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Growing Herbs
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Growing Herbs Reply with quote

I just finished putting in a new herb garden, closer to the house. Got me to thinking (always a bad habit). How many here grow their own herbs, and, if you do, which ones do you grow?

My new bed is strictly for culinary herbs (which is why I wanted it closer to the front door). The medicinals will remain in their old home. Included in the kitchen-herb garden are: Marjoram, Tarragon, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Parsley, Basil, and Chives. There's a patch of Sorrel, as well, but that's more for greens then an herb.
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maxence is the gardener around here, and he's had good success growing basil, cilantro, mint, chives, thyme, and rosemary -- but not all at the same time because we have limited space on our window sills, sadly. (Having an actual herb garden, a vegetable patch and/or a fruit orchard is my main ambition in life.Smile).
Clotilde.
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CarlaH



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: South shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KYHairloomer and Clotilde, that's my usual line up, with addition of oregano, as well. Haven't experimented with cilantro yet but plan on trying it this year having recently become addicted to Thai cooking. Its going to be a while though before I can get started on planting; while today is a balmy 6 degrees and sunny we are sure to get a lot more days of frost and possibly some more snow. I am, however, busy plotting out the garden layout and debating which seeds to order. Happy gardening!!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same problem as Clotilde - that is limited window box space.

At present I have mint, rosemary and verveine. Am waiting to see if the verveine survived winter as I lost most of the plants in my window box when we had that bad cold front from Siberia come through.

My dream is to also have a huge garden with room for all my needs and wants. I grew up with one like that and it is a benchmark for all gardens that I see.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just planted my herbs for the summer - I use large pots to host the herbs now that our trees create too much shade for the in-ground beds.

This year's plantings include parsley, mint, oregano, thyme (2 kinds), basil, garlic chives, and onion chives. The rosemary & lavender made it through the winter, so those will be nice to have on hand later on. I've also put in one jalapeno plant - but not sure if it will grow. Even one pepper would be nice.

Fortunately my across the street neighbor is brilliant with gardening, so I've got a good resource when my plants start to suffer under my 'care'!

Smile
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carla, don't delay too long with the cilantro. It's a hardy plant, and, in fact, is not heat tolerant.

If you can, start it indoors, then transplant 2 weeks before last frost.

For all you apartment dwellers: The nice thing about herbs is that so many of them can grow happily in small spaces. A row of flower pots, or a window box is all it takes.

I can remember when I was a kid, and Mom always had a few pots out on the fire escape. Later, when I had my own apartment, I installed a largish window box to hold my herbs.

An interesting approach, for those with tight space, is to use a strawberry pot as an herb garden. Each of the small side-cups can hold a trailing herb plant (i.e., mint, thyme) while the mouth has the taller, more herbaceous types like rosemary.

Herbs also do very well indoors under lights. But that's a whole other discussion.
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CarlaH



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: South shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks KYheirloomer, would I be better keeping it in a pot on the balcony where I can move it out of the glaring sunshine? My vegetable garden has no shade other than that created by bean pole rows and tall tomatoe plants, but that doesn't really count for most of the day.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Basil and flat-leaf Parsley on the kitchen window... trouble is I always forget to take any for cooking!! Still, they look nice and the window does get lots of morning sunlight too. I'm going to get thyme soon and maybe another pot of Basil.

If you like Herbs, have a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQdfqh_MD_4&feature=related

A kid's programme I used to watch also had Dill the Dog, Lady Rosemary, Sage the wise old owl (very cute) and Basil who was into huntin', shootin' an' fishin'. Bayleaf the gardener was there too and there was Constable Knapweed the policeman.

It was written by Michael Bond who also wrote Paddington Bear.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carla, if you have room on the balcony I would grow it there just for the convenience.

Cilantro isn't affected by sunshine, per se, but by higher temperatures. If you plant it on the shady side of the tomatoes, you'll extend its season by a few weeks. By the time the heat gets too bad, the tomatoes will be high enough to shade (and, thereby cool) the cilantro.

Container planting of herbs is never a bad idea, and has several advantages. For instance, I often plant my companion herbs in containers, so I can move them around in the garden as needed. By the same token, it makes it easier to take them inside to winter over (although there are better ways of doing that). And containers are the only way to control invasives, which would include anything in the mint family.

If you don't like the visual impact of pots etc. standing on the surface, bury them up to their top lip. Then dig up the whole pot, in the fall, to take inside.

I'm not big on cilantro, and a little goes a long long way for us. So I'd likely not put in more than an 8" pot. But, frankly, as little as we use it, it's easier to just buy what we need in the market.

Speaking of companion planting, I assume you know that basil and tomatoes love each other? You can plant oodles of basil all around your tomato plants, and double dip that space while improving both crops.
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been ages since I posted, but my herbs really need help. I'm growing them in window boxes and containers in a screened balcony with lots of sunshine. Over the last few months, quite a few of them seem to be affected by pests of some kind: they have little white dots on the leaves, and some I just had to throw away, including my lovely green basil (the purple's ok). My sage plant is also dead and gone Crying or Very sad .

I really don't want to use in chemicals on my plants... does anyone have a good idea of some homemade stuff I could use to save the herbs?

Thanks!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to diagnose long distance, Zoe, especially when it's anouther country involved. But it sounds like it might be a fungal thing. Or the white dots might be the result of insect bites of some sort. Do the spots grow in size? If so, it's fungal for sure.

If fungal, you'll probably have to start over, discarding the old soil, disinfecting the pots, and refilling with new soil. If insects are the culprit, an insecticidal soap will help. They are usually organic in nature.

One upside: Most herbs can be started from cuttings. So if you can rescue any uneffected stems, you can root them instead of starting all over from seed.

While I appreciate your concern, I do object to the use of the word "chemicals." You obviously mean synthetic chemicals, because everything you eat, drink, and breath is made up of chemicals---with the most dangerous one in the world being dioxyhydrate---better known as water.
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CarlaH



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: South shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips KYheirloomer, your sage advice is always welcome.
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KYheirloomer, thanks for the advice. I was thinking in Hebrew when I wrote chemicals; obviously everything has chemicals in it Very Happy .

The spots don't grow in size, and it's only on some of the plants. I'll try and see if I can get something that will solve the problem.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...your sage advice is always welcome."

Sage advice. That's pretty good, Carla. Laughing

Zoe, do you have anything there eqivilent to the USDA Agricultural Extension system?

In the US, any state with a land-grant college (and that's virtually all of them), has an extension service, with an office in every county. The agents and volunteers who man those offices are there to provide advice and guidance on all matters agricultural.

If you have anything similar, or any kind of agricultural station nearby, you can probably bring them a sample of the infected herbs and have them identify the problem and suggest remedies for it. Or maybe somebody at a nearby university?

As agriculturally oriented as Israel has always been, I'm sure there is somebody you can turn to for help.

BTW, do you grow your own za'atar? I mean the herb, not the mixture that uses it. Za'atar is the herb that, in English language bibles, is translated as "hyssop." But it's not the hyssop we know. Za'atar is the herb that the Israelites used to smear lambs blood on their lintels with, so the angel of death would pass over them. And, of course, it's wonderful in the herb mixture that shares its name.

For those unfamiliar with the mixture, it consists of za'atar, sumac, and ground sesame seeds, and is used widely throughout the Mideast---as far eastwards, in fact, as India. Which tells us that it dates back at least to Alexander, and probably originated in Persia.

Whatever it's origin, it's a great flavoring agent in many foods.
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red-dragon



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 23
Location: Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am growing most of the usual herbs, but this year, am also trying lemon grass. I have some growing from seeds, but have also rooted some stalks, which are now in pots.
I am growing Thai Basil, too. Let's hope they're all successful.
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