12/31/07

Growing herbs


I love plants, I really do. But I just kill them. I either water them too much or not enough. Actually, I don't even know what I do half the time.

Anyway, I'd really love to grow some herbs. Our offer was just accepted today on a beautiful house, and we'll probably move in at the end of the month. I would love to grow herbs in pots inside and start an herb garden outside in the spring.

What are some easy herbs to start with? I would love to grow lots of basil but I hear it's picky. What should I grow them in and how can I not kill them? Help?

16 comments:

  1. I wish I could help you, but I killed the herbs I planted in pots last spring. I got the seed from Wal-Mart in a little kit (read CHEAP), so maybe the quality was not what it should have been. I'll be checking back here to see if anyone gives you any help.

    Hop on over to my blog and help me with my kitchen organization! Please! : )

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  2. If I didn't kill them myself, I'd give you some advice. I killed an aloe plant my mom sent to college with me; I trashed some herbs from the grocery when they brought (ugh) one big, juicy green caterpillar with them. Best of luck!

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  3. Rosemary seems to be rather hardy. I have also grown basil (sweet) successfully. The trick to it seems to be not letting it get too big. I killed the lavender and thyme this year. I will try again next year though. My problem is what to do with the herbs once I'm growing them. (When to harvest, how to harvest, etc.)

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  4. Chives are an easy herb to grow, either onion or garlic. Basil is another one that will grow in a pot, also parsley. The problem with some of the larger bushier herbs (like sage) is that they need more growing space than a pot provides. Outside, sage will keep thriving year after year if you remember to trim it back each fall. Herbs grown inside also need to be pinched back regularly, and they need to be grown in good light.

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  5. Well, I feel a bit better now hearing that at least some more ladies lack the green thumb like I do. A few summers ago I grew an herb garden with chives, thyme, and rosemary. They were easy to keep until an extremely hot doomsday in late summer.

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  6. I have a black thumb, but was excited to find that I could grow herbs last summer, even in the midst of Georgia's hot, nasty summer & drought! I grew a container garden on our deck that consisted of twelve different herbs. Chives are one of the easiest herbs I have found, and simply do not die no matter what terrible mistake you might make with them. Oregano, different kinds of basil, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and parsley are also fairly easy to grow. We also grew a large pot with heirloom tomatoes that turned out, though not as good as the herbs ;o)

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  7. I am just like you! I have a black thumb :( I'm interested in this as well, so I'll be lurking at your comments hehe.... and a HUGE CONGRATS ON YOUR HOME!!!! What a way to start off the New Year!

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  8. Parsley is an easy one, especially in the ground. I would buy herb plants, because they can be hard to grow from seed. Basil really isn't too hard. Just make sure it is warm enough when it is planted and harvest it before it gets too old. Chives are sooo easy! I have successfully grown oregano,too. Everything seems to be harder to grow in pots, so plant in the ground if you have room. If you plant in a pot outside make sure to check it everyday.
    My Mom grew great houseplants and she found the biggest thing was not over watering anything. They can get a little pale or even just a little droopy before you water them and will still do great!

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  9. My goodness, I'll be watching the answers you get here. I have a tiny little yard that I struggle with. I'd like my house to look homey and bright on the outside as well as inside...but well...like I said, I struggle! I'd love to have an herb garden:-)

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  10. The only thing I seem able to grow are tomatoes. I once tried lavender and I don't even think they sprouted. ha ha.

    If you learn how to do herbs well, let me know!

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  11. In the past, I too had been unable to grow house plants. I either over watered or forgot to water them completely! I have successfully grown oregano, basil, parsley, and rosemary for the past three years indoors--I live in Northern Minnesota and would be unable to find my herbs half of the year under the snow! My secret is rather strange, but a friend gave me a peace lilly which reminds me to water my plants because the leaves droop when it needs water and then perk back up after you water it. I know this sounds a bit goofy, but this has worked for me for three years. I usually only water my plants about once a week. If I go on vacation, I water the plants really well and put clear plastic bags over them to keep the moisture in. This has worked for up to three weeks. Another thing to remember is make sure you have big enough pots. I also recommend getting your starter plants at a store, they tend to be a bit hardier and larger than ones grown from seed.

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  12. Thank you so much for all the comments, helpful and sympathetic. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has a hard time getting things to grow!

    My plan is this: after we move in and get settled and unpacked, I'm going to tackle one or two types at a time. I'm going to do lots of research to find out what they like and how to take care of them. I figure if I just try one type at a time I can figure it out. I will be back in a few months with updates.

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  13. The only herb I've had trouble with is cilantro - the others have flourished. I keep mine in a half-wine barrel with rich soil and adequate water. Harvest before they bloom and seed. My favorites are rosemary, dill, greek oregano, lemon thyme, purple basil and tarragon. I've grown others but these are my closest friends in cooking. There's nothing like fresh herbs to bring out the best flavors in a dish. :o)

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  14. I love growing herbs!

    Herbs typically need full sun, so if you try them inside they need a south facing window. I find the easiest way to grow herbs is in my raised garden beds.

    Plants are generally easier than growing from seed, although some are almost brainless from seed. Dill, for example, I never plant. I just let the plants go to seed and know that some of them are guaranteed to sprout next spring. Chives will self sow, too.

    Basil is pretty easy, just keep the flowers pinched. Another favorite of mine to grow is oregano. SO Yummy fresh on pizza! I LOVE rosemary, but it is a woody perrenial that can't take any frost. So, grow it as an annual unless you have a good sized sunny spot for a pot in the house.

    Mint is also really easy to grow. But, the roots are very tenacious. If you grow it in the ground, do it in a submerged freeze proof pot and don't let any stems touch the ground outside the pot or they will take root. And then your garden will be full of mint. I know because I inherited a bunch just like that in my perenial garden.

    Lavendar needs well drained soil or it will rot. In fact it is often promoted as a good plant for low water landscapes. You can mulch it with pea gravel to help. Also, generously prune it after flowering to keep it pretty!

    Oops! This is turning into a novel, so I'll stop now!

    Congratulations on the house!

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  15. I've got a black thumb, too, so I'm reading your post with interest. (Btw, I'm visiting via Charity Grace. . .)

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  16. I'll have second (& third) the others- basil, rosemary, & parsley are all very easy & should do well inside, in a sunny window (mine are still growing outside- in California- even with wind & frost). I also have good luck with lemon balm (wonderful with tea or just to crush for that yummy smell)& most mints. You can find bedding sized herbs this time of year, so you would have a head start; use small pots (4" is about right for a window sill) & good soil, & sprinkle some sand on top of the soil (keeps down gnats)- you'll only need to water once a week (I use serve-watering pots). I keep mint & rosemary in pots, even outside, because it is very invasive.

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