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Planning the herb garden


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So the last few years I have put some effort into getting a good herb garden together. Last year was a really good year for things like Thyme, Oregano, Sage, lemon balm and mint. 


I have tried and tried to grow Lavender every year and I am not sure why, but I can't get it to grow! It's extremely frustrating, but, I'm not one to give up (even sometimes when I should), so I am going to try again.


What do you grow in your herb garden and what, if anything, are your new additions?

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Lavender requires a somewhat alkaline soil (or “sweet” as some call it). My soil runs to the acidic side, and so anything I grow that likes alkaline soil requires that I lime the soil around the plant at least annually. Lavender also likes a well-drained soil, not a clay based soil. 


I grow lots of herbs and medicinal plants - some of my favorites:






sweet basil

red basil

lemon balm



red clover

roses (hips)




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I can't get lavender, lemon verbena, or thyme to grow.  They're all supposed to be easy, and yet I keep failing with them.  This year I even killed the elder cuttings I was trying to root, I have no idea how anyone manages to kill elder.


Right now I'm looking to place some herb beds or maybe container gardens.  I seem to do best with two or three kinds in a good-sized pot.  We eat so much lemon grass, though, that it usually gets a planter to itself.  Come Valentine's day, I plan to set out a lot of seedlings and see which ones survive.

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6 minutes ago, Ambergris said:

herb beds or maybe container gardens.  I seem to do best with two or three kinds in a good-sized pot.


I have to put my lavender, thyme, aloe, and other spices in pots of their own.  I have a stand with rings around at intervals, and my pots sit inside the rings.  Then they sit just under the northern eve of the house where they get "some sun" and are protected from heavy rains and hot sun.  I have to hand water them, but that's okay with me. When it starts getting cold I bring them inside and let them sort of go dormant upstairs but near a window where they can get some light and I water them just to keep them moist.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My soil is clay, so the pot thing sounds like I good idea.  I'm also starting to plan for an herb garden, at least with the ones we use a lot of.  Some medicinals too, I think.  

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I have a black thumb.  I kill everything except rosemary and dill.  The rosemary does well, and the dill transplants itself all over my yard.  Last year we had some growing up in the gutter on the 2nd story.    I started out with just one plant, but over the last few years, I think I have enough to go commercial with it now --and it wasn't on purpose.  

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Oh Euphrasyne, I feel for you. I've had a nearly 30 year battle with lemon balm. When it encroached into the neighbors yard I had to act. $$$


30 years and I'm still finding it pop up everywhere. It sends roots out underground. Herbs in the ground terrify me. 


My thumb is black too. I have never been able to start a veggie plant from seed in the house. The stems are always too spindly. In the ground is fine. In a cup...nope. It's not from lack of trying. Maybe I need gro lights etc. 

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Jeepers, spindly means they're REACHING for the sun.  You do need grow lights.  That's why outside works better.  God provides the light.  There are ways and means for growing inside....just have to learn them.  One trick I do with starting sturdy seedling .....I put a fan on them part of the day.  They develop thick stems they'd need in our windy valley.  I keep the grow lights just a smidge from touching their top leaves.  They have no excuse to grow spindly then!!!  I also surround the growing table with aluminum foil and even cover the table with it.  That bounces the light allll over the place. 


MtRider  ....someday, I want to grow veggies again!!! :lois:  

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Mt Rider I have done well growing seeds under plain florescent shop lights, the same way...very close to the pots, raising them as the plants grew, so the lights remained only 2 inches above each plant.  It worked nicely.  I got stockier plants growing in a cool place (around 50 degrees - in an unheated room), and although they grew a little slower, the plants were much more sturdy and hardened off much more quickly.  I  was told by those I shared transplants with that I should have grown them for sale because they were superior to the "Bonnie Best" which were all you could find anywhere else.  I like the fan idea though, it would add more strength to those little green babies.  

I'd like to get my grow light set up back up and running but that is down on the list of things to do, maybe a year or two (?)  Plants in pots for now, though I am eyeing an inground spot for the future.  I guess I'd have to figure out what to do with invasives….I had mint in my lawn at one place which made mowing quite aromatic!


I just got back from the website www.artisticgardens.com

It is where Le Jardin du Gourmet went to.  Remember those "sample" seed packets?  Still there, plus sample size veggie packets for 40 cents each.  If you are just planting a pot of herbs, why not save a few cents & get the 40 cent sample size - usually 10 to 15 seeds - plenty for a single pot or an experimental planting.  Im getting some for my wall-mounted herb pots on the garden shed (yes e are putting them back up again & I'd like to expand if we get the time).808263438_IMG_3506(2).thumb.JPG.c7f068c76193a326a0cd1172ff4d692f.JPG


Edited by kappydell
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