Growing herbs


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Hey guys I'm looking at growing herbs this year and drying them. Should I be starting from seed inside outside or buying already started plants? I'm in zone 5b. Any tips on growing them? Tia
 
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I'd like to grow basil, thyme, cumin, cilantro, and rosemary for sure. Might try growing some others
 
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Brian, buy a start of rosemary--it's notoriously slow to germinate. Basil is easy from seed--I start ours inside, also thyme. I can't comment on cilantro (we don't like the taste) nor cumin (we don't use much).
How about Italian Flat Leaf parsley? It germinates well, grows during the cooler season, and has a wonderful flavor.
About drying herbs--basil chopped fine and with a little water added to make a "mud pie" consistency; placed on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet in tablespoon size blobs and frozen; then the frozen blobs placed in a freezer container until a blob is needed. Much better than drying. Thyme cut when the stems are 5" long or so, hung out of direct sunlight but with good air circulation, and then stored in a dark, cool spot in a glass jar, wonderful herb!
Rosemary may be evergreen in your area--it was for us in upstate NY. It is best grown in-ground and harvested when needed. If you want to dry it, the method is the same as for thyme.
After you have success with your herbs this season, consider adding marjoram and oregano to your herb garden. Both are perennial, lovely flavors, and can be grown either in containers or in-ground. We grow Mexican oregano because the Italian oregano just can't stand our heat and humidity.
When drying herbs, leave the leaves whole. The more surface area exposed, as in ground or pulverized herbs, the more the flavor loss. Rub your dried leaves between your hands just before adding them to a dish. You'll love the aroma!
 
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Brian, buy a start of rosemary--it's notoriously slow to germinate. Basil is easy from seed--I start ours inside, also thyme. I can't comment on cilantro (we don't like the taste) nor cumin (we don't use much).
How about Italian Flat Leaf parsley? It germinates well, grows during the cooler season, and has a wonderful flavor.
About drying herbs--basil chopped fine and with a little water added to make a "mud pie" consistency; placed on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet in tablespoon size blobs and frozen; then the frozen blobs placed in a freezer container until a blob is needed. Much better than drying. Thyme cut when the stems are 5" long or so, hung out of direct sunlight but with good air circulation, and then stored in a dark, cool spot in a glass jar, wonderful herb!
Rosemary may be evergreen in your area--it was for us in upstate NY. It is best grown in-ground and harvested when needed. If you want to dry it, the method is the same as for thyme.
After you have success with your herbs this season, consider adding marjoram and oregano to your herb garden. Both are perennial, lovely flavors, and can be grown either in containers or in-ground. We grow Mexican oregano because the Italian oregano just can't stand our heat and humidity.
When drying herbs, leave the leaves whole. The more surface area exposed, as in ground or pulverized herbs, the more the flavor loss. Rub your dried leaves between your hands just before adding them to a dish. You'll love the aroma!
I was told on another forum I may need a greenhouse to grow rosemary and cumin as they require 4 months of at least 85 degrees?
 
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Thanks for the help so far guys. I ordered basil, thyme, cilantro, and dill seeds last night. Is dill easy to grow from seed? Should it be started inside or outside? Thanks
 
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Brian, dill is best grown when the seed is direct seeded in the ground and yes, it is easy to grow from seed. If you let a couple of dills go to seed, they will provide you with dill for the next season. We planted dill one year, and haven't had to plant it again--it is a plant that just keeps on giving!
 
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I'm starting rosemary right now. At the grocery store just before Christmas, they had it in pots and they were shaped like little Christmas trees and of course smelled heavenly. I want to try that too!
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I was told on another forum I may need a greenhouse to grow rosemary and cumin as they require 4 months of at least 85 degrees?
Three years ago (come spring) we bought 2 potted rosemary plants at Lowe's and set them out. I HAD to cut back both of them last year. Obviously it does REAL well, outside, in zone 8b......
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That looks familiar. The plant that just keeps growing. I would trim it back hard every 2 or 3 years and gift the cuttings. They can get sparse and leggy after a while. Plus it is good for aromatherapy in the house!
 
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We have two well-established rosemarys, and I cut them back in early December and make wreaths from the cuttings. The rosemary is fragrant, lasts long enough to make a lovely holiday wreath until the New Year, and when it is dried out, you can harvest the leaves, jar them, and have dried rosemary for various dishes.
The rather severe trim the rosemarys get keeps them from getting all top growth and leggy, as DirtMechanic mentioned.
 

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I have read that you can use the woody stems of rosemary as skewers, to season your kebobs from the inside. Has anyone tried it? (It seems to me that they would burn, but people use bamboo skewers, so...
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@CanadianLori, how is your catnip coming along? I'm always tempted to grow it for my heathens. :LOL:
 
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MaryMary, I use the rosemary stems (the size of a pencil or larger) as skewers. It's lovely with chicken chunks, or pork pieces, and I even use them for semi-cooked potato pieces. If freshly cut, they don't go up in flames, but if you have a stash of rosemary stems that are dried, soak them in water for an hour or longer.
Leave a tuft of rosemary leaves at onr end of the skewer--decorative, and keeps the meat or vegetables from falling off the end.
 
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I have not had much luck with trying to grow herbs in the house, they die on me but i can get them to grow outside I just wish i could get them to grow in side even if i buy them already started i still kill them not sure what i'm doing wrong.
 
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Doris, you aren't doing anything wrong. Most of our herbs (basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, etc.) are from the Mediterranean area and love poor soil, heat, minimal water. Those conditions make them tastier and if over-watered or fertilized, they lose their lovely tastes. The cute little pots of herbs advertised as "windowsill herbs" are not going to last or grow well.
Find a nice spot outside, put either larger pots of herbs in at least half-day sun, or place them directly in the soil, and enjoy a bounty of herbs (which can be chopped and frozen, or dried for later use).
 
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do you think that garden shops might have healther plants than that form say wal-mart
 
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Doris, I always buy from an owner-run nursery if possible. It isn't because they necessarily have healthier plants, but because someone who wants and needs your repeat business is much more interested in your gardening success than a large retailer.
No, I don't think that the smaller plant stores have healthier plants. You can judge the health of a plant for sale by looking at the foliage, seeing if it needs water, if it is "leggy" or stunted. Next to fingers that weed, an experienced eye for plants is a gardener's best asset. The experience comes from, well, experience!
 
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Thank you for your help I though I would try a farm store to see about there plants.
 
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Today i worked in my flower bed and got some of the old stuff out and getting ready for some new.
this is what it looked like before i started and the next one is when i finished putting all the bricks back that the dogs tour up that you see in the next picture going to start raining tonight. and to last most of the day Thursday. but this weekend is going to be nice in the upper 70's can't wait.
 

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