herbs

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jynxt, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. jynxt

    jynxt Well-Known Member

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    All I've ever grown other than a few veggies is lots of kids. I really want to grow my own herbs...for cooking and medicine. Is there anything new I need to know or good books I should really invest my time in reading or will my crazy lady haphazard method of 'throw it in dirt ...see if it grows' work here too?

    Also where is the best (but not expensive) place to get seeds? I function with an extremely limited budget.

    Are there totally different issues with herbs or is it the same old ....bugs, fungus, weather stuff that it's been with the veggies?

    I have grown echinacea before and mint..other than that it's going to be a new thing to me. :hobbyhors
     
  2. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    Limited budget? Same here. If you cook with herbs, you can propagate fresh ones you buy. Rosemary is easy; thyme and oregano take more effort but are doable as it tarragon. Even a snippet of basil can be water rooted. Make friends with other gardeners in your area; sharing is part of "growth". I buy small herb/seed packs from http://www.artisticgardens.com/catalog/
     

  3. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest going to the library and trying to find a book on growing herbs specific to your area/climate. If your library doesn't have the book you want, they can get it for you through interlibrary loan. I failed at many kinds of herbs until I got a book specific to my state and growing zone, which showed me which ones grew here and how to grow them, and which ones aren't worth bothering with.
     
  4. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    I'll probably get flamed for telling you.... go check Walmart when they get their seeds in. They usually have a basic selection of herb seeds in the 25 cent per pkt rack. They sell out very quickly, tho.

    If you have any of the stores that are discounters (like Big Lots), you'll sometimes find seeds there for 10 cents to 25 cents/pkt in the spring. The selection isn't great but for herbs, you can find a basic selection.

    Also check local feed stores - I've seen them clear out last year's seeds for cents on the dollar too - check now.
    BW
     
  5. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Definitely do some homework! First, decide which herbs you want to grow, select, say, half a dozen, and learn about them - how to use them, what conditions (climate, soil, sun/shade) they do best in etc. Your local library will have dozens of good books on the subject, and the internet has literally millions of sites about herbs. Just type in the name of a herb and search for it, and be prepared to spend the rest of your life learning about it!

    You can help your search by looking up information on companion planting. Since you grow veges, this might be a good place to start - find out what goes with what.

    With around 20000 known herbs on the planet, you have quite a choice, especially if you're looking into medicinal herbs as well as culinary herbs. Just narrow down your choices by selecting the culinary herbs first - most of them have medicinal uses as well. Most people will select some of the Mediterranean herbs - basil, thyme, sage, oregano etc. These are all easy to grow.

    I suggest, as a beginner, you start off with seedlings, rather than seeds. It can be very disheartening for a beginner when the seeds don't germinate, or you've over-watered them or whatever. Seedlings give you an encouraging head start.

    Here's a site you could begin with.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/D_search.html

    Please be warned, however. Once you become really interested in herbs (growing and using), you will find the road a very long one - there's always another one you want to try, or add to your collection! You'll be hooked. In fact, after almost half a century learning about them myself, I feel I've only just scratched the surface of all there is to know! Herbs are fascinating.

    Please don't start using herbs medicinally until you've got some good knowledge under your belt. Find out how they're used, for what, and which parts of the plant are used. Find out which herbs interact with others, and/or with what conventional medications. Find out what contraindications they may have, any particular warnings. Learn about recommended dosages. And draw a very distinct line between your herbs and your children. Except in normal culinary amounts, or under the guidance of an expert, the two DO NOT mix.

    Another word of advice, very important especially when you're starting out. Make sure to LABEL all your herbs, whether in pots, or in the garden. It's incredibly easy to forget which is which!
     
  6. jynxt

    jynxt Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all your advice! I promise to be very careful and only grow what I am familiar with using at first. Do you have any good book recommendations?
     
  7. tchan

    tchan Well-Known Member

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    I just got some stuff from www.sandmountainherbs.com. They have a great selection of both medicinal and culinary herb seed and some plants.
     
  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DO try herb growing...it is soooo satisfying having jars of your own herbs. Who knew parsley had a smell-- I always thought it was just for color!!!!!! Had great sucess with oreagano,thyme,marjoram,parsley,cilantro,sage,basil,rosemary,borage,lemon balm last year and anxious to grow more varieties. Actually had enough variety to make my own Italian seasoning mix. Be sure and label plus keep a drawing of your herb bed. The bees love visiting the herbs. DEE
     
  9. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Another tip I forgot...try "Survivor" parsley...ours died in our one snowstorm and it has new sprouts so I went out and mulched it deeply! Only propblem towards fall was the butterflies spinning cocoons in it!! Grandkids brought some in and were thrilled to see them hatch...yellow swallowtails. dee
     
  10. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    I happen to like any of the books on herbs by Leslie Bremness.

    [ame]http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=Leslie+Bremness&btnG=Google+Search&meta=[/ame]
     
  11. BasicLiving

    BasicLiving Well-Known Member

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    I LOVE my herbs - my only addition to the advice you've gotten is to consider how it spreads when you plant it. I planted oregano one year (and I LOVE oregano), but it took over the entire herb garden the next couple of years. In hindsight, I would have tried to "contain" it. Spring onions did the same thing, although not quite to the degree of the oregano. Unless you have lots of time to weed and thin, be careful what you plant, how you plant it, and where you plant it!

    My herb garden is truly a joy. You'll get so much pleasure out of the smells, blooms, looks, and use of it. You'll enjoy it more if you think ahead about how it spreads and grows.

    My 1 cent,
    Penny