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Old 02-03-2012, 09:46 AM   #31
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TaxLady: Planting dates are determined by your average last frost date.

For instance, tomatoes are started 6-8 weeks before last frost. Peppers 8-10 weeks. Etc.

Hardy plants, which are transplanted before last frost, obviously are started much sooner. For instance, our last frost is the first week in May. When I grow onions (or any alliums) from seed I start them in January for planting in March and April.

Truly, the two most important dates in the gardener's calander are last frost and first frost. They really determine what you can grow, and when to grow it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #32
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HistoricFoodie, your post about about the mini-greens got me thinking. I don't really have a sunny space to start plants. I was growing rosemary in front of the patio door and it got very leggy - leaves far from each other. I doubt that is a good start to my vegis.

Do any of you guys you grow lights for starting your plants?
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:56 AM   #33
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taxlady, the last thing you need to incur for seed starting is the expense of grow lights. They are totally unnecessary.

All you need are plain, cold-white flourescent bulbs. But you want them adjustible, so you can keep them within 2 inches of the growing seedlings. Most people rig the fixtures on chains, for that reason. Alternatively, take something like a bookcase with adjustible shelves, and more the plant trays up as necessary.

Either way, put the lights on a timer, because seedlings require 16 hours of light to grow properly.

The problem with starting plants in front of windows (or patio doors) is twofold. First off, there isn't enough usable light under the winter sun. And what there is available is heavily weighted towards the red spectrum. So plants grow leggy, trying to find the light they need.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:12 PM   #34
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Herb Urban Terrace Garden ?

*** would like to hear from Historic Foodie

I have been contemplating beginning a private outdoor terrace Urban apartment herb garden.

I use a tremendous amount of : Oregano, Basil and flat Italian leaf Parsely

Is it alot of trouble to grow one´s own ?

Weather: very very sunny however, gusts of howling winds at 25 Farenheit and very dry - 646 metres above sea level ...

Thing is, I could put them in my Home Office as this room gets alot of sun, as it faces east.

Appreciate a book perhaps and some good advice.

Thanks alot. Margi. Cintrano.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #35
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All three of those are native to the southern Med, Marji, and actually grow wild in the hills. So other than possibly the wind, you should have no trouble growing them in pots. If the wind is a problem you can rig panels to protect the plants as necessary.

Basil is an annual, and has to be started from seed each year. Parsley is a biennial, which goes to seed i the second year; so it, too, should be started new every year.. And oregano is a perennial. Once you have it established you have it forever.

The last two can be started from seed, but it's easier to start them from cuttings.

Pots or other containers make sense for you, because, for a continual supply, you'll want to bring them indoors to over-winter.

The two biggest mistakes made growing herbs are over-watering them, and over-feeding them. So go easy on both moisture and plant food. They don't need much of either.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #36
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Historic Foodie: Thanks a ton for ur info

WOW... better than a book called Growing Herbs for Dummies ! ha ha
Easy sounding and not difficult. This is a first time for Herbs ... Cool. I shall ask about the pots ... should they be ceramic ? is there a particular type soil that does best ?

Thanx. M.C.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:41 PM   #37
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I prefer terracotta pots, but it doesn't really matter. Just so they have good drainage. I wouldn't use anything with smaller than a six-inch opening, whatever material you choose. And larger is even better.

You want to use an open, loamy potting soil; again, so it drains well.

Once the plants are established in their pots, you want to actually let the soil dry before watering them. I know it sounds counter to plant growth, but that's what makes them happiest.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margi Cintrano View Post
*** would like to hear from Historic Foodie

I have been contemplating beginning a private outdoor terrace Urban apartment herb garden.

I use a tremendous amount of : Oregano, Basil and flat Italian leaf Parsely

Is it alot of trouble to grow one´s own ?

Weather: very very sunny however, gusts of howling winds at 25 Farenheit and very dry - 646 metres above sea level ...

Thing is, I could put them in my Home Office as this room gets alot of sun, as it faces east.

Appreciate a book perhaps and some good advice.

Thanks alot. Margi. Cintrano.
Not having a porch, terrace or balcony, I buy these plants as soon as they are available in my grocery store. They grow beautifully inside. The only thing I have to do is replant them into a small pot, and treat them like any other houseplant.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:07 PM   #39
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I agree with Historic on the concept of not over-feeding herbs. They really don't like an overly rich, heavy, wet soil (well, mint likes wet feet, great to grow under a faucet or downspout). We usually have very harsh winters, but this year was relatively mild, and even my oregano came back! I'm aware that my parsley (which, yes, came back this year) is biennal; however, in our climate it rarely comes back the second year. I fully expect it will bolt early. I grow both types, simply because I've lived here and there, some places where flat wouldn't grow. So I grow both and like both (yes, flat has a stronger flavor, but curly is rather pretty both in the garden and some dishes).

My biggest problem with growing plants inside is that my nice, sunny-in-winter, windows are over my baseboard heaters. They can dry up and die overnight on a cold winter's night. So instead of starting inside, I've resigned myself to buying seedlings and only start short-season, easy-to-grow-from-seeds, seeds (lettuce, spinach, basil).
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