minimarine09
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New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Ok so, started some basil, thyme, and parsley a couple weeks ago. Pretty excited :D

Anyways, the basil is growing pretty tall in groups ( about 3 inches or longer) but the stems are still quite thin and starting to lean and droop. I have them in a little mini green house thing. Is this normal or should I do something to help it

Yesterday-
Image

Today-
Image

My thyme-
Image

And my single little parsley sprout-
Image

Any tips will be much appreciated! Thanks!

pepperhead212
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

It looks like the basil isn't getting enough light, and is getting leggy, reaching for light. Can't tell as much with the others, but it's probably the same with them, if the light source is the same.
Dave

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rainbowgardener
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Yup, not nearly enough light. You can't see any light source in the picture, which means it is too far away from them. The lights need to be right over the plants, just a couple inches away:

Image

It looks like you are growing them in the same kind of mini-greenhouse / covered shelves I have. Why? It is summer, why not just bring your seed flats outdoors?
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AnnaIkona
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

The soil in which your parsley is growing looks pretty hard and crusty. Looks almost like topsoil to me.

For starting seeds, use either seed starting soil or potting soil.

Agree with RG, a bit more light may be needed.
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minimarine09
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

They are in miracle grow potting soil that I bought from Walmart.

I got the green house because I didn't know any better and just thought that's the thing to do. Lol. I'm new to gardening in general so please excuse my ignorance lol. I'll place them outside when I get home. I'm just afraid that if it rains while I'm at work it will drown everything. I have a patio I cam place them in but it only gets sun for about 4 to 5 hours. Is that enough light? I'm assuming you want to place them in the green house during the cold months? Thanks for all the input guys!

minimarine09
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Also I'm assuming they ate way to crowded to I'm going to get rid of like 50% or more and spread them out. Should I wait until they ate stronger?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

minimarine09 wrote:They are in miracle grow potting soil that I bought from Walmart.

I got the green house because I didn't know any better and just thought that's the thing to do. Lol. I'm new to gardening in general so please excuse my ignorance lol. I'll place them outside when I get home. I'm just afraid that if it rains while I'm at work it will drown everything. I have a patio I cam place them in but it only gets sun for about 4 to 5 hours. Is that enough light? I'm assuming you want to place them in the green house during the cold months? Thanks for all the input guys!
You are in Tampa, Fl. You don't have any cold months! The thyme is very hardy. I grew it outdoors in my garden all year round when I lived in Ohio. It survived snow and ice and all kinds of stuff. Parsley is a biennial. That means it grows leaves and matures the first year from seed. Then it goes dormant for the winter (where there is winter, I'm not sure for you) and then in the second year it flowers and sets seed. Since it isn't any good for culinary use any more once it flowers, most people just grow it as an annual and start it over each spring. As you have discovered, it is very slow to sprout and to grow. That will be a good use for your greenhouse, to start parsley seeds in late winter (and other seeds as you branch out). Basil is an annual. That means it is genetically programmed to grow, flower, set seed, and die, all in one growing season. You can prolong the life of your basil plant by cutting it back every time it shows signs of making flowers. But I have tried overwintering them indoors and the results didn't seem worth the effort. It can stay outdoors until the temps get into the 40's when it will start really suffering. It doesn't tolerate any frost and is automatically dead at that point.

Here's what it looks like when it is starting to flower:
Image

Yes, 4 - 5 hours of Florida sun (which is different from Ohio sun!) should be enough. And don't just plop them into it. They need to be acclimated to it gradually. Start by putting them in a protected space with little sun and wind. Gradually move them out from there. Rain won't drown them (plants are adapted to being out in rain) as long as drainage is good. If they are outside, do not have saucers or trays or anything under them! Preferably don't have your pots flat on a patio. Put some gravel or small rocks under them, to keep a drainage space.

Yes thin them out and give them their own little pots, but yes, do that after they get a little stronger.
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nltaff
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

minimarine09, Everything the pros are telling you is correct. But I notice you say you are new to gardening in general and sometimes when we've been doing something for so long, we take what we've learned (or seem to know inherently) for granted. You can try to save the basil plants by spreading them out in what appears to be that window box. About 4-5" apart. Take a plastic fork and gently lift the soil under the roots and grasp the biggest true leaves gently between thumb and index finger. Damp soil will help with this. Whatever you do, don't touch the stems. If you break or crush a stem, it won't recover. You can gently tease the plants apart by pulling on the true leaves. Poke your finger in the soil, making a small hole and lower the roots in. Gently press the soil down around the roots. You can also start some more seeds in full sun, they will only take a few days to germinate and you can catch the seedlings at a shorter size to pot up. On my deck, there's no such thing as too much basil.
firstbatchbasil.JPG
I started these in a shallow frozen food tray. When I saw the first true leaves, I transplanted them into the 4" pots and yogurt cups (drill holes). I'm always sowing more seed through the summer and I'm always cutting back to bottom 2 opposite leaves, making pesto and freezing it all summer. I'll come back with some pictures of small plant separation, as I have a little tray ready to be transplanted.
Last edited by nltaff on Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nltaff
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Hi minimarine09, here are my latest seedlings ready to transplant.
basilseedlings.JPG
Gently scoop under the roots with the fork and lift out of soil.
forkandlift2.JPG
Set them down on table, paper, anywhere (I could have used the other, sown flower seed failed side of that tray but the contrast wouldn't have shown you much).
outoftray.JPG
Gently grasp the true leaves between thumb and index finger (the lowest, funny shaped leaves are cotyledons-they store food for the plant til it can feed itself from the soil).
grasptrueleaves.JPG
Gently tease apart the roots of the separate little plants. Be careful not to damage the stems-hard since yours are kind of thin and leggy, but not impossible. If you are using that window box to grow, go to the other end of it, if it is free and poke a hole in the soil to accept your seedling.
pokeahole.JPG
(no laughing, IF I owned a dibble, I'd never be able to find it when needed :roll: )

Lower the roots into the hole. NOW, if this were a tomato, you could bury it up to its leaves, BUT IT IS NOT AND THAT WON'T WORK IN THIS INSTANCE. You might have some toothpicks or sandwich picks handy to prop up your plants until they get some girth on the stems. (cross two and gently set the leaves in the crook).
lowerrootsin.JPG
Lightly pinch and press the soil around the roots-they want to be cozy :-()
pinchandpress.JPG
minimarine, good luck, and if those stems are too hard to work with, without damaging them, don't quit-it's never too late to throw down some more seed. Oh, and my thyme is in a pot as well. Since it is an herb, I want it close to the house, but I have cats, so nothing I eat can go in the ground around the house. My thyme winters in the pot just fine (most years) in zone 5.
Also, my basil spends its summer in the shade of my gazebo on a south-facing deck. I like my basil leaves large, dark green, and tender. Love to eat them with sliced toms, fresh mozz, and olive oil, or, in salads. I've never had any luck placing them in full sun as they produce small, pointy, light green, tough leaves.
mybasillovesshade.JPG
Oh, do let us know how you get on :D

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Thank you for that! Awesome pictorial! :-()
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minimarine09
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

wow thanks guys! i thought car forums were helpful, you guys are awesome! the other herbs are sharing the same window box so im just going to get another box just like it for the basil, i want to grow some tomatoes too soon as i hear basil kind of keeps away that worm that always eats them. thanks again for the advice guys, i will update with pictures when i get a chance

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rainbowgardener
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

One tomato plant needs at least a five gallon bucket sized pot (not at first when it is a teeny baby, but will need to be up-potted to it). Some people say 15 gallon size is better. It needs to be staked or caged. And it needs full sun; it is not a windowsill plant.

I think the worm you are talking about is the hornworm?

Image

Despite how big it is, it is surprisingly hard to spot on the plant, blends right in.

Basil around your plant may help a little, but is certainly no guarantee against them.

What helps more is to have flowers planted around your garden that have nectar in tiny florets. This includes sweet alyssum, buckwheat, dill, fennel and other carrot family plants when flowering, yarrow, tansy, chamomile, feverfew, catnip, lemon balm, and other mint family flowers, and others. These flowers attract and feed adult braconid wasps (tiny and stingless, you will probably never see them) which parasitize the hornworms. If you ever see a hornworm looking like this:

Image

leave it alone. The white things are the cocoons of the wasp larvae. The hornworm is now dead or dying and the adult wasps will emerge from the cocoons to be the next generation.

It's late in the season for this strategy to be of use to you now, but start planting appropriate flowers now, so next season you will have lots of flowers and lots of braconids.
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nltaff
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Thanks, Lindseylew, and great pics and flower suggestions, RG! Minimarine, everyone on this forum is great and the info is invaluable!

nltaff
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Someone want to chime in here and list a few tomato varieties that are bred for hot, southern areas? Ones that minimarine might find readily?

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

I think we may be getting a little off topic? Maybe we could start a new thread if y'all want to go more in depth?
Lindsay
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minimarine09
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

Ok so, unfortunately the stems were just way to long and delicate . So I'm just going to start over today. At least I was able to re purpose the green house shelves that I bought. So they aren't a complete waste of money! Lol

Image

I'll update more once they germinate

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rainbowgardener
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Re: New to basil, thyme, and parsley. some issues. Pics

If you want to start things from seed, you will have a use for the mini-greenhouse later. For you in Tampa, you can probably start things like parsley, broccoli, peppers, other cold hardy stuff in December. (The peppers aren't cold hardy, they are just slow....)
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