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Herb advice [May. 16th, 2008|09:26 pm]
Herb Gardens

Hello! I have a couple of questions for the herb growing pros:

Can anyone tell me what the purpley/green tall herb is in this photo?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ana_ng/2483222553/sizes/o/ (the second from the left)

Also, I was told that the third herb from the left is chamomile. I'm not sure what kind it is, but how to do i use it/prepare it as for a tea?

Thanks for any advice!
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Which herbs to plant, which to keep in pots? [Apr. 27th, 2008|04:18 pm]
Herb Gardens

My last couple of houses haven't had gardens, so I've been keeping herbs in pots in the backyard, but I've finally got a garden with a bit of space for planting herbs. I'm just wondering what to plant where, as I have a very shady paved patio area (good for pots?), a small flowerbed that's mostly in shade, and a small front garden that gets sun for most of the day. I'm in the north of England so it's chilly in winter and reasonably warm in summer. Can anyone tell me which of the following plants prefer sun or shade, and which ones will spread crazily and would be best left in pots? I have:
- chives
- mint (I know this will spread - it's staying in the pot!)
- rosemary
- thyme
- blackcurrant sage
- variegated sage
- lavender
- strawberry plant

Also, what do people do with tomato and chili plants over winter? Do they even last longer than one season?! I have 6 small tomato plants and a few chili plants in pots and I'll be putting them outside once the weather gets better, but I don't know what to do with them next winter. I left some chilis and a tomato plant outside last winter and they died when it got colder, but I won't really have space to bring all of them inside the house. There's no space outside for a greenhouse or anything.
Thanks for any advice!
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How do you keep mints from spreading? [Apr. 23rd, 2008|10:29 am]
Herb Gardens

Mints have a shallow root system however they spread and spread fast if grown outside of a container. This year I want to plant my mints outside of pots however knowing how they grow I'm reluctant to do so without establishing some kind of barrier.

I thought about taking clear plastic water bottles (1 gallon size), cutting the top off and punching holes on the bottom for drainage then burying the bottle in the ground with about two or three inches above ground then filling the inside with potting soil and finally planting one mint plant per bottle. Each water bottle stands about 12 inches and with the tops cut off probably about 10 inches so about seven to eight inches would be buried. Will this be good enough or should I just leave my mints in their terra cotta pots?
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Propagators outside? [Apr. 10th, 2008|04:53 pm]
Herb Gardens

Hello, I'm new here.  I have a container herb garden in my back yard, been growing perennial herbs (bay tree, rosemary, lemon balm, etc) for a few years but I'm getting a bit more serious with my gardening now, especially would love some good crops of basil and parsley this summer.

I'm in the UK (north-west England) and so I think that basil will have a hard time of it outdoors, most UK books say have it indoors/in a greenhouse.  But my indoor windowsills are very narrow, and having it in the kitchen (only room bright enough to have it on a shelf ended in disaster as it was too damp I think.  And obviously I don't have a greenhouse in my backyard.  What do people think of using a (non-heated) propagator outdoors?  I haven't bought one yet but can't really have it inside as all my rooms are rather dark (though my back yard is south-facing).  Would that be suitable?

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Growing Burdock [Apr. 6th, 2008|07:29 pm]
Herb Gardens

I am very interested in growing burdock, for it's medicinal properties. However, I don't want it to spread. Is there any way of growing it without it taking over? I was thinking that maybe if I keep picking off the burrs as they develop, that may prevent it from spreading.

I would simply collect it in the wild, except I haven't seen it around here, and even if I could find it, I'm not sure I'd trust it. It typically grows by roadsides and in abandoned lots and such, and I would have no guarentee it hadn't been sprayed or something.


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Happy Herbs [Apr. 6th, 2008|09:09 pm]
Herb Gardens
Hullo, herb people!
I'm attempting to make a comprehensive herb file, mainly because I'm getting some large portable garden beds soon and repotting all my herbs. At the moment, everyone's in seperate little pots, which isn't ideal as they can't get established and therefore, if they get damaged or bugs attack or whatever, it's less likely they'll survive it. Also it keeps them small, and I'd rather large, healthy plants I wouldn't worry about using a bit more in my cooking without taking too much from the plant.
I thought of companion planting everyone, since it'll be two or three large beds as opposed to individual pots. So I'm after the ideal planting and care conditions for quite a few herbs, everything from how much sun to the soil ph levels, whether they like furtilizer or they're the sort of plant that can't tolerate it, if they do what sorts of furtilizers, how big they can grow and what other sorts of herbs they can be planted with companionably. Everything possible to care for the herbs individually. At the moment, my garden consists of :
Yarrow, lemonbalm, thyme, oregano, chamomile, lavender, spearmint, strawberry, asparagus, mugwort, fennel, spinach, caraway, tarragon, chilli, blueberry, basil, lemongrass, bay, chives, leek, elderflower, angelica, parsley, dandelion, arrowroot, licorice, marigold, marjoram, feverfew, corriander, celeriac, laksa leaf, stevia, mushroom plant, fern, rue, wormwood, lemonbalm liqueur, lemon verbena, sage, holly, houttyunia, catnip, rasberry, blackberry, comfrey, valerian, pineapple sage, juniper, ivy, mint, chicory, lovage, chocolate mint, winter savoury, rocket, rosemary and horseradish.
If any of you good folks have any tips on the conditions that any of these herbs love, it would help me out raising them heaps!

- x-posted to herbalmagick
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Growing Basil [Feb. 15th, 2008|02:58 pm]
Herb Gardens
I am going to start some seeds of basil in my kitchen window sills, as it is that time of year here in northern New England. 
To make pesto one needs a lot of it. Does anyone know of any high yield producers?
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a good herbal [Nov. 15th, 2007|05:43 pm]
Herb Gardens

hello all,

i was wondering if anyone would be able to recommend a good book on growing and using herbs? i know there are many herbals out there, i just don't know which are the most comprehensive, and the most up-to-date.

i've recently started my own herb garden, building it bit by bit, and i'm really looking forward to cultivating my own herbs, and using them for medicinal/magickal purposes.

any suggestions would be most welcome!

thank you in advance!

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In love with mint plants [Jun. 13th, 2007|10:54 pm]
Herb Gardens

I found that mint is among the easiest herbs to grow and ended up starting a collection of various mint plants. Outside of my house, I let go "wild" are curly spearmint and a peppermint plant. It's growing underneath a pine tree and next to the underground sprinkler system pump that leaks when on. Needless to say my mint LOVES the area. I don't mind that the mint has invaded the grass area, I'm sure the neighbors hate it but oh well. My only problem is that the two mints are now merging into one plant... or so it seems. It's just that the peppermint is now becoming curly like the curly spearmint and the curly spearmint is (remaining curly) but growing straight as well. Oh well, I have two new plants coming in and those are going into their own containers.

In terra cotta pots, I have the following mints:Collapse )

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Wild animal done ate my fennel [Jun. 13th, 2007|01:24 pm]
Herb Gardens
[mood |confusedconfused]

On Monday afternoon I planted  herbs along the outside of my apartment.
They were catnip,rosemary (creeping and upright)  lavender,chamomile and fennel.
Today I go out to water them and..the fennel was mostly gone,a few straggling bits were covered over by dirt.The lavender was dug out a bit around the edges,but still intact.
Does anyone know how to protect my wee herbs from culinary thieves?
We live in the mountains,surrounded by forest.We can't leave bird feeders out at the advisement of the Fish and Game department,because they attract  bears.Whatever dug these up had a small round paw.
Man,was I surprised.
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