Herbs forum→Herb Garden Basics

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BuddingGreenThumb
Mar 1, 2021 1:10 PM CST
Hello!
Sorry if this gets asked a lot, but please be patient as I've never so much as even thought about gardening before. New interest as I've been learning more about sustainability for myself and my bunnies. I want to start growing an indoor herb garden and was looking at different sites while doing research.
I was intending on getting some 6 inch pots with drainage holes to plant things like parsley, basil, chives, scallion, mint, and lavender amongst other things. I was reading that each plant needs specific potting depths. Could someone please elaborate on this and if it's 100% necessary? I have never heard of this until now. Also, if someone could give me an overview of the proper way to begin potting with soil and the seeds that would be much appreciated.
Thank you!
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover
Image
NMoasis
Mar 1, 2021 3:41 PM CST
Welcome! BuddingGreenThumb, Happy to hear you're discovering the joys of gardening!

Here is the first thing I would advise: find yourself one or two good BOOKS about herb gardening. You will refer to them over and over for years to come and you'll find they are much easier to navigate than jumping from one (questionable) website to another.

Next source: at the top of this website page is the category "Learn." In that menu there are dozens of topics for you to browse, including "Growing Classroom Herbs" which will give you a good overview.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean when you say "potting depth." Do you mean the depth of the pot? Certainly the required depth and size of a pot depends on how big the plant will get and what type of root system it has. (Seed starting is a whole different topic*). For indoor gardens, you can control the size of some plants by keeping the pots small; others aren't that adaptable. If you're starting, say, basil or parsley seeds in a six-inch pot, they'll sprout fine, but soon you'll need to thin (remove) most of the seedlings to just one or two per pot if you want a reasonable crop of leaves. They'll need a somewhat deep pot to accommodate their root systems. For scallions, chives and mint, you can let several grow in the same pot. If they start getting too crowded, either thin them or pot up. They have shallower root systems.

Lavender is very difficult to start from seed. You are better off buying a small plant. A warning though, they rarely survive indoors; lavender wants to be outdoors. Truth is, unless you have excellent lighting in your house, most of these plants prefer to be outdoors.

*I have a sneaking suspicion I haven't answered you question. If you're asking how deeply to plant the seeds, those instructions are always on the seed packet...varies by plant.

Feel free to clarify your question and ask more. You've got a whole new world of delight ahead Thumbs up

For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Deeby
Mar 1, 2021 11:07 PM CST
Bunnies! I have three! How many do you have?

BuddingGreenThumb
Mar 2, 2021 10:47 AM CST
Deeby said:Bunnies! I have three! How many do you have?


I have two boys! Asriel and Bombur, 4 year old Holland lops and I'm pretty sure they're always hungry 😂
You?

BuddingGreenThumb
Mar 2, 2021 10:49 AM CST
nmoasis said: Welcome! BuddingGreenThumb, Happy to hear you're discovering the joys of gardening!

Here is the first thing I would advise: find yourself one or two good BOOKS about herb gardening. You will refer to them over and over for years to come and you'll find they are much easier to navigate than jumping from one (questionable) website to another.

Next source: at the top of this website page is the category "Learn." In that menu there are dozens of topics for you to browse, including "Growing Classroom Herbs" which will give you a good overview.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean when you say "potting depth." Do you mean the depth of the pot? Certainly the required depth and size of a pot depends on how big the plant will get and what type of root system it has. (Seed starting is a whole different topic*). For indoor gardens, you can control the size of some plants by keeping the pots small; others aren't that adaptable. If you're starting, say, basil or parsley seeds in a six-inch pot, they'll sprout fine, but soon you'll need to thin (remove) most of the seedlings to just one or two per pot if you want a reasonable crop of leaves. They'll need a somewhat deep pot to accommodate their root systems. For scallions, chives and mint, you can let several grow in the same pot. If they start getting too crowded, either thin them or pot up. They have shallower root systems.

Lavender is very difficult to start from seed. You are better off buying a small plant. A warning though, they rarely survive indoors; lavender wants to be outdoors. Truth is, unless you have excellent lighting in your house, most of these plants prefer to be outdoors.

*I have a sneaking suspicion I haven't answered you question. If you're asking how deeply to plant the seeds, those instructions are always on the seed packet...varies by plant.

Feel free to clarify your question and ask more. You've got a whole new world of delight ahead Thumbs up



Actually that was very helpful thank you! I wasn't sure what the website meant either as far as potting depth was concerned. I have a bunch of 6 inch pots I was going to use and then this site was like you need a 13 inch pot for herbs like parsley and basil because you need 12 inches of soil.
I have a sun lamp to plug in that I'm planning to use as I do live in the New England tundra.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover
Image
NMoasis
Mar 2, 2021 1:41 PM CST
For growing healthy full-sized plants outdoors, I'd agree with that size. A standard 1-gallon nursery pot is roughly 6 inches wide and 7 deep, and I wouldn't consider putting parsley or basil in anything smaller, and that would be good for only one, possibly two plants each. I don't grow herbs indoors, so hopefully someone who does will jump in here with more precise advice for you. Not sure what you mean by "sunlamp", but if your light is limited, a grow light—one designed for plants—is necessary. Even in your neck of the woods they will all do better outdoors in real sun if you can do that when the weather warms. Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

BuddingGreenThumb
Mar 2, 2021 3:52 PM CST
nmoasis said: Welcome! BuddingGreenThumb, Happy to hear you're discovering the joys of gardening!

Here is the first thing I would advise: find yourself one or two good BOOKS about herb gardening. You will refer to them over and over for years to come and you'll find they are much easier to navigate than jumping from one (questionable) website to another.

Next source: at the top of this website page is the category "Learn." In that menu there are dozens of topics for you to browse, including "Growing Classroom Herbs" which will give you a good overview.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean when you say "potting depth." Do you mean the depth of the pot? Certainly the required depth and size of a pot depends on how big the plant will get and what type of root system it has. (Seed starting is a whole different topic*). For indoor gardens, you can control the size of some plants by keeping the pots small; others aren't that adaptable. If you're starting, say, basil or parsley seeds in a six-inch pot, they'll sprout fine, but soon you'll need to thin (remove) most of the seedlings to just one or two per pot if you want a reasonable crop of leaves. They'll need a somewhat deep pot to accommodate their root systems. For scallions, chives and mint, you can let several grow in the same pot. If they start getting too crowded, either thin them or pot up. They have shallower root systems.

Lavender is very difficult to start from seed. You are better off buying a small plant. A warning though, they rarely survive indoors; lavender wants to be outdoors. Truth is, unless you have excellent lighting in your house, most of these plants prefer to be outdoors.

*I have a sneaking suspicion I haven't answered you question. If you're asking how deeply to plant the seeds, those instructions are always on the seed packet...varies by plant.

Feel free to clarify your question and ask more. You've got a whole new world of delight ahead Thumbs up



Actually that was very helpful thank you! I wasn't sure what the website meant either as far as potting depth was concerned. I have a bunch of 6 inch pots I was going to use and then this site was like you need a 13 inch pot for herbs like parsley and basil because you need 12 inches of soil.
I have a sun lamp to plug in that I'm planning to use as I do live in the New England tundra.
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Deeby
Mar 2, 2021 5:13 PM CST
Budding, I have 2 boys and a girl. Cloveblossom is 8, Moolbear is 5 and Junebug is 7. Ages approximate.
The boys are bonded, Junebug hates rabbits so she has a pen to herself.

Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms Vegetable Grower
Bookworm
Image
kittriana
Mar 2, 2021 8:01 PM CST
parsley roots look like this while still fairly small. deep pot needed, they only grow 2 years, but chefs only use the plants the first year. (Click on the pics blue links)

basils harder to pin down, I will have to take a pic of a root structure when I wrangle them out of ground, but this one looks like a decent indoor one. My basil -African Blue basil -gets 5' tall, 5' wide by end of season, but this basil needs our deep heat in Houston to thrive. If you go to your Plants Database, you can look up info on specific plants as well as...
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
[Last edited by kittriana - Mar 2, 2021 8:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2446608 (9)
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Deeby
Mar 2, 2021 8:19 PM CST
Kat, why do chefs use only the first year?
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover
Image
NMoasis
Mar 2, 2021 9:12 PM CST
BuddingGreenThumb
I actually wrote a response this morning that I see isn't posted. Probably hit "Preview" and forgot to post. Anyway, Kat has answered part of it...sizes of plants and roots The 13-inche pot recommended is sound advice for healthy growth outdoors. A standard 1-gallon nursery pot is about 6 inches wide and 7 deep, and IF I were to put basil or parsley in that size, I'd limit it to one, maybe two, plants per pot. Indoors they probably won't grow as robustly.

As for light, not sure what you mean by "sun lamp." If your indoor light indoors is lacking, you'll need grow lights—the kind made for growing plants. Once your weather warms up, if you can get them all outdoors they'll be happier Thumbs up

Deeby, the leaves tend to taste more bitter the second year. Parsley is a biennial: leaves first year, flowers the second. Maybe they're creating different chemicals for bloom? I've harvested them in the second year for drying and couldn't tell much difference. I let the older ones bloom for pollinators.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms Vegetable Grower
Bookworm
Image
kittriana
Mar 3, 2021 4:11 PM CST
African Blue Basil roots. I have 5 sets of these roots from one plant, stalk split, so I poured more dirt on it and it never slowed down.
Thumb of 2021-03-03/kittriana/cb496c

Thumb of 2021-03-03/kittriana/a79258

@Deeby. Tenderness. Once that carrot type root gets going, you no longer have the small tender baby leaves. My Italian flat leaf parsley blooms every year about the time it gets 18" tall if I am not whacking it back every 2 weeks. It gets 3' high and 3' wide by summers end if left to grow.

Lemon and Lemon Mist thymes. With a sheet of plastic thrown over them survived our week of South Texas freezing weather. I need to start harvesting and drying before I lose the plants to June/July weather.
Thumb of 2021-03-03/kittriana/3839b9

Heat lamps are usually red lights to warm baby chickens, sometimes white. Plants need a Full spectrum bulb ( like raising an iguana would need). Much more practical to have the LED full spectrum grow lights and doesn't get too hot to burn plants.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
pod
Mar 3, 2021 5:30 PM CST
kittriana said:
Lemon and Lemon Mist thymes. With a sheet of plastic thrown over them survived our week of South Texas freezing weather. I need to start harvesting and drying before I lose the plants to June/July weather.
Thumb of 2021-03-03/kittriana/3839b9



Cool, I've never heard of Lemon Mist thyme. Can you tell the difference between the two?

I have two Lemon Thyme plants. One in a raised bed and one in a container. I wasn't home to protect them but both survived the snow, sleet, ice, freezing temps and are putting on phenomenal growth. Need to go look up Lemon Mist thyme. I love anything lemon. Lovey dubby
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Deeby
Mar 3, 2021 7:19 PM CST
Thanks for the explanation Kat. I've never heard of Lemon Mist either.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms Vegetable Grower
Bookworm
Image
kittriana
Mar 4, 2021 10:08 PM CST
It was on my list of thymes at Arborgate, so it is prob a new var, The Lemon Mist is along the back side- look closely and you will see a thinner leaf, darker and less plump than the lemon thyme is, they are distinguishable even planted together.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!

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