Beginner Gardening Help - Herb Garden - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We would like to start growing some of our own herbs for two reasons: to save money and because our kids want to have a garden.

 

We tried to grow tomatoes one year and were not very successful! We have never tried to grow anything else, so we are definite beginners.

 

We have 1/3 acre, which receives mostly sun. The soil seems pretty moist. We have a 4-foot chain link fence around most of our yard. We live in a densely populated suburb, but we do happen to have about 800 feet of woods behind our house, which means lots of animals. Tons of rabbits, moles, mice, chipmunks, a woodchuck, deer and even a fox.

 

We thought it might be easiest to grow the herbs in pots so we could move them around the yard as needed or even bring them inside the house.

 

Also, we want everything to be organic.

 

So - what type of container do we use? What herbs are the easiest to grow? Where do we buy the seeds? Can we just buy a regular bag of organic soil? Any and all advice is appreciated! I really hope we can do this successfully.

 

Thanks!

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Old 02-25-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Growing herbs in containers is really easy. You need a fairly sunny spot for most herbs. 

 

I like simple terra cotta pots, but you can use any container as long as it has some drainage holes in the bottom. Put down a thick layer (a couple of inches) of stone, broken clay etc. and then fill with good potting soil. You can get it at the nursery when you buy your herbs. Potting soil is enriched and has stuff to help manage moisture, which is important because pots tend to dry out very quickly. You have to be careful to water them more often than you would if the herbs were planted in a garden bed, but you also don't want to over-water. 

 

Choose pot size according to the herb - basil will need a fairly large pot because it grows up and out. Mint, thyme, oregano etc. should do fairly well in smaller pots. If you are buying seedlings, the information tag on the seedling will tell you how much growing room each seedling needs. Use that to calculate pot size. If you are starting from seed, the seed packet should give you the information. 

 

HTH. Hope you enjoy your herbs! 

 

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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Just to add - I've tried growing a lot of different herbs in pots. I find the easiest, hardiest herbs are thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Mint is pretty good too. Basil does well, but I find it's a little more vulnerable to drying out quickly. That's just off the top of my head - there are lots of varieties you can try.  

 

 

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Old 02-27-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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I have done basil in pots and in the ground and in the ground is far superior IMO.  It flourished!!!!   But mint and thyme are good in pots because it will spread like wildfire :) I have a plague of mint that I have to rip out every year in my garden bed left from the people before me. I also have a sage plant in my garden that does really well and comes back bigger every year. Chives are also really great in the garden bed.

 

I have found it hard in the past to grow cilantro but this year I plan on planting it in the ground under some trees for shade. It tends to bolt really fast in the heat.

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Old 03-23-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabued View Post

 

 

So - what type of container do we use? What herbs are the easiest to grow? Where do we buy the seeds? Can we just buy a regular bag of organic soil? Any and all advice is appreciated! I really hope we can do this successfully.

 

 

Use any container that has holes in bottom bigger is better for the roots to have enough space.  Basil and parsley, mint, lemon balm are very easy to grow.  You can buy good seeds at seedsavers.org or Fedco.com are really reputable companies.    I buy organic seed starting mix to start the seeds in small peat pots then plant them in bigger containers as they get bigger.  You can buy organic potting soil at local gardening supply stores most likely. 
 

 


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Old 03-23-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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I suck at pots so can't help you there. Oregano was perennial for me back in Zone 3 and it got really large with no effort on my part. Dill, chives, cilantro are all super easy as well (from seed).
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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I have done thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, mint and oregano in pots.  Sage you could do in a pot too but I have mine in the ground and have since transplanted all my other herbs except mint to the ground.  Anyway, these I would buy a seedling of instead of starting seed.  For basil and parsley you could start from seed.  Dill is supposed to be fairly easy too.  Chives, I bought a clump and they are in my front yard but I have friend who does hers in a pot.  You can get organic potting soil from your local garden center along with your seeds and seedlings, and I would also get a good organic type fertilizer.  I am using fish emulsion now.  Pots get flushed of their nutrients so it is necessary to re-up the nutrients otherwise your plants won't grow.


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Old 03-28-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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You can get 5 gallong buckets from restaurants.Anything that will drain is good. I like having lemon balm,chocolate mint,and dill to name a few. Love to walk by them and grab a bit for smelling. Fall time is a good time to get free pots that people toss out. I get a lot of those hanging pots.Some marigolds too. I have saved quite a few plants people throw out.

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