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Old 06-22-2005, 08:24 AM   #11
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So what happens if you live in an apartment and don't have access to a lot of sunlight?

We live on the bottom floor of an apartment building, and our patio faces NW. We get about an hour or two of very weeks sunlight if we're lucky.


I'd love to grow herbs inside, but not sure how well they'd work out.

I'm tired of spending $2.50 (and up) per tiny bunch when I want fresh herbs.


Any advice?
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:35 AM   #12
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Grow lights may help.
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:51 AM   #13
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Where do ya get 'em? And... does anyone have any experience in growing herbs like this? If I buy them (grow lights) will they work?

I'd rather know the chances before I fork over the cash.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:43 AM   #14
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You can get them at a well-stocked hardware store or plant nursery. We have one that's a 3-foot long flourescent tube and use it to keep several bonsai alive.

I have it connected to a timer and it stays on about 12 hours a day.
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:33 AM   #15
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Abj, cutting your rosemary won't hurt it...cutting the terminal ends encourages the lateral buds to develope...in other words, it gets bushier. Give it a shot of feed, let it get dry between waterings, but don't let it STAY dry. I don't know how big your plant is, but that's a pretty big pot. Rosemary does best when it's a little pot bound. If there's too much extra dirt, it tends to get root rot.
The more you cut on your basil, the better it will grow. When it blooms, be sure to cut those back so it won't go to seed. It doesn't need a bigger pot...just keep it cut back, fed, and water when dry.

Heat, a west window will be great for herbs.
Remember that plants are living things, like baby chickens. They need the right amount of food, water and a place to grow. Too much water and they drown. Too little and they die of thirst. Plants with big soft leaves, like basil, take more water because they have more leaf surface for transpiration. Ones with hard little leaves, like rosemary or thyme, use less water.
The more water a plant uses, the more feed it needs, as all that watering leaches the nutrients out of the potting mix.

About potting mix...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER try to save money by buying the cheap stuff. Your plants will sit still at best. I used to make my own, mixing peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, lime and slow release fertilizer. Now I buy Miracle Gro...it's the most like my "homemade" that I've found.

I hope this helps...any questions you all might have, I'll be glad to answer if I can. After 22 years in the business, I still don't know everything.
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:12 PM   #16
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Constance, thank you so much. That really helps me out. I am going to cut the blooms off now.
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
About potting mix...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER try to save money by buying the cheap stuff. Your plants will sit still at best. I used to make my own, mixing peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, lime and slow release fertilizer. Now I buy Miracle Gro...it's the most like my "homemade" that I've found.
lol constance, spoken like a true nursery owner. it all starts with your soil. unhealthy soil means more bugs and diseases. i've known people who make their own sterilized potting soil, by using yard soil and sand, and mixing in the stuff you've mentioned, then putting it on trays in the oven. i tried it once, but am not allowed to put dirt in the oven ever again...
btw, i'm so jealous of your greenhouse. i've been planning on building one, attached to the house like yours, so my birds can live in it, and i can rotate the house plants and have hothouse veggies all year long.
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:12 PM   #18
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Constance. WOW! Now I also envy your house and your beautiful yard.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:29 PM   #19
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Thank you all for your compliments on the house...it was a labor of love.

About the grow-lights...yes, you sure can grow herbs with them. The clue is to have the lights close enough to the plants. They should be about 4" from the tops of the plants.
I used inexpensive shop light fixtures, and utilized the chains provided to move the lights up and down as the plants grew.
And you don't have to specifically use grow lights...regular fluorescent ones will work just as well. I have used a mix of grow lights, daylight whites, and another pinker one...can't remember what that one was called.
Grow lights are wonderful for starting seedlings for your garden, too. Cover the top of your flats with plastic to make a miniature greenhouse. Keep the lights close, and they will help heat the soil and germinate the seeds. That's also a great way to get caladium bulbs to sprout.
My husband built me a very cool plant stand made from old barn oak, with supports across the top for the lights. After years in the greenhouse, it is still standing. But with a little ingenuity, you could rig up something much less expensive.

You can't tell much about the plant stand from this photo...
I'll try to get a better shot when I have a chance. This is a cattlea in full bloom.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:39 PM   #20
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Constance what a wonderful resource you are to us!


I am also very green looking at your photo - I'd love to have greenhouse!
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