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Old 01-10-2005, 11:05 AM   #21
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I'm getting ready to move into my first house later this week. There is a small raised flowerbed just outside the back door. I'm think about planting some herbs in there, like thyme, chives, a rosemary bush, a bay laurel, sage, maybe even some lavender and tarragon.

I'm well aware of how agressive mint is. I don't really do a lot with fresh mint, so I'm not going to get that started. However, my DW planted some catnip over at her mother's, and they usually have a little come up every year.

Knowing my luck, my DW will want to plant some strawberries. Those are about as agressive as mint is.
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Old 01-14-2005, 06:58 AM   #22
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Allen, try planting some 'everbearing' strawberries in a 'strawberry pot'; one of those clay pots with holes scattered all up and down the sides. Doesn't take up much room, and looks pretty. Also, if you want just a little mint, plant some in a pot, wrap the pot in foil (so the roots won't grow out the bottom of the pot), and just check it every once in a while to make sure there are no creepers growing out of the pot into the foil. Mint is very tenacious, as are all of the 'balms', and catnip. I had some lemon balm come up a good 30 feet from where I had planted the original plant one year!

Fried fish - if you really want to grow herbs in your apartment, invest in a little grow light system - I think a company called 'Gardner's Supply' has them, or you can google for prices. I have one I use for starting seeds; it's about 3 feet long, 2 feet wide; has a base to set pots/seed starters on, and a long light that looks like a fluorescent 'shop light' on top, which you can adjust up or down.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:00 AM   #23
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Sierra, do you have any kind of yard at all, or are you in an apartment? Because almost everywhere in California rosemary grows so well outside that I cannot imagine trying to grow it inside unless you have to. It's one thing I never "got" about growing stuff in FL and HI; that the climate just didn't allow the variety of herbs and vegs you'd think should grow. Most places in CA can grow rosemary as a hedge (and yes, I've lived and travelled south to north and back again).
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:15 AM   #24
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Allen, you're a little further north than I am, but I have been amazed since I moved to NW Illinois at my herb garden. I have a bit of raised garden (about 3'X8') next to my back porch (right outside my kitchen door). Having only gardened in semi-tropical places before, I'm astonished at how this garden has taken off compared to those I've planted in FL and HI. Every year the sage, oregano, thyme (3 kinds), mint (2 kinds, separate garden), lemon balm, and chives (2 kinds) keep coming back. On top of these perennials, I get dill every year (volunteers)(have you gardened enough to know what a volunteer is?). I have a bay and a rosemary that I bring in and out faithfully, and parsley is a who knows, because it is a 2 year plant. Sometimes it comes back from last year, but I always buy a couple more, both flat and curly. So have fun
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:34 AM   #25
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Claire, it's possible that your good fortune in gardening is partly attributable to that good Illinois soil. The freshly plowed fields I used to see on the outskirts of my home town and around my rural university campus in west central IL always reminded me of chocolate cake crumbs.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:01 AM   #26
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Mmmm...Growing herbs and veggies in chocolate cake crumbs--that would be my kind of gardening! :D
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:13 AM   #27
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i remember walking across a plowed field in aledo, illinois a few years back (owned by an old girlfriend's family), and was so impressed at how the soil was pitch black an loathy. i took a shovel out of the barn, and dug down a few feet, and was further impressed that i hadn't hit the subsoil. it was still black topsoil. in my neck of the woods, you are lucky to get 2 feet of brownish topsoil before you hit clay and clay/rock.
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:35 PM   #28
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I had an Herb Garden a few years ago. Now my yard is full of Mint....but nothing else.
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:35 PM   #29
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Mudbug: You are so right. So many have never travelled the country in a car, and I've done it so often it is ridiculous. Hubby and I joke that other places have dirt, we have soil. Ironically, we live in an odd place in IL that isn't as rich in soil as others, on a pile of rocks. I love it, and it is great for my herb garden. BUT ... I must say, if you haven't been around here and seen what happens on the prairie around us when the soil is turned in the spring, you have no idea how rich our country is. it is black, and moist, and smells so fresh you cannot believe it. Luckily farmers are getting instructions on how to preserve this natural resource, and they are using it. You can just look at it, and smell it, and know why much of the world depends on what is grown right here. This soil is so rich that ... well, it is impossible to describe unless you live around here. I honestly, when we camped out here, could see a measurable difference in the height of corn stalks within a 12 hour time period. Most Americans have no idea of the richness and beauty of their own country.
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