature's perfume.
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #5
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Oh, dear. Last year I did have an odd one. A beautiful, several years old rosemary that I was very attached to up and died for no reason I could think of, and my basil all keeled over and died before its time as well. The only thing I could think of is that both plants must have hated the cocoa mulch I topped the bed with, although the myriad of other herbs did ok.

Mint needs wet feet. Plant it near the roof's downspout or a faucet (especially one that leaks!). Most herbs don't like a particularly rich soil. I've found though that gardening can be pretty capricious. I once couldn't get cilantro to grow in my herb garden to save my life, only to have an almost eternal plant pop up in the middle of the lawn. Hubby mowed it down weekly, but I had fresh cilantro for a couple of years from that silly plant!

I've found that starting with seedlings from the store rather than seeds is best for me, for most plants. I start from seed with basil sometimes (now in a planter rather than in the ground where it died last year), and dill "volunteers" every year. I also have a few perennials that come back every spring. You might look up plants that "like each other". Basil likes to grow near tomatoes, and I've also found it likes growing in the barrels I grow peppers in. Marigolds are said to repel some insects, and nasturtiums are disliked by moles and some other burrowing diners of your garden. Both have flowers that are lovely and tasty in your salads.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:00 PM   #6
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I cheated and bought an AeroGarden to grow my herbs since I have a black thumb. Now I have more herbs than I can handle.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:04 PM   #7
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I've always been told to keep the seed pods picked off of my basil to keep it going longer. Not sure if it's true but it's worked so far for me, I have basil until a freeze catches me off guard.
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:58 AM   #8
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Not allowing your basil to go to seed definitely DOES work. The plants last longer and the leaves stay larger for longer. Remember, in a vast botanical over-simplification, with some plants once it produces a viable seed, its job is done and it is past its prime. Once you've been growing basil for awhile (for me it's been decades) you can catch it before it goes to seed at all, just keep pinching it back. You'll get more leaves of better quality this way, and the plant lasts longer.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:41 AM   #9
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Not letting the plant go to seed is true for most herbs, not just basil. If plants are putting their energy into making flowers and seeds, unless that's what you want from them, cut off the flowers and the energy will go into making more leaves (or bulbs or roots or whatever else). As Claire said, picking and using the leaves regularly will prompt the plant to produce more leaves, making it more productive during the season.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suziquzie View Post
I've always been told to keep the seed pods picked off of my basil to keep it going longer. Not sure if it's true but it's worked so far for me, I have basil until a freeze catches me off guard.
I just snip the tops off. Cilantro will kick the bucket very fast after going to seed.
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