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Old 01-19-2008, 09:28 AM   #1
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Started any herbs yet?

Usually I am loathe to start any seeds this early in the year, but I have been very disappointed in my onions and pepper plants in past years and am starting some seeds now. I do have a greenhouse and a large seed starting mat.I also just ordered my garden seeds and they have not arrived yet, so I am using left over seeds to start right now. In a few weeks I will start flat leaf parsley and celery. By the time I set them out in the garden, I can start to harvest from them. Yesterday I started a long keeper white onion. I ordered 4 types of onion seeds this year.

What do you want to plant this year?

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Old 01-19-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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My wants are MUCH bigger than my capacity. We have tried basil for years and its fine if I leave it outside but I simply cannot abide it in the house. It smells like cat pee to me in the house. (And no, my cats did not pee on it!) I always have a mint patch, and I do chives. I'd love to start some peppers and tomatoes and things from seed but I'm a wuss. I always buy those as seedlings. Don't they need a lot of babying if you start from seed? And I don't have much south light in the house, its mostly north so the little seed babies wouldn't get enough light I don't think.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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I've never had much luck starting seeds inside. They sprout and grow fine, but ususally die when I transplant them outside. It'll be a few months yet before I even think about the garden. Thanks for the reminder though. I'm going to order some Champagne Grape seedlings for his place in Virginia.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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I had my first garden ever last year and it was so fun I can't wait to do it again. Last year everything we planted we did from plants that we purchased and then transplanted, except for green beans which we planted from seed. but this year we were wanting to try to do onions and we thought we could get that started. we live in an apartment that only has windows on one side of the house but it is southern exposure. could you give me any advice on when to start the onions? we can't transplant until late april as we use a community garden and we have to wait until the get it ready for everyone. i guess i would appreciate any advice on how to start a seed, as i am a true novice. thanks!!!!!
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:39 PM   #5
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Hi, k. This site seems to have good basic info on gardening, and an automated GrowGuide that tells you when you need to start seeds, based on the average date of first frost in your area: Weekend Gardener - Horticulture for Busy People

I used to do seeds indoors, but after 15 years of gardening, it's not as much fun as it used to be We do sow seeds directly in the garden for lettuces, spinach and garden peas in February or so (we're in Zone 7). For the rest, I just buy small plants from a local nursery.

I still have fresh rosemary, sage, bay laurel, oregano and thyme in the herb garden - they're perennials here. I always plant lots of basil with the tomatoes - usually two roma plants, two Better Boy, and one heirloom variety (I try a different one each year). In April, the local unit of the Herb Society of America has a sale, so I get annual herbs there, like dill and flat-leaf parsley. And I have mint in a strawberry pot - sometimes it survives the winter, sometimes not. It's in a pot because otherwise it gets invasive.

We also plant bell peppers, onions and garlic (when garlic sprouts in the kitchen, you can plant it directly in the garden; harvest in about 6 months). We've done eggplant and zucchini in the past - we don't like eggplant that much and the zucchini seems to get squash borers all the time, so we don't do those anymore. Last year, we planted three tomatillo plants and got tons and tons of tomatillos. I gave several grocery bags' worth to friends who moved here from Colorado a few years ago.

Seems like there's more, but that's all I can think of right now.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:03 PM   #6
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I have never tried growing herbs but would like to try it this year. I think they should grow well here. I didn't have any luck with my first vegetable garden (I've had gardens before but not in SC), but that was because of 4 simultaneous happenings: severe drought, severe heatwave, severe bout of kidney stones, and a little depression. The last three kept me from going out to water for a couple weeks, and the first caused a couple neighbors and me to stop watering (we use well water and were afraid of drying our wells). I may have already said this somewhere--sorry if I am repeating this.

I will definitely keep an eye out in this forum for any and all advice on growing and using herbs. At my age, you'd think I would have some experience with this, but I have pretty much always used dried/powdered herbs and spices. I'm trying to make a move toward fresher herbs, and they are so expensive at the grocery stores. When I smelled the rosemary kitchenelf is growing, that made me even more determined to grow fresh!

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Old 01-19-2008, 04:31 PM   #7
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Alix, you really need a lot of light, especially a southern exposure, so you may do well to keep buying your plants, nothing wrong with that! We built our house to accommodate seed starting,(and canning and butchering), so we do not do a lot of babying of the plantlings. The conditions are very good for seed starting and generally I do not have any problems.

krichardson, onions are probably the hardiest of plants to start, so would be a good choice to try. I can not get onions to a large size, so I am starting them now. Usually I wait until March, this is an experiment for me.

I hear ya GotGarlic on the magic wearing off on the seed starting routine. One year I started 400 herbs, vegetable and flower starts. I hope I never do that again

Barbara, sorry to hear of your gardening woes. Mom Nature can sure throw some curve balls. We garden for drought conditions and generally can harvest enough food to get by, but it may not be all the variety we wanted.

Seed starting can be rewarding, but so can buying plants.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:36 PM   #8
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I start pretty much everything from seed indoors - tomatoes, hot & sweet peppers, different eggplant varieties, broccoli, broccoli raab, chard, escarole, lettuces, Asian greens, okra, herbs (Italian parsley, sweet basil, lemon basil, lime basil, thyme, etc.) - you name it, I start it. Use extremely inexpensive 4'-long plain fluorescent "shop" lights that I prop up on bricks on a table so I can start them right over the seed flats & raise them as things start to sprout.

Then, on nice days, I start moving the plants out into my little cold frame, bringing them back inside at night. By April/May, depending on the weather, I can start planting everything out into the garden &/or my deck tubs.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring View Post
...We built our house to accommodate seed starting,(and canning and butchering), so we do not do a lot of babying of the plantlings. The conditions are very good for seed starting and generally I do not have any problems...
If we don't end up having to move when James gets a job, we are hoping to build a house on our land when we pay our house (a mobile home) off in 2012. I have read about people building [eco-friendly] green houses (as opposed to greenhouses) to save energy. One of the things they talked about was positioning your house to best utilize natural light. Sounds like you are right on top of things Beth!

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Old 01-19-2008, 09:04 PM   #10
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Can't start anything outside yet (it's 15 below tonight!)

I usually wait until mid-March to start stuff in the basement under lights. Just some parsley and basil to get a jump on the season. I can set out the parsley in late April, but the basil has to wait until late May here. If it sees any nightime temperatures under about 50f, it stunts, and ends up just as slow as the stuff seeded outside.
My rosemarys in the basement are actually doing too well.(As in Little Shop of Horrors - they're getting TOO big) 6 years old now, and the largest is over 3 ft. tall.
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