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I’m trying my luck at herb gardening again

I’m trying my luck at herb gardening again

by Karen on April 25, 2009


I’ve tried herb gardening a couple times before, and the results were dismal. But I’ve never been a quitter, so I’m giving it another go.

Last weekend, I picked up three herb plants from Lowes — sweet basil, thyme, and rosemary. At $3 each, they cost the same as fresh cut herbs at the grocery store. I already had the window box and soil from my last attempt at herb gardening.

I planted them, and I placed them in the sunniest part of my porch. Unfortunately, even the sunniest part of my porch is pretty shady. I think it only gets a couple hours of direct sunlight a day tops.

It’s been a week and a half, and they’re still alive. The basil is looking a little sad after three days or so of clouds and lower temperatures. I’m hoping a little sunshine today will perk it up a bit. However, the thyme and rosemary seem to be doing okay for now.

I’m looking for a window box hanging device so I can hang them over the edge of the deck. Part of the reason they’re not getting enough sun is the roof overhang that shelters my porch. I’m hoping if I can get them out from under the roof, they’ll do a little better.

I’ve made it through the first week, but I’m a little worried about my basil. It’s looking pretty sad. :( I’m notorious for killing plants. I even managed to kill a pot of impatiens last year after my mom told me they were the hardest plant to kill.

Anyone have any advice for container gardening with herbs? I’m open to anything that might help me get better results this time!

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1 Nicki at Domestic Cents April 25, 2009 at 8:27 am

I’m thinking of trying herbs this year too. I don’t have a really super spot for them because it’s still too cold to have plants outdoors where I live, but I think I’m going to give an indoor herb garden a try.

Nicki at Domestic Cents’s last blog post..Good Reads: Caught A Smile

2 Kristy April 25, 2009 at 8:43 am

I tried growing potted chives on my balcony this year. They were doing okay at first, but after a week they were LOADED with tiny black bugs! They don’t sell many fresh herbs at my grocery store so I’m not giving up- just moving it indoors. This website has helped me some with my indoor herb gardening attempt. http://www.gardeningpatch.com/herbs/indoor-herb-garden.aspx

3 EastTXmom April 25, 2009 at 11:53 am

Karen –

Persistence is a definite key when trying your hand at growing anything and finding what works can be aggrevating, but you can do it! I’ve never given container growing a try, but the herbs I have in my flower bed – yes, in my flower bed and most people have no clue and they look part of the landscape – grow great. I think you’re on the right track regarding the amount of sunlight. I have very little shading and almost year around warm weather and my rosemary and oregano seem to love it, but they’re the only 2 I’ve tried so far. Just added basil a few weeks ago and it seems to be a little droopy at the moment, so I’m keeping fingers crossed.

Keep us up to date on how it goes.

4 Judith April 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I’ve bought the seeds and soil and am cleanin out pots to start some herbs indoors (I’m in PA; too soon to plant outside!)
I’ve found a south facing window for now, and will get them outside asap. I’ve grown rosemary, basil, and thyme before. I’m also trying chives and parsely, this time, and some lavendar. I kill plants, so wish me luck! I’ll keep checking back to see how you’re doing. Good luck!

5 Karen April 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Thanks for all the well wishes and advice everyone!

Judith – Hopefully you’ll have some luck with your South facing window. I struggle because all of my windows face West! :( I seem to have found a spot on the porch that’s providing them with enough sun for now. Hopefully I can keep them alive! I’m a notorious plant killer, too. Good luck to you!

6 BarbaraRyan April 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

Don’t get discouraged. Basil is really hard to grow. I consider myself to be really good at herbal/pot gardening and I’ve struggled with basil. If the basil dies, try something more hardy, like oregano. Good luck!

7 Andrea April 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

I’ve successfully grown herbs in containers many springs/summers. The trick is to plant each herb in it’s own pot. The basil needs to be in one pot, the thyme in another and the rosemary in another. Also, your soil left over from last year might have “expired” … so you might need new potting soil. I had three herbs in one container the first year I tried an herb garden and it didn’t work. The separate pots are the secret! Their root balls are much happier that way. My basil plant got up to four feet tall one summer (it was in a pretty big pot). The larger the pot, the larger the plant it yields.

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