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Old 02-19-2006, 06:17 PM   #1
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Question Herb Garden 101?

First off.. I am SO glad that I have a place to go to when I have questions. I have gotten so many ideas and answers.. Thankyou!

Ok... onto my next question... My boyfriend and I will be moving into an apartment in the next couple months. I have seen there is a way to grow your own herb indoor or in a big potted plant but I feel kind of clueless because I don't know what to do. I know we wont have anywhere to plant them in the ground.. so will they work in a window sill or in a potted plant outside.

And I'm not sure how long it will take for them to grow. We really want Basil and Oregano.. but I am thinking we will want more once we really get into cooking more for ourselves.

So is there anyway I could get a crash course on growing herbs?

Thanks everyone


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Old 02-19-2006, 06:32 PM   #2
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Your local library should have a fair bit on herb growing as well as, of course, this great resource we call the internet.

There are a few things your must ensure if your going to be growing herbs out of a pot. First, they must get adequate sunlight. Basil and oregano are sun lovers and do not appreciate being kept out of sunlight for any length of time (however they do need to be protected from extreme heat). You must also ensure that the pot you use is big enough to get a sizeable plant from it.

I am lucky enough to have a in-ground herb garden and my basil grows like wildfire. If you use too small a pot the roots will not be able to get sufficiently established to produce an amount of basil useable for more than just a few leaves as a garnish or in a salad (making large batches of pesto is a regular happening here there is so much to use).

Also, and this goes without saying, your herbs must get sufficient water.

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Old 02-19-2006, 07:15 PM   #3
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When I lived in an apartment, my husband built me a plantstand with artificial lighting. It's very rustic, made of barn oak, really cool. But you could improvise all sorts of things with cubes and boards.
I didn't use just gro-lites, but a mixture of several kinds, including daylight white. Can't remember the other, but you don't want any soft-light types. The important thing is to get the lights close enough to the plants...like 6-10" away, no more.
I can't make a lot of promises about the basil, though. Even in the greenhouse, it was pretty puny. I don't think it cares much for potting mix. It really likes to be right out in the garden, in the full sun. Dill is the same way.
What you might try is one of the miniature varieties, and make sure it's in a well drained potting mix. Never try to save money on your potting medium. The easiest way to kill healthy plants is to put them in cheap "potting dirt". I used to mix my own in the greenhouse, but for pre-mixed, I've found Miracle Gro makes the closest to what I mixed. Pro mix isn't bad either, but it needs to be well moistened before you use it, and it needs a little osmocote and lime thrown in.
Your oregano won't be difficult. Thyme, chives and curly parsley also work great indoors.
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:27 PM   #4
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My advise to you would be to plant things seperately. Some things like mint for example will completely take over the area they are grown in. If you plant them in seperate pots/containers you will not run into this problem.

Also, try to plan on how much you will be using. Some herbs take off and you will have more than you know what to do with. In the summer, I planted 2 basil plants and I had basil forever.

If you want to get things started in a hurry, go to the local super hardware store, or botanical store and buy them, this gives you instant gratification, and you don't have to worry about the seeds growing, etc.

Finally, enjoy your fresh herbs, there is nothing like clipping something fresh from the garden to add flavor to a meal. It is a wonderful addition!
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cheech
My advise to you would be to plant things seperately. Some things like mint for example will completely take over the area they are grown in. If you plant them in seperate pots/containers you will not run into this problem.
isn't that the truth! i grew some herbs on the balcony of our apartment last summer. my mom brought me pots and some basil, mint, chives, flat leaf parsley, rosemary and oregeno. she gave me a huge pot for the mint, i started out with just a tiny bit and geez it just grew and spread like nothing i have ever seen before! i had so much mint i didn't know what to do with it all. my flat leaf parsley, chives and rosemary i think were all in one longer regtangular pot. the flat leaf parsley did really well until it starte blooming weird flower things by the end of the summer (not sure what that was, maybe it is normal?). chives grew pretty well also. my basil was so-so, i got a few leaves but nothing much. oregeno and rosemary didn't do anything.

anyhow, i'll try again this summer. good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:17 PM   #6
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Here's a site you can look at for growing your basil and other herbs http://www.gardeningpatch.com/herbs/growing-basil.aspx You can also go to the thread I started here in DC in "gardening talk". I started growing my basil in my backyard and I'm really excited it sprouted already. It has a ways to go yet.
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:31 AM   #7
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If you are growing from seedlings it is best to pick the smaller plants (though smaller does not mean stunted or skimpy) as they are less established, less likely to be root bound. Additionally they will be both, easy to transplant to its new permanent location and, more likely grow to be a healthier, more productive plant.

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