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Old 01-13-2008, 01:48 AM   #1
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ISO Tips for Indoor Herb Gardens

ok so this year I decided to start a herb garden. But I do it all via potted plants as it is winter, and even if it were summer time, there is no garden around my apartment.
At the local supermarket I have gotten thyme, sage and oregano. I have also acquired some basil. But it isn't doing so well.
I purchased an LED grow light. It has blue and red LED's to help with growing and seeding... Its all confusing. But the herbs seem to be doing quite well. I would like to get a bigger light and get more herbs.
Any tips? What should I get for my herb garden. Is it better to start with seeds or get plants. Overall, I've found that plants do allright. Except for the basil. I posted about that in another thread. I have been giving it lots of light. I put the light on the basil during the night and the rest of the herbs and plants (I have 3 flower plants too) during the day. Should I switch it up?
The basil seems to be getting water fine. It just seems to be withering and drying up. Should I try seeds next time? Is there a way to save it?

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Old 01-13-2008, 03:17 AM   #2
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I would like to start an herb garden, so I am looking forward to any replies you get. Hopefully someone with experience in that area will come forth with ideas soon.

Barbara
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:51 AM   #3
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Sage is a good hardy plant to grow and takes near drought conditions - well it does at my place LOL!! Parsley and chives are easy to grow and don't take much effort either. Basil does die pretty easily esp at the right time of year, but there is a lengthy thread (from memory) on growing basil from Oct or Nov last year.

Thyme is a lovely plant but it can die on you for no apparant reason, just leaving you scratching your head. It does like the water and a decent amount of light but no so much the heat. I have found that these plants grow best from seedlings rather than seeds but that may have more to do with my khaki-coloured thumbs than the product!

While I haven't grown these plants indoors, I have grown them in my back enclosed verandah so they get plenty of air but no natural rain, nor much if any direct sunlight.

Mustard and cress you can grow on cottonwool from seeds very very easily.

Now strawberries just take one whiff of me and start to keel over!!!
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:48 AM   #4
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tdiprincess, I can't grow basil very well in winter either------I think that this is one smart son of a basil plant and knows that you're an idiot to try and even cultivate it when it is out of season even though it's warm in your apt/house and you have all the lights, etc. but the basil has sense receptors that can see that it's cold outside and probably has a global positioning device gene built in and senses the the earth's axis has rotated no matter what kind of light you give it .....think of trying to get a hubby off a couch during football season---it ain't happening with Mr. Basil either.....
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:23 PM   #5
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I think I'm going to try again with the basil soon. I'm gonna get a hold of seeds and put it in the warmest room in the apartment (my room). I'll get another light just for it. We'll see if it works...
The other herbs are doing great. And the plants also. Although I don't even know the names of the flowers (is that sad or what?) Got 'em at the local supermarket for a dollar each. I figure...why not try it? They all seem to be doing pretty good. 2 of them are growing new flowers (guess that's a good sign) I think I'll read up some more on growing the basil and other stuff.
I'm gonna also try to get some mint, parsley, cilantro, maybe some chives.. I could steal a bunch from my parents in their garden in the summer and try to transplant them.

Here's a bit off topic: anyone know anything about growing a lemon tree?
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Try again with seeds. While I've never had luck with bringing Basil transplants into the house, seeds have done great. In fact, I start all my Basil garden transplants (regular, lemon, lime) from seed indoors under lights.
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:51 PM   #7
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I bought a supermarket basil plant that lasted a really long time on a western facing window sill in winter in New England. It didn't grow enough for pesto but it did keep us in fresh basil leaves to finish a tomato sauce and as a fresh kick to a green salad. I think the trick was to snip off an inch or two - to the nearest "crotch" of the tops immediately. As I understand, basil (and many other plants) channel most of their "energy" to the topmost part of the plant. So by cutting the tops, the energy goes to those little side shoots and in a week or so they become big enough to snip again .... and the beat goes on.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:16 AM   #8
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All I can tell you about lemon trees is mine doesn't grow but they respond really well to being urinated on!! (Which isprobably why mine isn't growing!!!! LOL)
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:49 AM   #9
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Hahaha! Bilby!! Talk about good lemon-aid (ade)

As for basil and flavor retention don't let the basil go to flowers.......snip those off as soon as you see them even forming.......or the intensity of the flavor will decrease....this step, too, will enhance more growth
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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I'll do that for next time. So if snipping of the tops helps how do I preserve the tops to make pesto and what not?
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