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    Default Herb garden - how to?

    Sorry Mods if this is in the wrong section, but I have a planter box out the back in my small rental unit and I would love to plant some herbs. However I am absolutely clueless about how to start eg seeds vs established plant. What herbs/small veg survive well? Do I need feed? Any advice, bearing in mind I know ZERO about gardening. Thanks in advance.

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    Research your herbs. I bought mint and thyme and they took over the whole planter, and i didnt even need to use much mint i dont know what i was thinking.. And every time i trimmed it back it would just grow back quicker and more of it!! It killed my parsley!


    Research what herb
    Plants grow good together.

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    Depending on where you're located, most herbs will grow pretty easily. Some are a bit prone to not doing too well if they get frostbitten.

    I plant seeds and established, but established is probably easier when you're just starting out. (just a little more expensive) I would try planting some basil, dill, mint, coriander and oregano to start you off. They are all very easy to grow. Honestly, just mix together half potting mix and half normal soil (if you don't have any of that, just use potting mix, it will be fine), fill your planter box with it, if you're using seeds, poke your finger in the ground a few times and pop a couple of seeds in each hole. (If you're using established plants, dig a little hole about twice the size of the pot the plant came in from the nursery, grab the plant close to the soil, tip it upsidedown and squeeze the pot - the plant will come out with its roots still enclosed in the soil. Put it straight into the hole you've dug and fill it back in with potting mix) Water them with a watering can or the hose on lightly and you're done. I've never used fertiliser, plant feed or anything else on herbs, they just grow.

    Be aware that some herbs, like mint, will grow quite large - it looks and smells great, but it would probably need a planter box all of it's own.

    PS If you do live somewhere cold you can cut the bottom off 2Lt soft drink bottles and put them over the plants while they're still young, that will basically give them a little makeshift greenhouse and protect them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie_eyes View Post
    Research your herbs. I bought mint and thyme and they took over the whole planter, and i didnt even need to use much mint i dont know what i was thinking.. And every time i trimmed it back it would just grow back quicker and more of it!! It killed my parsley!


    Research what herb
    Plants grow good together.
    haha yep, we have the same issue with mint! Luckily we have a huge herb box - about 3m x 3m - but the mint has claimed about half of it now! Out of control!

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    Also be weary of snails. They ate a bunch of my herbs. ****ers

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    Piyamj  (26-06-2014)

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    Does the planter box get a lot of sun? Is it well drained? Some herbs like the dry and lots of sun - think rosemary and bay - while others like moisture - mint grows best when it's kept damp.

    First step would be to buy some veggie potting mix to replenish all/any existing soil that's in the planter boxes. It's often trial and error to see what will work, and what won't, in any given spot and in your area. Start with the herbs that you use the most in cooking and see how you go. Also try a bit of companion planting - I plant marigolds and violets/violas to bring lady beetles and hover flies which will eat aphids that always seem to find the soft new growth on leafy herbs. Coriander is an excellent insect repellant but, if you don't use it regularly, it will go to seed and die very quickly.

    I mostly use seedlings as it doesn't take as long to get them growing. Having said that, I grow chillies and tomatoes from seed (well, actually, dried out chillies/tomatoes from a previous harvest or yummy ones I've bought that I plant and wait for).

    @Zombie_eyes, next time you're breaking eggs, save the shells and rinse them out. Break them up and sprinkle around the base of your leafy herbs - it keeps the snails away. I don't think they handle the sharp edges of the broken shells too well.
    Last edited by Cat74; 26-06-2014 at 15:37.

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    Wow thank you so much for your replies. HillDweller thanks for being so specific.

    I have 2 planter boxes that don't get much direct sun at all as they are next to a wall, and I think they drain into the Earth.

    I'm in Melbourne so I was worried winter may not be a good time to plant? Cat74 mentioned seedlings - what are they? The seed or an already grown plant?

    I will try some established plants and go from there. I use a lot of coriander and mint. I will leave mint to 1 box and see my luck. Thanks so much again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piyamj View Post
    Wow thank you so much for your replies. HillDweller thanks for being so specific.

    I have 2 planter boxes that don't get much direct sun at all as they are next to a wall, and I think they drain into the Earth.

    I'm in Melbourne so I was worried winter may not be a good time to plant? Cat74 mentioned seedlings - what are they? The seed or an already grown plant?

    I will try some established plants and go from there. I use a lot of coriander and mint. I will leave mint to 1 box and see my luck. Thanks so much again.
    Seedlings are the established plant, it's what they call the small plants you will see at the nursery in very small pots or usually in a block of six or eight mini pots stuck together

    You might be better off waiting until the very cold days are coming to an end, but in saying that, maybe just give it a try and see how you go - seedlings aren't very expensive at all, so you might find you can afford to experiment a little bit and give it a go

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    First rule is to only plant herbs you will use...planting herbs you only use once a year is a waste.
    Parsley, basil, oregano are staples in my garden...i have several of each plant. Rosemary and thyme grow well and are pretty much un-killable!!
    Sage is hardy and a versatile herb too.
    Keep mint and oregan oout of your planter...put them in single pots, they will only grow as big as the pot you give them, they will take over a planter.

    I like to grow from seedlings, they are easier and usually well established.

    Check out this website. Just pick your climate and go from them
    http://www.gardenate.com/zones/

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    Piyamj  (27-06-2014)

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    If you want to grow coriander, grow it in the cooler months as in warm weather it just shoots to seed.
    Mint needs a pot to itself
    Parsley gets an awful taste when it ages, so trim back often
    Oregano comes in varieties - I accidentally got one that spreads and has taken over the garden - try get one that is more bush like
    Herbs are shallow rooted so need plenty of water and well drained soil
    Growing herbs is awesome as they are so expensive to buy

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