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Old 03-26-2006, 07:45 AM   #1
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Time to plant a herb garden

Yup, March/April is a good time in the Northern Hemisphere to plant herbs.

Fortunately, you can usually do this even if you live in a city.

Today, I planted (either from seed, or ready-bought):

Basil: I'm a fanatic... I buy the kind with big, fat leaves and lots of essential oils




and I already have a bay leaf plant

I'd be interested to hear from others:
- what other fresh herbs you have
- any suggestions as to growing them

Best regards,
Alex R.


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Old 03-26-2006, 07:57 AM   #2
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well then, it's time to get out those corriander seeds and plop them in soil? Okay, will do. I am with you as far as the basil stuff goes. Love the stuff. I buy about 4 or 5 kinds so I have a huge variety and it lasts a long time.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me, what kind of soil do I use in a pot for planting these seeds or prebought variety? Is it Supersoil with dirt, Miracle Grow soil with ordinary dirt a combo of? I know the supersoil stuff is very porous and drains quickly. Real dirt or a combination of, holds in the water better. On a patio, where there is morning sun, should work.

Thanks for reminding me, it's now time. Also it's time to get those tomatoe plants in too. I sure wish I could remember how to spell tomatoe and potato.

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Old 03-26-2006, 11:48 AM   #3
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I have Hallepenos that are just getting ready to bloom that I planted about a month ago, sweet basil that is just starting to become a useful group of plants (starting to take off, again plantes about a month ago from seed), and a pot-full of oregano seeds that I planted today. I also planted a pot-full of chives, and 72 tomato seeds in a Jiffy Starter kit that came with peat-pellets in a plastic tray. By the time may rolls around, they sould be ready to transplant outside. On payday, I'm going to purchase two hanging strawberry kits, each holding 10 everbearing plants, and 2 kits for hanging grape tomatoes.

And don't forget the herbs you might already be growing, and not even know it. I will be trying to grow lavender this year. I already have wild roses growing in a large bushy pland. I have wild raspberries (the leaves are a great herb with medicinal properties that can be used in teas. And don't forget dandylion leaves, and wild weed such as sourgrass and comfrey. You probably have a good number of herbs growing in your lawn. I know that I do. I have a neighbor that thinks my lawn is a mess. It is cut, and isn't an eyesore or anything. But it definately has more than just grass in it. And I like it that way. That neighbor can just jump in the lake (and in my neck of the woods, the lakes are cold year-round.).

Go on line and look at household herbs. You might be suprised to find that some of the flowers growing in your yard are not only beautiful, but can be used as herbs too. Think nasturniums (sp), chrysanthemums, roses, etc.

I think that with 72 tomato plants, I'm going to be a very busy canner this August, and with tomatoes truly ripened on the vine. I can hardly wait for a great blt. and salads with tomato flavor, and sauces, and...

Oh, and those strawberries, the leaves are herbs as well. And then there's the cilantro, whose seeds are known as coriander. That grows very well in my back-yard garden.

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Old 03-26-2006, 11:49 AM   #4
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Alex, I'm starting mine inside this weekend. In MI one never knows when the weather will turn on you! I too love the basils. I have never started this from seed, usually buy the plants, purple and green for color. I have a large pot of lemon thyme that I move inside during the winter and back out in the spring. My rosemary, thyme (regular) and sage come up every spring so I don't have to re-plant. I didn't know that one could plant bay leaf! Do you start it from seed or buy established plants? I would love to add that to the garden.
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:13 PM   #5
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I can't wait! I am thinking about starting a few things inside, but don't have many sunny windows . Bummer, I am soooo ready!
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:55 PM   #6
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We are planning to restart our herb pot (well no pan intended, everything quite legal!! ) on our kitchen window sill!! We are going to plant flat leaved parsley, basil (both were great success last year.. though poor guys shriveled out during the winter...) also oregano and majoram... we may see if we can find some coriander seeds for planting, for growing cilantro!!

One question though... can we recycle the soil we used last year, after picking out the "corpses" of the crop from the last year? Or we need to replace it with a fresh soil? (we get those enriched soil for planting from the gardening shop...)
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:39 AM   #7
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Herb Gardens

Since my parents got me interested in cooking at a very young & tender age, as well as into gardening, it was only natural that I'd develop a healthy interest in herbs. So much so that I started doing herbal gardens & herbal landscaping as a sort of business for awhile. I've also managed to acquire quite a collection of herb-related books - cookbooks, gardening books, old medicinal herbals, etc. I'm hoping, once we get more of our fixer-upper farm fixer-upped, to develop a few of the different herb gardens I used to have in NY.

These days, however, I just pretty much grow what I use most in the kitchen, most of them in pots on the deck for the time - Italian flat-leaf parsley, garlic chives, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, sage, catnip (for both the cats & for tea), basil (Italian, lemon, & lime), dill, & a few others.

Parsley has already been started indoors under lights; basil & dill will be started in the next couple of weeks. Catnip & garlic chives are already poking up outside.
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:41 AM   #8
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Urmaniac, you could 'recycle' soil; if you're absolutely certain you had no little critters or diseases on your plants from last year. When I recycle, I add in by half either some new potting soil, or well composted mulch, and it works just fine.

Great source for herb seeds is www.cooksgarden.com

I just tore down my permanent herb garden and did replantings of what I still had, to place in large pots around the edging of my raised bed veggie garden. I had rosemary and sage, along with some Mexican tarragon coming back up from last year. The sage bush was about 4 feet high and about 3-4 feet broad! I actually had to give it quite a haircut to make it manageable for the pot! The rosemary bush was about 2 feet tall, and had to do the same thing with it.

Couple of things to remember when you're planting herbs - those cute, pretty little windowsill pots will get too small in a very short time, if your herbs are getting plenty of sun and fertilizer. (Last year I had some dill that grew to 3 feet before it seeded!)

To keep things like basil from getting 'leggy', pinch off the top leaves to encourage more side branching; and be sure to nip off any flower buds you see forming on the basil, as when the plant flowers, it will make the leaves more bitter.

If you've bought a little pot of baby chives, when you repot them, spread them out gently by the roots (a small-tined fork is great for this), to give them more elbow room to grow.

Be sure to give them lots of sun or equivalent 'grow lights' if indoors, but don't fertilize too, too much. Remember, herbs are basically 'weeds' that have been cultivated! :)
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip Marm!!

Yes I know about the herbs tending to outgrow your expectations... The last year we planted them rather late, in August, but the pot was overflowing in our 50cmx15cm planter. We used them a lot, so we kept up with the growth but if we plant them this time in spring, it may really grow into a rain forest... however poor us, we don't have our garden or even a balcony, so this is all we can do!!
Cris has a garden space by the garage near the flat of his children/ex, we grow some rosemary and salvia, they also tend to overgrow... and we had to chop down the top of the bayleaf tree some month ago because it was getting way tall!!
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:42 AM   #10
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Well, I got an herb garden going last year. I've noticed that my chives are already coming back up. My sage should start back soon. I got some tarragon going, I think, but it never tasted like anything. I want to get some lavender going. I should have two little patches of thyme come back.

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