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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:18 pm

Looking for advice on herbs

Hi y'all,

This is a wonderful place! I am glad to find it. I live in North Texas and we have gotton in a garden state of mind, hehe.

I had decided to start an indoor herb garden, I am very new at gardening so I was prepared to mess up. I bought some of those Jiffy pellets and a dome tray to start the seeds. I planted the following seeds:


I think I was too stingy with the seeds as only a few of each came up. Well except the parsley, it must be slow, it took a week longer to sprout. As soon as the seedlings were about 2 inches tall I transplanted them into little pots with some Miracle Grow potting soil that has plant food in it and set them in the kitchen near the window. It has been about 2 weeks now since I transplanted them.

Here is what I am encountering:

Cilantro: plants have grown maybye an inch since transplant, theres only a few plants. Overall it seems to be doing ok.

Parsley: Took a lot longer to get started, have a few plants, look ok for now, really not been potted long enough to comment

Chives: Have a couple of lil bunches, they are about 3 inches tall but looking a lil droopy

Thyme: had one single plant, it died after transplant, having to start it over

Sage: got two single plants, they both have grown about 2 inches but are still only one stem, plus they are looking droopy too.

Oregano: grew two lil bunches of these, they look like lil clusters of plants, only about 2 1/2 inches, don't seem to be growing very fast.

Basil: had two, one has died and the remaining one looks like it's not growing at all.

Sorry so winded, I'm just a lil frustrated at myself. Are herbs just really slow? Am I watering too much? I tend to only water when soil feels dry.
Just seems like they ought to be growing better.

Thanks for any advice, I'm such a noob at this

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Basil can be a little finicky, though given that you live in Texas, I think that would be a good place for it. It likes a lot of heat and lots of sun. The only time I've even had it survive on me is when I put it in a greenhouse.

But, first I want to say something about your soil medium. We tend to not support the use of synthetic fertilizers like miracle grow. I would instead of buying a bag of miracle grow potting mix, start with a bag of compost (that you should be able to get at a nursery) mixed with a bag of sterilized potting soil to start your seeds in. This mix is also great to grow your plants in as well.

I have found that I rarely get 100% germination with seeds so, don't distress. It's very common.

It is a bit ( a lot) easier to simply buy the plants for a few dollars each (at most) and grow them from there.

With regard to the droopiness of your herbs, I would say that you are underwatering.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Herbs take FOREVER to get going, really. I have a theory that the time period where they don't show a lot of growth they're working on those root systems.

And like Opa said, you rarely get 100% germination with seeds. None of my rosemary germinated, and some of my tomato seeds didn't sprout either.

IMHO, herbs are one of the hardest things to get started.

Your basil might be happiest outside. It doesn't need that Texas midday sun, but if you have a spot that gets both morning and afternoon it should be pretty happy there.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

And they need long day sun we are still not getting to be really happy...

Not to panic about the seeds (and just do root starts for thyme; MUCH easier). They'll come when you get them outside regularly (and you are above freezing so how about tomorrow?)

A repot in May to bigger digs and away we go. Not much harvesting this year, but once they are established...


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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:18 pm

Thanks y'all =D

I feel better now knowing they are slow to grow, and the establishing roots really made sense. I did'nt know that about the soil, I will try that after I use what I have up.

Repotting in May? Right now they are all in little pots, I guess you could say a 2 cup size pot? All except for the cilantro and parsley, they went into bigger pots. Do I need to plan to move all the ones that are in the small pots to bigger pots in May? I have no idea how big they will eventually get, if they live that is, lol.

Weather here has been really windy and rainy the last few days but I am thinking about giving them some outside time when it stays a little warmer. Should I plan on early morning till noon? or is it better from noon till 5 or so? I'm thinking morning as it gets really hot in the afternoon during summers here. Full sunlight? or partial? Just trying to decide whether to put them on the back porch where full sun reaches or the porch which has a shade over it.

Thank you very much for all the information! I also did some hanging bag cherry tomato plants, started the seedlings, put them in the bag through the holes, set it flat for 10 days and just yesterday hung them up outside the kitchen window, hope they make it! Got a strawberry bag set too but dang those seeds are slow to start! They are still in the jiffy dome tray right now, at least I can see tiny sprouts!

Thanks again!

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Location for you is not going to be full sun for your herbs. Mine in Florida ROASTED if they had that. All the seed packets say "full sun." BwahahahaHA! It took me 2 years of trying to suddenly say "these idiots never tried to grow herbs in zone 9."

The best location I had for my herb garden in Florida was like this: it got some gentle morning sun, no midday sun, and lots of afternoon sun. They were planted at the edge of a magnolia tree - so they were shaded between 10am and 2pm (the same time of day you aren't supposed to go outside either for fear of sunburn), and had sun the rest of the day. They were very, very happy.

The other thing about herbs that makes me laugh is when I see these cute little kitchen window displays in all the home and garden magazines.... Like they stay that small. Again... BWAHAHA!!

They get big. Else there isn't enough to cook with every night! Basil gets 3 feet tall and 3' wide. Sage lives forever outside - my neighbor has a sage plant that is 5 feet wide (and is who knows how old). Parsley you might keep indoors... I have mine outside, it grew all winter here in zone 7 (I didn't know it would survive!!!) and eats up half of the 20 gallon tub I have it in. Oregeno has a sprawling, hanging habit. I love it in a tall pot, this year I'm going to add it to a hanging basket. Last year I had it sharing space with a burgundy lorapetalum in a 10 gallon pot. Lemme tell ya - I had no weeds in that pot! Lemon balm gets nearly as big as Sage.

You will love your herbs. Once you've cooked with fresh, or even your OWN dried herbs... the stuff they sell in the store is tasteless and bland.

And there is nothing wrong with getting ones that are already started for you - LOTS easier. My rosemary hasn't come up yet, so I already know I gotta buy that one, and the rest of my starts may or may not make it... I try anyway. :lol:

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