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#1 of 13 Old 10-11-2010, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to start growing fresh herbs in my kitchen.
I'm heading out to the garden center later this week to look for organic herbs.

My question is about the soil. What kind of soil do you use? My husband says I should just use potting soil with those styrofoam bits in it. I'm not sure I want to because I fear there are chemicals in it. I was just going to use topsoil that I took out of our back yard in the spring and mix it with the dirt from our red wiggler compost (which is not very much because we are just starting out with composting). What do you recommend for soil for organic herbs?

Also, what are your favorite herbs to grow inside year around? I know for sure I'm going to plant cilantro. I don't normally use fresh herbs (sad, I know), so I'm not sure what to plant.
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#2 of 13 Old 10-12-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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double post oops
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#3 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 08:44 AM
 
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ooooo... good questions... waiting with you for some good answers! my problem is that when i use herbs, it's use alot at one time, i never go lightly on the herbs. so i'd need several plants of each!

oh, and i agree with you, and would use your garden soil with compost also, or a good garden soil bought in a bag, NOT the styrofoam stuff.

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#4 of 13 Old 10-15-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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I would use a good organic potting soil like fox farms or something comparable (from a nursery, not big box store stuff), get a small bag, you won't need very much. Soil from your yard might be too hard and might crust over. Definitely add some of your worm castings. The little white bits in the potting soil are either perlite or vermiculite. Perlite is ground up lava rock and aerates the soil and absorbs water to help keep the soil moist. Vermiculite is a mineral and soil conditioner and also absorbs and holds water for the plants to use.

Thyme, marjoram, basil, mint, oregano, chives, marjoram, parsleye are all good ones. Have fun with your project.

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#5 of 13 Old 10-15-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Hmm...apparently I did not double post! Well, anyway, I pretty much said what Cathy said. I use miracle grow organic potting soil in my pots. You're not going to want to use dirt from your garden or raw compost because they can both contain parasites or diseases that can be difficult to control in pots. Worm castings are different and you can add them directly to your soil.

One of the biggest mistakes contaier gardeners make is confusing "garden" soil with "potting" soil. Garden soil is to add to your ground as an ammendment. Potting soil is formulated for pots.
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#6 of 13 Old 10-16-2010, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips!

I bought some non-organic potting soil because I had to transplant 3 decorative plants into bigger pots last week. This week when I went to water them, flies all came out of the soil when I poured the water on. I have 5 other plants that I didn't transplant with this new potting soil and none of them have flies...so I'm guessing the flies came from the potting soil! Argh!
I will definately be buying the organic potting soil that guarantees it does not to contain any bugs. I never even thought about that when I was thinking of using some garden dirt.
Now if I could just find seeds...My local garden center doesn't have any left so I'll have to hunt at the big box stores to see if I can find some.
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#7 of 13 Old 10-16-2010, 07:25 AM
 
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rareseeds.com might have some or one of the others listed under resources at the top of our garden forum. They generally only charge about $3 to ship.

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#8 of 13 Old 11-03-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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Invest in a grow light set up. Most herbs prefer full, hot sun outdoors. So even in the sunniest indoor window your light levels will probably be too low and your herbs will be puny and/or dead. Especially when you consider harvesting them- weak plants will not have the strength to recover from cuttings.

What climate do you live in? Here in NC rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro are evergreen outdoors all winter.
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#9 of 13 Old 11-03-2010, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks plantnerd.

That's definately something I didn't want to hear. lol.

I'm up in central Alberta. So nothing grows outdoors from September to May.

I saw an indoor grow light set up at the garden center on the weekend. It looks pretty cool, but I have no space to put something like that. Very cool though!
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#10 of 13 Old 11-03-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantnerd View Post
Invest in a grow light set up. Most herbs prefer full, hot sun outdoors. So even in the sunniest indoor window your light levels will probably be too low and your herbs will be puny and/or dead. Especially when you consider harvesting them- weak plants will not have the strength to recover from cuttings.

What climate do you live in? Here in NC rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro are evergreen outdoors all winter.
Even here in zone 7 in NC? Gosh that would be cool.

You don't need an expensive set-up just lights above some shelving. Shop lights with the plant bulbs work fine. Just make sure to pet them everyday for a little while like the wind is blowing them.

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#11 of 13 Old 11-03-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
Even here in zone 7 in NC? Gosh that would be cool.

You don't need an expensive set-up just lights above some shelving. Shop lights with the plant bulbs work fine. Just make sure to pet them everyday for a little while like the wind is blowing them.


Hi FK. Inner city Charlotte, almost more like an 8b except for the rare snap. I haven't seen a ground freeze at home in 2 years except when we have snow on the ground for more than 12 hours.
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#12 of 13 Old 11-08-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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I brought some herbs inside once due to construction outside. Everything died. They all love being outside much more than inside.

The only two I can get to grow inside are aloe vera and cat grass. Even catnip dies inside. Our regular houseplants do fine inside (variety).

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#13 of 13 Old 11-09-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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I've had herbs inside for a month. Hopefully they will live through the winter and be outdoors again. I figure even if they are puny or leggy from stretching toward the window it's somewhat better than cut and in the fridge or dried.

Even if they die before Spring at least I will have some fresh stuff while they last and the plants were cheaper (fall clearance!) that a single packet of fresh herbs from the grocery.

I got the organic planting mix the nursery owner uses. I would not use garden soil. It becomes horribly compacted in containers--a fluffier mix is really important. I think compost is fine. Be careful with watering--a lot of herb like it dry and it's often easy to overwater indoor plants anyway.

I have chives, parsley, sage, and thyme. Because those were what the nursery still had that I actually use. These can all live through the winter outdoors but will not stay green. My ds potted them up for science one day.

I am not adding lights but if I were growing from seed I definitely would.

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