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smaxey843
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Herb plants from the home improvement store ...help!!

I've posted the below in the container garden, but the issue is also a herb based issue. please forgive me if i've broken some forum rule about spam, but if you could take a quick look into the information and see if you can help a new guy :)



I just bought two plants in the last three days, i've got a greek basil plant and an oregano plant,

the basil plant had a few leaves that obviously needed to get pruned but the overall condition stayed as it was from the store after transplanting it into a coffee can. i'lll post pictures tomorrow when the sun's up.


the oregano plant was flowering and dry and dying. so after transplanting i watered thoroughly and trimmed some stems that seemed to be worse off then others.

this just started me thinking that it might be best to trim them both down all the way to the ground and then tend to them after they start with new growths or that i just need to know what I'm doing before i go hacking up innocent herbs. any thoughts? i understand it might be hard without including a picture of the plant's conditions.

thanks!!
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

Sunset Zone 31
USDA Hardiness zone 8, right in the border between 8a and 8b

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smaxey843
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ok, heres the basil :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0508.jpg[/img]

he looks ok. so I'm not so worried about him.

but the oregano,

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0511.jpg[/img]

and two more angles :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0510.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0509.jpg[/img]

the leaves look much better today then they did yesterday, so maybe it was just neglected. still very much excited about gardening and my wife is being very patient as i tend to only talk about my current hobbies :)

the books I'm reading are the "for dummies" series, herb gardening for dummies and container gardening for dummies, the herb book is very interesting. let me know what you think :)
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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USDA Hardiness zone 8, right in the border between 8a and 8b

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rainbowgardener
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To start with basil and oregano are quite different plants. The basil is an annual. If you cut it down to the ground you have most likely just killed it. The oregano is a perennial, with much more ability to come back from its roots. However, when a plant is suffering and not well established may not be the best time to give it hard pruning, especially in the middle of a heat wave and when the plant is not dormant.

The basil looks like they stuck about 20 baby plants in one pot, to give it a nice bushy look. But they will compete with each other like crazy and some will die and some will survive but stunted. I would pull the whole thing out of the pot, pitch the ones that are already stunted. Take a few of the best looking ones (including looking at the roots, to see which have the best root system) and plant them two to a pot that size. When they are well established and getting bigger, they will grow best one to a pot that's at least 10" wide and deep (if not bigger). A happy basil plant will get at least 3' tall and almost that wide.

The oregano I would just give good basic care -- full sun (but if it was not in full sun where you bought it from, it will have to get used to that gradually), water deeply when it starts to dry out a little, but don't keep the soil moist all the time, it likes to dry out between waterings. Don't fertilize. Fertilizer is not good for plants that are struggling, and oregano is adapted to lean soil, doesn't want a lot of fertilization any way. See how it does with good basic care.
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smaxey843
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rainbowgardener wrote:The basil is an annual. If you cut it down to the ground you have most likely just killed it.


for some reason, i found this so funny i had to walk away.
rainbowgardener wrote:when a plant is suffering and not well established may not be the best time to give it hard pruning, especially in the middle of a heat wave and when the plant is not dormant.
i did not 'heavily' prune it.. but i did take a few of the under lying sprigs out. it looked more like an ivy then an upright growth. I'll consider this carefully.
rainbowgardener wrote:The basil looks like they stuck about 20 baby plants in one pot, to give it a nice bushy look. But they will compete with each other like crazy and some will die and some will survive but stunted. I would pull the whole thing out of the pot, pitch the ones that are already stunted. Take a few of the best looking ones (including looking at the roots, to see which have the best root system) and plant them two to a pot that size. When they are well established and getting bigger, they will grow best one to a pot that's at least 10" wide and deep (if not bigger). A happy basil plant will get at least 3' tall and almost that wide.
That is very interesting. i was wondering why it didnt look like any of the pictures. i never considered that it could be multiple plants in the same pot. I'm a little daunted by the concept of carefully deconstructing the rootball to single out individual plants. i'll do some reading on how to do this.

rainbowgardener wrote:The oregano I would just give good basic care -- full sun (but if it was not in full sun where you bought it from, it will have to get used to that gradually), water deeply when it starts to dry out a little, but don't keep the soil moist all the time, it likes to dry out between waterings. Don't fertilize. Fertilizer is not good for plants that are struggling, and oregano is adapted to lean soil, doesn't want a lot of fertilization any way. See how it does with good basic care.
hmm.. the soil i used was marked for seed starting... so i may not have done this correctly. i did walk into a store the other day with six dollars and an interest in gardening. i'll keep this updated
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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smaxey843
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something i just noticed is this discoloring in the stem of one or two of the aparently individual and overcrowded plants. is this rot or some other disease?

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0512.jpg[/img]


and a close up with a finger behind it for contrast.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0513.jpg[/img]

the frog is still in an air pocket near the rim. hes my buddy and i call him hopper :D
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

Sunset Zone 31
USDA Hardiness zone 8, right in the border between 8a and 8b

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smaxey843
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honeslty when i bought what i bought i got it because it was four dollars for two gallons of miracle grow. so if you have any recommendations that i can purchase from a store or give me a lead on how to find proper materials that will get me there, i am relieved to hear that its not a diseased plant. at least not yet :D i'll keep it going and post updates when I'm not gardening my other seed, my four month old :)

he gets excited and bewildered almost on demand.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0490.jpg[/img]

thanks for all ya'lls info :D
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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USDA Hardiness zone 8, right in the border between 8a and 8b

Susan W
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I'll chime in FWIW! The pot of basil you got had many seeds that sprouted and never thinned. You can pull out by hand, tweezers, or snip with little scissors the puniest.
On your improvised pot, I do trust you put holes in the bottom for drainage. That is essential! Next the soil mix. I have used, and still use Miracle grow potting mix for the tropicals, houseplants or the ones that come in for the winter. I have also used it for basil. It is easy, especially when potting up just a few things.

Keep us up-to-date on your babies -basil, oregano and the little cuty pie.
Have fun!
Susan

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smaxey843
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ok, so i went out when i could take a break, and gently pulled the one stalk out. and looked at the roots.


[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0514.jpg[/img]

the black stringy thing was the middle root for that basil sprout. the black root was also much less flexible and felt more woody then herby, heres another pic a little closer :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0515.jpg[/img]

i don't really have any new questions. just documenting on my learning process, feel free to point any details out or any thoughts you may have.
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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rainbowgardener
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"i did not 'heavily' prune it."

I was responding to your suggestion of just cutting them back to the ground. That would be hard pruning.
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smaxey843
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rainbowgardener wrote:"i did not 'heavily' prune it."

I was responding to your suggestion of just cutting them back to the ground. That would be hard pruning.

Ohh i understand now, thank you. i thought you were referring to the few clippings i did take i don't have a frame of reference for what heavy pruning would be.

susan, W

thanks!! i was in such a hurry to post those pictures i missed your post entirely. thank you for your chime! and no. i failed to put holes in the pot. i may get this coffee pot holy and then keep the situation as is after thinning. do you have anything i can reference for thining? just ... cut it at the ground in some places?

and im sorry but what does FWIW stand for??
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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cynthia_h
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FWIW = For what it's worth

Tons more Internet abbreviations available [url=https://www.internetslang.com/]here[/url].

Cynthia H.
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smaxey843
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oh one more question, i bought my oregano after it had started to flower, if i keep the flowers pinched off, will it keep a pre flowering flavor or a post flower bitterness regardless of how pinched i keep it??
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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smaxey843
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an update!!!!

I have an update for my basil plants, as well as my general goal for gardening.


I've been won over by both the seedling crowd, and the vegetable crowd, i have four types of herbs, oregano, basil, rosemary and dill.

i have a hand full of vegetables, raddishes, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, pictures below. most of it is kinda boring, just the basil is the star today :D


Basil pictures :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0521.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0523.jpg[/img]

and the fallen :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0522.jpg[/img]

oregano update :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0524.jpg[/img]

and some of the seedlings.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0529.jpg[/img]


let me know what you thinka bout the basil. i'll try to get home early and post some better pictures of the whole project :D
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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smaxey843
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Basil update : i've split the rootball up and have looked into individual plants and have transplanted according to rainbow's directions. the following pictures are the result Day of :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0521.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0523.jpg[/img]

two days later(date of this post)

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0547.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0548.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0552.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0554.jpg[/img]

they are definitely a little soft looking. but i think i've come a little over attached to a dollar worth in basil, which i may have to let go after seeing this as is. the puny one in the bucket was the best looking root system after it had been removed from the ground. please tell me what you think,
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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Looking good! It's typical for them to show a little transplant shock. Give them a couple more days in good conditions and they should start taking off. Where are you keeping all the basil babies? If they haven't been in full sun, they will have to get used to it gradually, especially if you are in a heat wave like I am. But they do want plenty of light.
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smaxey843
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well. i have them closest to the wall on a patio that faces north and west, with a large obstruction to the west(adjacent apartment building. i live on the second story of a three story building) so they get very little direct sunlight but plenty of indirect light. there is heat, but it was cooler yesterday and today due to storms. the soil is still moist, but it is setup to drain very well, though i have almost no practical experience to measure against what i just said it seems to be right. though i cannot be sure.
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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smaxey843
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Nothing exceptional to report.. they still look a little droopy. its not quite the right forum for this bit. but the cucumbers have sprouted :D very excited about that :D
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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rainbowgardener
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If you can find a place where they get more hours of direct light, they will probably do better.
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smaxey843
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hmm... well. if i put them on the patio table they'll probably average more direct sun. i had placed them away from direct light intentionally to follow what i interpretation of directions on the little card thing :D i'll put em out there and update tomorrow. thanks again rainbow :D
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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rainbowgardener
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I don't know exactly what "average a few more hours" means.

But if they haven't been getting much direct sun, don't just throw them out into many hours of it. They need to get used to it gradually. Start with a couple hours, then each day gradually increase it.
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smaxey843
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hmm... im not sure how to best serve those instructions. I'm limited to a 8x16 apartment patio, i could progresively move the plant from the southeast corner(the corner of which is walled on both sides and thus get the less sun)
and progressively move them north west towards the more exposed area of the patio. i moved them about half way across onto the coffee table. if it would help i can post pictures of this tonight to better illustrate. Thanks again :D
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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smaxey843
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another update on the basil/oregano, and what turns out to be a productive radish show, as well as a lot of cucumbers, i'll focus on the herbs and take the radishes and cuces into the veggie forum.

after following rainbows advice(again) and having it turn out positive (again) I'm very excited to present these pictures of what i've got out on the table that used to just hold the ashtray.

this guy in its own white pot

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0597.jpg[/img]

this dude in his own maxwell house coffee can:

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0598.jpg[/img]

and the bucket with four of em :

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0599.jpg[/img]

let me know what ya'll think,
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

Sunset Zone 31
USDA Hardiness zone 8, right in the border between 8a and 8b

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You are doing great! I enjoyed reading about your newfound adventures in gardening. :D

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The plants all look like they're doing well.

However, I also note the pack of Marlboro cigarettes in one of the photos. (No, I'm not going to get into the "Smoking Is Bad For You" stuff.) Handling cigarettes and then going directly into handling garden plants *can* transmit the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) to susceptible plants. Recommended practice is to smoke if you're going to smoke, then wash your hands, *then* work with the plants.

Other than that, you seem to be getting along very well with the 8x16 patio! :) I have some dirt, just a little, so approx. 1/3 of my edibles are in containers along my driveway on a strip of concrete about 15" wide btw the driveway and the house.

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smaxey843
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wow i didnt even know a tobacco disease existed, I do not smoke, but my wife does, and as she handles the plants little to none, I'm not entirely concerned, but i'll have her wash up if she feels like helping me.

she tested positive for lupis a couple weeks ago and we're trying to find a low energy hobby that we can share together. thanks for your input cynthia :D hope ya'll are having a nice sunday.
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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cynthia_h
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Well, let's hope that both of you LOVE cucumbers! (I looked at your other thread.) :D

Please see my PM; I just sent it to you.

Cynthia

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smaxey843
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hey ya'll. just an update on the bucket garden, so far everything is still alive, except for the seedlings, this past week has been exceptional in terms of demands on time, so im putting up a handful of pictures and inviting comments, thanks rainbow and cynthia ya'll are awesome :D

I decided to trim the radishes pretty radically. the size of the pot didnt measure up with what the seedpacket said it needed, so i decided i'll just grow one super awesome radish.. so far its a little soft.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0628.jpg[/img]

The basil is doing well. i harvested a few basil leaves from the plant that is in the blue maxwellhouse can. it seems like it took it well, but I'm not entirely sure.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0626.jpg[/img]

the other basil seems to be doing well, the plant on the top right is the dominant, not just an angle of the camera, and I'm considering replanting him in the one five gallon bucket i have, but have been holding onto for the right plant.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0624.jpg[/img]

the cucumbers are fun to watch. they seem to be doing well, they've both got their two true leaves(the prickly looking ones right?) and last i heard it was transplant time for them, so I'm going to have to dig up two five gallons or consider plucking the weakling and let one live in there. i'd welcome advice on that if anyone has any :D

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0623.jpg[/img]

Peas look... like peas i guess I'm not sure what im doing with these, they just look like they're still moving so im happy,

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0625.jpg[/img]

oregano seems happy with its environment. i find myself talking about oregano like he has a personality, and its strange for me to talk to a plant like its going to talk back lol!

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0629.jpg[/img]

so thats where i stand now :D when do i pluck basil and oregano? i need to learn how to harvest :D cheers.
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

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rainbowgardener
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Basil is still not looking very perky. I wouldn't harvest any until it seems happier.
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smaxey843
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thanks rainbow for your input :D

i took a closer look at the larger basil plant, it still has that brownish discoloration at the base of the stem, also, i've noticed some roots that are exposed, I'm not sure if the soil has filtered deeper into the pot or if the plant decided it needed some roots that had sunexposure, not sure. although I'm very pleased by the growth of one of the basil plants that I'm calling alpha for some reason, images below.

[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0647.jpg[/img]



and the roots/base image.
[img]https://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/smaxey843/Gardening%20pictures/IMG_0646.jpg[/img]

any thoughts? or is all this normal?
I'm new to gardening. I'm very appreciative of any responses. thank you in advance.

Sunset Zone 31
USDA Hardiness zone 8, right in the border between 8a and 8b

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