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Old 01.06.2010, 14:53
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Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

I have just bought some lovely herb pots from the Hoffman garden centre, very expensive (IMO) but I love to cook with fresh herbs and it seems so silly to buy from the supermarket each time such a waste, anyway, I have put them (still in their own pots) on my balcony. I get some good afternoon sun so I think they should do fine, but my mint and parsley are already wilted and soft!!
Im not sure what i have done wrong, they were in the rain on sunday so I bought them under the shade till it stopped then put them back out.
My husband has always said I am the kiss of death to all plants but i really wanted to prove him wrong this time so im really annoyed

can they be saved?? what am I doing wrong!!

(Mods - wasn't quite sure where to place this but as im using herbs to cook with i thought food and drink would be appropriate)
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:18
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

From my own experiences here ...... the little pots of herbs are usually at the stage where they need planting out. The roots are bound (going round and round inside the pot and not finding any nourishment).

Either plant them out into a slightly bigger pot with a bit of new potting soil ..... or into a window box. Press the soil down WELL around the roots so no air penetrates to dry them out.

Also ... beware of plants that are sold from INSIDE shops ... they are used to being indoors, usually. They need to be gradually introduced into the great big wide world of outdoors .... early morning and late evening sunshine to begin with, gradually longer, until they are aclimatised.

Hope this was some help.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:27
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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From my own experiences here ...... the little pots of herbs are usually at the stage where they need planting out. The roots are bound (going round and round inside the pot and not finding any nourishment).

Either plant them out into a slightly bigger pot with a bit of new potting soil ..... or into a window box. Press the soil down WELL around the roots so no air penetrates to dry them out.

Also ... beware of plants that are sold from INSIDE shops ... they are used to being indoors, usually. They need to be gradually introduced into the great big wide world of outdoors .... early morning and late evening sunshine to begin with, gradually longer, until they are aclimatised.

Hope this was some help.
thanks for the advice, they were bought from outside the shop literally across the road (i can see theirs from my window and they are doing fine )
I have got a window box but I was too scared to re-pot them incase they died! guess I may as well give it a go!
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:47
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Hi
I'm growing a few different herbs that I bought ready grown and they all were a lot happier when I repotted them into bigger pots. My mint likes to pretend to die every few days but it's just quite thirsty - as soon as I water it it comes bad good as new so now I just use it's wilting as a reminder !! Easiest by far are Rosemary and Thyme. I tend to water them all every other day.
Good luck!
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:53
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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i can see theirs from my window and they are doing fine
Ouch, that must hurt. My guess is they wilted either due to being over-watered, under-watered, or too much direct sunlight. Usually, people who "aren't good with plants" over-water them.

I'm mainly reading this thread as I've just bought some window boxes and compost, and my next plan is to buy some seeds.

Last edited by adrianlondon; 01.06.2010 at 16:13. Reason: Add a sentence
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:08
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

I agree - It's the over-watering that kills most of them.

To ensurethey do well, planting out seems to be the answer or potting on with better quality compost

The small pots of herbs from supermarkets and garden centres have cheap compost which probably only enough nutrients for just a few days.

Our parsley outside has survived two winters so far. All our herbs are in direct sun.

The other thing to do is buy one big pot and plant all the herbs in there. The soil will retain it's moisture better when you are away.
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:18
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

great, thanks for the tips guys, I shall nervously begin to replant into my window boxes tomorrow when I dont have any 'helpful' kiddie hands!
do I have to put some stones in the bottom to help drainage?
cheers
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:24
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I'm mainly reading this thread as I've just bought some window boxes and compost, and my next plan is to buy some seeds.
I didnt have guts to grow them from seeds goodluck!
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:26
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

I figure they're cheaper than buying the plants, and if some of them die I'll never know ;)
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:29
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

...I know this guy on Langstrasse that sells them.
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:44
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

some stones in the bottom are good to encourage drainage. Usually herbs need big pots. But also, if they die at the end of the season, don't worry.

Overwatering and poor drainage are the worst. Stuff like thyme grows in crap ground, and rosemary can thrive in arid soil.


I've grown some things from seed and others I've bought. My experiment this year is poblano chilies from seed. I've now moved them out into a big pot set into a black plastic bag so I can close it up if it gets cold at night.

My sister is a fairly experienced gardener... she tells me that while a green thumb is nice, what you need is a wallet filled with green (if you're American, money is green).
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Old 03.06.2010, 11:02
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Yes dont kill them with love!!! If its too cold put a white plastic bag over them like a mini greenhouse, loosen the roots gently when transplanting, keep them out of the wind and plant in good draining soil/sand with a bit of cow manure mixed in
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Old 03.06.2010, 15:15
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I get some good afternoon sun so I think they should do fine, but my mint and parsley are already wilted and soft!!
....Viagra ?
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Old 03.06.2010, 15:32
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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The other thing to do is buy one big pot and plant all the herbs in there. The soil will retain it's moisture better when you are away.
Agree. When potting it is very important to do the drainage properly. Before you put the soil into the new pot you should add a thin layer of dranage material. This can be fine gravel or (if you have the time and ae feeling destructive) little bits of broken earthenware pots (with bigger bits over the holes of course). This drainage protects the compost and what's growing in it from getting waterlogged.

Most herbs aren't too choosy in terms of compost quality so any cheapish soil should be fine.
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Old 03.06.2010, 15:36
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I didnt have guts to grow them from seeds goodluck!
Depends what yoϋ're growing. Stuff like parsley and chives comes real fast and it's more fun to grow it than to buy it. Rosemary takes much longer so unless you're very patient, go and buy one.
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Old 03.06.2010, 15:36
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

All of our herbs are doing very well, except for the basil which always dies after a couple of weeks.
Is there some trick to keep basil alive?
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Old 03.06.2010, 16:35
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

Ah ha! Hubby harassed me big time for "killing" the basil plant I'd bought...

I'd really love to grow some kitchen herbs on my balcony... particularly if some may help keep the bugs from wanting to come by AND that won't make my cat sick.

I'm considering getting two fairly large square planters and put a variety of herbs in each, setting them up at the outer corners of my balcony. The problem is that it gets full sun until about 4pm so I need something hardy enough to withstand all that sunlight.

I use thyme, sage, chives, basil and rosemary pretty regularly... would love to more regularly use fresh ones but have settled for dried sage from my m-i-l's garden and otherwise using bottled spices.


Speaking of keeping bugs or animals away from gardens (terrace or otherwise), I thought this article on "companion planting" may be of interest.
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There are a hundred different combinations:
Basil – keeps away flies and mosquitoes.
Horseradish – repels the potato bugs.
Catnip – Help stops flea beetle.
Mint – keeps away white cabbage moth, ants.
Nasturtium – keeps away aphids, squash bugs and pumpkin beetles.
Marigold – keeps away asparagus beetles and tomato worm
Peppermint – keeps away the cabbage butterfly.
Rosemary – prevents cabbage moth, bean beetles and carrot fly.
Sage – keeps away cabbage moth and carrot fly.
Thyme – deters the cabbage worm.
Wormwood – keeps away animals from garden, like cats.
Leeks and carrots repel each other’s pests.
Tomatoes, beans, peppers, carrots are mutually beneficial to each other.
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Old 03.06.2010, 16:53
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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I'm considering getting two fairly large square planters and put a variety of herbs in each, setting them up at the outer corners of my balcony. The problem is that it gets full sun until about 4pm so I need something hardy enough to withstand all that sunlight.

I use thyme, sage, chives, basil and rosemary pretty regularly... would love to more regularly use fresh ones but have settled for dried sage from my m-i-l's garden and otherwise using bottled spices.
The sun's not a problem - it's a benefit - all the herbs you list love full sun.

I've got all mine south facing in full sun and they're doing well.
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Old 03.06.2010, 16:54
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

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. Also, scented geraniums can be used in some cooking, but they also keep away mosquitoes (I beleive citronella is a form of scented geranium).

Lavender and mint keep moths away and lavender might keep away mosquitoes as well. I buy most of my herbs at the landi... inexpensive and if they die, just start again.

Basil doesn't like it to be too cold or wet, and once it's spent, you really should yank it and plant a new one. It grows well from seed.
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Old 06.06.2010, 00:25
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Re: Anyone good at growing herbs? need help!

thanks for all the tips, I think i may get some more window boxes, (bargain from Ikea 10.99chf) plant some more things....kill some more things...but hey its all learning!
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