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Growing Herbs
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From our kitchen window we can see lemon verbena reaching to the stars..with such a pretty white flower on top of each stem...makes a gorgeous tea..

then there's the oh so old rosemary bush, old sage plant still doing well for its age, oregano, thyme, parsley both curled and flat-leafed, mint much mint, basil, garlic chives, 'n every so often cilantro/coriander ~ there's just something about it and our garden..lasts for a while and then..no more Sad 'n it's my favourite herb..I love its flavour!

as for sorrel..I can remember years back...over 30..I planted some and used to make a dish..however that part of my memory is faded..can't recall..however I do remember we enjoyed it..wonder if the recipe would appear dated now...our son always laughs at the words soup tureen and fondue...they sound very '70s to him!

that's youth for you!

lemon verbena tea anyone?
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Zoe



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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

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?

Not that I'm aware of Sad . But my parents live on a kibbutz and I think I'll have my mother ask someone there. After I wrote my posts, I realized that the white dots weren't the only problem my herbs have had, so I think I'll just give them a nice rinse with whatever my mom comes up with.

But my lemongrass is doing well, and the chives are also showing promise Very Happy

Quote:
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.

I love za'atar! I don't grow it myself, I either buy the mixture or pick some in the woods when visiting my parents. It's so good in salads, or with roast potatoes, or when baking bread. Yum.
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Adnil



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Palatine, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today, in a suburb of Chicago, we were dumped with more than a couple inches of snow. But I started a flat of basil in peat pots which will go outdoors in May. In my herb garden I have an almost 20 year old patch of oregano that would take over everything if I let it. Also, sage, garlic chives, thyme and lemon thyme and tarragon, which seemed to be struggling last summer. I may have to plant a new one. I'm not crazy about tarragon, but tarragon lemonade is delish in our hot, humid summers.
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KYHeirloomer



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

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>I'm not crazy about tarragon,.....<

Ahh, Adnil. But is there life without Bernaise? Confused
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not had an herb garden in years (years of living in flats with no garden and with window sills that didn't project enough to hold plant pots, or didn't get enough sun), but since I'm living chez Maman until my new job starts in August, I'm going to give it a go. I'm planning to do basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, chives and chervil. I've never grown chervil and have heard it can be fussy - has anyone had any experience with it?
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KYHeirloomer



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

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Far as I know, the only thing fussy about cervil is getting it started. It tends to produce a lot of non-viable seed, so the germination rate is low.

Once it starts growing, though, it's like any other herb. Don't drown it. And an occasional application of fish emulsion or other organic source of nitrogen, to promote leaf growth.
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Adnil



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Palatine, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote...Ahh, Adnil. But is there life without Bernaise? Confused[/quote]

Of course not. And I don't mind a subtle tarragon flavor. My husband likes to use a lot of tarragon in scrambled eggs, too much for my liking. So that sticks out in my mind when I hear tarragon. But I do use it.
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Adnil



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 10
Location: Palatine, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do all of you do with herbs at the end of the season?

Besides drying the usual oregano, thyme, sage to tide me over the winter, I read about this idea a couple years ago and think it's wonderful. You probably know it. After making a winter's supply of pesto, I like to take basil leaves and process them with a little olive oil. Then, using a melon baller, scoop out, in 1 T portions, little basil balls. I freeze them on a cookie sheet then toss them into a zip-lock bag. Whenever I need basil for sauces I can just grab a ball or two. The flavor is a little fresher than dried.

And because I'm fortunate to have an abundance of herbs, I like to keep bouquets in vases throughout the summer. They smell so nice!
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KY Heirloomer,

For those of us in the north, outdoor gardening is still a glimmer in our eyes, or a faint hope in our hearts. Here, north of Chicago, we got an inch of snow Saturday night-- less than in the city, but it was coooooooold! We are havin some days in the upper 60s, (what in Centigrade? I think near 20)but they alternate with cold ones. Our garden stores are not even setting out hardy flowers yet, although it will begin shortly. Yes, it is too risky to even think about cilantro, here-- much less in Montreal for Carla. (Montreal may be my favorite world city, though, so I envy people living there despite the greater cold) Late April will be the time to do cool weather crops here, although the good side is it will be cool through most of May.

Dory
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kyle



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:59 pm    Post subject: Herbs Reply with quote

I've always had good luck with basil. The seed packet says the plants need to be about a foot apart but that leave no room for tomatos. Since I'm not organized enough to save the seeds, I sprinkle the entire packet like lettuce seeds in a row about 2 meters long. The plants don't reach full size but I have more basil than I can use or give away. I freeze pesto that we have all winter long with plenty to give as gifts.

Soil here is cold until June so I buy a couple of plants from the nursery to get a head start.

I also grow chives, oregano, and italian parsley which freezes well in zip lock bags. By the end of the winter the moisture condenses on the inside of the bags leaving flavorable "freeze dried" parsley.

My chives are up to the point that we'll be able to clip them off and start using them.

I also plan on starting some dill this year. It reseeds it self so I should have plants for years to come.
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KYHeirloomer



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

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good trick with the basil, Adnil. I hadn't heard of it before. Some people chop it, mix it with water, and freeze it in ice-cube trays for the same reason.

Dried basil, while useful, has a totally different taste than fresh. That's why you have to be careful. If a recipe specifies fresh, dried won't work; or won't give the same result.

"What do all of you do with herbs at the end of the season? "

Some I dry. The ones I use most, however, I continue to grow indoors, under lights. Do the same thing with lettuces and other greens, so we always have a fresh supply.

Dory: I know exactly what you're talking about. I spent the ten longest years of my life in northern Illinois. Other than the 12 feet of black dirt I had in my yard, it had nothing to recommend it; least of all the winters. Used to tell folks we had ten months of winter and two months late in the fall. Wink
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MauiMom



Joined: 01 Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Evergreen, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Herbs in the clouds Reply with quote

Hello all,

This is my first post as I am new. Well, that is not really true. I am far from new, but I am new to this forum.

Anyway, at 8,300 feet above sea level, it is a real chore to grow anything. If the altitude does'nt git 'ya, than the rocks will! And if the rocks don't get you down, there is the wildlife.....deer, elk, bear, etc. There is no growing root veggies, cause they can't get past the rocks! And, our growing season lasts for less than 50 days, so ....... Well, you get the picture.

But, herbs. Now, there you go! I have the best sage, year after year. And parsley and celentro. And oregano and rosemary in the garden. Lavender is wonderful, but for me it is an annual. Basil inside all year round. Planted some more yesterday in the middle of a snow storm. Cause, when you live this high, you have plenty of sunshine coming through the windows. Call it solar heating and growing.

I should be able to start my garden round about June 1st and by September 15, I better have eaten everything cause the first freeze will be just about then.
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never been in Evergreen, but feel like I have because I have read Diane Mott Davidson's books. I would find the winters long (and I am from Wisconsin??!!) but it must be beautiful in the mountains. The closest I have been is Golden.

Dory
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janmanzer411



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Arkansas USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

red-dragon wrote:
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.



Lemon grass is a good herb to grow, I have mind in garden and in pots.
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harpospeaking



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 194
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't posted in a while, but I have a few things to say about growing herbs.

First off, this book on container gardening is a great references with those limited to window boxes and balconies.

http://www.amazon.com/McGee-Stuckeys-Bountiful-Container-Vegetables/dp/0761116230/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253429278&sr=8-1

Also, I had good experiences growing seeds in those peat pots and then transferring them to larger pots. Baby seedlings are very vulnerable to pests so you can give them a head start in peat pots and when they're mature enough, you can transfer them (peat pot and all) into their permanent homes. I had a lot of success growing rosemary in clay pots and my basil grew like weeds. Most Mediterranean herbs will do well in pots. The book I referenced above will tell you in detail about the special needs of each plant that lends itself to container gardening.

I can't wait to start work on my garden. It will be filled with herbs in pots!
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