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  #21  
Old 06.06.2010, 00:41
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I'm growing a lot of lavender and lemon verbena this year. Lemon verbena has a great fragrance and is good in baked goods and tea. I prefer it to melissa.
I'm OK with the rest of my herbs, but my lemon verbena's leaves are dying from the bottom of the plant upwards. I have it indoors, in afternoon sun, and am keeping it well-but-not-over-watered.

Perhaps I simply need to repot it into a larger pot.

Ideas?
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  #22  
Old 06.06.2010, 00:58
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

I recently bought a pot of BIO parsley from the Migros. Within a week it had withered and I thought it had died but after a few days new shoots started to come out. This may mean that the producer has applied growth hormones or whatever which exhausted the plant.

Fortunately I don't have the same problem with chives. They grow again and again after I harvest them and always come back during and also the following years

And the herb I like most is Knolauch (Knoblauch = garlic). It'is the product of garlic marrying chives and the beauty of it is that it has the advantages of both without having the aftereffect to offending the nostrils of your friends.
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  #23  
Old 01.07.2015, 10:35
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

I'm resurrecting this thread for more replies. I want a window box but I'm really, really inexperienced (herb growing virgin!) and clueless, I'm a little overwhelmed. Is it better to get seeds or to buy plants and re-pot? What is the soil called that I need to use, aren't there different types of soil?

I would like to grow basil, rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm and coriander. The balcony faces south.
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Old 01.07.2015, 10:52
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Its quite late to start from seed, especially Basil, you are best off buying already grown potted herbs you can re-pot them or plant them in the garden if you want a mix.
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Old 01.07.2015, 10:56
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Balconies at night can be quite cold for herbs, especially basil. (Exceptionally not this week!) So if you can, stand the potted herbs on a tray and bring them inside when it gets dark, and put them out again in the morning. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
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Old 01.07.2015, 11:23
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I would like to grow basil, rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm and coriander. The balcony faces south.
Best to get ready-potted plants if you can. Be aware that the coriander is an annual, meaning that it grows, flowers, seeds and dies, so usually you'll only get a couple of weeks maximum use time per plant. The others should all be fine through the summer, as long as you give them plenty of water (but make sure they're well drained too, as some of them will rot their roots if they sit in water).

And of course you should bring them out of an exposed position once it starts to get cold at night, but the mint, rosemary and lemon balm should survive the winter as long as they're not allowed to freeze.
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Old 01.07.2015, 11:48
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I'm resurrecting this thread for more replies. I want a window box but I'm really, really inexperienced (herb growing virgin!) and clueless, I'm a little overwhelmed. Is it better to get seeds or to buy plants and re-pot? What is the soil called that I need to use, aren't there different types of soil?

I would like to grow basil, rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm and coriander. The balcony faces south.
You need to understand where the plants grow natively and grow them in pots in groups of soil.

So, the Mediterranean ones like well-draining poor soil (think stones and grit etc) and lots of sun:

Rosemary
Thyme
Oregano
etc.

Mint prefers moist soil and doesn't need much sun.
Coriander needs to be grown every few weeks as it bolts easily. It doesn't like too much sun, hates being potted on and is pretty temperamental.
Basil doesn't like really hot sun either.

I'd prepare a bit pot for the Mediterranean plants and buy actual plants from a garden centre and leave a nice gap between them as the grow.
In the early spring, prune them right back and you'll get succulent, non-woody new growth.

With the coriander and basil, either grow it from seed and re-sow (in new pots in rotation) every few weeks or buy the plants and re-buy when they've done their thing.
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  #28  
Old 01.07.2015, 11:49
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Lemon verbena is great- and if you keep pinching the tops and dry them to use later, in tea or whatever- the plant loves it and gets bushier and bushier. You can 'harvest it' like that every few weeks throughout the Summer. Melissa is good too- and again, if you 'Chelsea' chop them to the bottom in the middle of Summer, it will grow right back again.

In pots- always put old broken crocks, or chunks of polistirine (sp??) at the bottom, so the water can drain away if you over water or after a downpour- and make sure the pot has holes at the bottom- in plastic container you usually have to punch them out.

In a UK tip about 20 years ago, I found an old tin bath- we used it for the dog and it came with us when we moved. It leaks now, so just filled the bottom with polistirene chunks, then compost mixed wiht normal soil, and made it into a herb garden- looks great ...

Our lemon balm gets cut to the ground in the autumn- and gets covered with 2m of snow and extreme cold temps- and come right up in the Spring- no problem.
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  #29  
Old 01.07.2015, 12:16
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Thanks everyone

I did not know about the draining!! I have never put stones or polystyrene or broken crockery into the bottom of pots!!! Perhaps that's why my last one died?! I bought a little Marika Natale at Christmas for the table centrepiece and after Christmas kept it outside (though when it was sub zero I put a bag over it and around the pot) It was a dead brown crisp when we got back from a 2-week holiday in May, but tbh it had not been looking too healthy since before we went on holiday.

A week or two ago I bought an Orchid and when I watered it today the pot nearly overflowed! I had to tip it down the sink

From what you^ve said about coriander and basil I'm wondering if that's a bit too adventurous for me just yet and maybe I'll start with rosemary mint and lemon balm, so if I get a window box and have it dangling over the inner edge of the balcony would that still be too sunny?

Also can someone please explain pruning to me. I know it involves clipping the plant but is there a knack to it or do you just chop bits off it?
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  #30  
Old 01.07.2015, 12:19
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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Also can someone please explain pruning to me. I know it involves clipping the plant but is there a knack to it or do you just chop bits off it?
For thyme, oregano, sage and such like, just trim them right back in early spring and you'll get lots of new shoots.

For rosemary, just give it a trim now and again.

(That's what I do).

For other types plants there really are rules which are good to follow.
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:19
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

You really need to buy a gardening book for balcony plants. There are no general rules, you need to adapt the conditions to suit the plants!
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:33
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Guy bad with plants answering about my modest success. Here the lessons I learned - anecdotal evidence only, no science involved, follow at your own risks:

- Basil is different. Much harder because it loves light but not burning sun and more water than the others. I gave up.
- very good drainage, less water than one thinks and sun sun sun
- big pots is a good thing, I have no scientific evidence for that though
- Rosmarin and thyme definitely tougher and easier to grow than sage and oregano.
- forgetting them did not harm them, I forget a lot.
- it grows too slow if you cook mediterranean on a daily basis
- grow parsley in a separate pot, don't mix it with others, no idea why
- coriander is a nightmare, don't even try.
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:37
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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...
Coriander needs to be grown every few weeks as it bolts easily. It doesn't like too much sun, hates being potted on and is pretty temperamental.
Basil doesn't like really hot sun either.
...
With the coriander and basil, either grow it from seed and re-sow (in new pots in rotation) every few weeks or buy the plants and re-buy when they've done their thing.
I use a lot of coriander, for Thai and Mexican dishes. Where can one buy it? How long to grow from seeds?
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  #34  
Old 01.07.2015, 12:49
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

for rosemary you can make talee (cutting) i think, just steal some branches (cut them a bit longitudinally) and put them in water.
Parsley grows very easily in the pots of the lemon trees, with cats jumping on it and competing clovers.
Basil can grow potted I think but you want big plants to make pesto too, garden would be much better, it tells you when he wants water, if you ignore it one day it dies.
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Old 01.07.2015, 12:58
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

I have truly green gardening hands- but I've never ever been able to grow basil for more than a couple of weeks...

Lemon verbena can be pruned hard if leaves have gone yellow, etc- and it will sprout again, and be bushier for it.
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Old 01.07.2015, 15:04
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Basil is on sale at coop. Bigger than the pots you usually see in the vegetable section, lots of full growth... Chf 3.30/pot. They also have corriander - i usually buy a big one every couple of weeks.
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Old 01.07.2015, 15:16
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I have truly green gardening hands- but I've never ever been able to grow basil for more than a couple of weeks...
Odd. We generally have a pot or two on our kitchen windowsill, and with regular use and/or cutting back they last for months. TBH we have them mainly for the gorgeous scent more than for cooking.

One of them I recently replanted outside, so I'll report back when I know how well that works.
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Old 01.07.2015, 15:24
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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Basil is on sale at coop. Bigger than the pots you usually see in the vegetable section, lots of full growth... Chf 3.30/pot. They also have corriander - i usually buy a big one every couple of weeks.
I once had Corriander growing very, very well in the shade. It lasted the whole season, but died out when the weather got cold. I am not finding it a Coop these days.
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  #39  
Old 01.07.2015, 16:18
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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A week or two ago I bought an Orchid and when I watered it today the pot nearly overflowed! I had to tip it down the sink
Sometimes two pots are used, babooshka-style. The outer one is decorative, often with a glassy surface, these usually have no bottom hole so the water can't flow out. The inner pot, if any, will be the ordinary non-decorative. Take the inner pot out of the decorative pot when you water the plant, and leave it outside for a short while (a minute will usually be more than necessary) until any surplus water has been drained.

A single or inner pot without bottom hole is useless, the plant is virtually guaranteed to die very soon.
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From what you^ve said about coriander and basil I'm wondering if that's a bit too adventurous for me just yet and maybe I'll start with rosemary mint and lemon balm, so if I get a window box and have it dangling over the inner edge of the balcony would that still be too sunny?
It's a bit late, but you could add one or two (cocktail or ordinary) tomato plants. They require direct sunshine, are easy to keep, and the fruit are simply delicios. If you buy three or more, perhaps you could use them as sun protection for other plants by placing them in a balcony corner so the other plants are shaded from two sides.

If you pot your plants yourself, it's a good idea to protect the bottom hole from clogging. For instance, use a few stones (say 5-10cm in diameter, preferably flat-ish so you can easily form a stack/pile in pyramid fashion [three stones form the base around the hole, one on top of them covers the middle]). Stone size often varies with pot size, this is based on a medium-sized pot with 20-30cm diameter.

In general, you probably want to buy a beginners book, there are too many details for a forum.

Koreander seems to be available occasionally at Migros Garden march thru end of july. Ask in the shop of your choice, perhaps make a reservation, or ask them to call you up/email.
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  #40  
Old 01.07.2015, 16:36
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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Odd. We generally have a pot or two on our kitchen windowsill, and with regular use and/or cutting back they last for months. TBH we have them mainly for the gorgeous scent more than for cooking.

One of them I recently replanted outside, so I'll report back when I know how well that works.
We have never had a problem growing basil either. We have a couple of pots in the kitchen and one outside in the garden which is also doing well. Son seems to be a bit of a dab hand when it comes to growing herbs.
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