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Middleman777
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Los Angeles in the SFV zone 10a

Growing herbs in the winter in Los Angeles

I'm looking to grow a few herbs/spices/plants in a container on my South facing balcony which gets full sun. I think my zone is 18, I live in Southern California/San Fernando Valley (sorry big noob here) and was wondering if this is a bad idea. I'm looking to grow Cilantro, Cayenne, Oregano and Flax to start. I know where I live, we do have harvests all year round of various crops but I'm sure the best route to take, or if I should just wait for a few months. I'm looking to grow from seeds, would I need to start them indoors first to germinate or can I start them outside? Any help and advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!
...Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed...

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Kisal
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Location: Oregon

I lived in Woodland Hills for a number of years, and also in West L.A., Santa Monica, and Hollywood. It's been a long time, but as I recall, winter temps at night could get down to around 40º F. at times. Some herbs, cilantro is one, enjoy cooler temperatures, so would probably be a good cool-season crop for you. Cilantro has a taproot, so use a deep container. A 5-gallon bucket might be a good size/shape to aim for.

Cayenne is a type of pepper. Peppers like warm temperatures, so you'll probably want to grow them in the summer. You can find a lot of excellent information in our [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4]Vegetable Forum[/url] about how to grow peppers.

Once your oregano is started, I think I would wait until spring to plant it outdoors. Once established in your outdoor container or garden, it can stay outside year-round.

I've only grown flax for its flowers, and I didn't grow it in containers. Just my opinion, but if you're growing it to use the seed (I use a lot of flaxseed meal; golden is my favorite. :) ), then I think you will need a whole bunch of containers! It would probably be better to plant it in the ground in the early spring. The flax grown for seeds is an annual. Be sure you buy the right kind of seed, not the kind grown for the pretty blue flowers. You want Linum usitatissiumum and you might have to buy it online or from a farming supplier.

Sorry my info is so limited. I'm sure other members will add some great advice. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re starting indoors: A lot of seeds germinate a lot easier with some bottom heat. It's easier to provide that and controlled conditions indoors. Being in Ohio, I start almost everything indoors. Where you are you probably could start some things outside, but I still think you would have higher chance of success indoors (e.g. little seedlings are very sensitive to both too much wet and too much dry, especially windy).

However, that is only true if you can provide appropriate indoor conditions, particularly lots of light right down close to the plants. Check out our Seed Starting Forum for more about that and pictures of people's seed starting set ups.

A couple common easy to grow things that might help with your allergies are pepperment, which can help with congestion and opening up breathing passages, and parsley which is sort of natural anti-histimine. Both are easy to grow from seed and could be started now, where you are.

PS.. all my posts seem to be duplicating themselves this AM - mods, feel free to delete extras!
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Middleman777
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Los Angeles in the SFV zone 10a

Thanks y'all for your response.
...Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed...

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