Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday's with Nichole: Growing Herbs Indoors and Out (Week 4)

Yay, Saturday! Are you interested in growing herbs? If you've ever complained about the price of fresh herbs in the store or how quickly they go bad for being labeled as 'fresh', I think you should give growing them a chance.
 
Backstory: Around this time last year I had commented to Tom that since we had a balcony, maybe I should grow some fresh herbs instead of always buying them from the store. I probably should mention, I don't have a green thumb. I've only managed to keep bamboo and some type of fern plant alive for any significant amount of time. But I figured herbs couldn't be that difficult. So for my birthday last year we went and picked out some herbs. I chose oregano, parsley, rosemary, mint and romaine lettuce.

Lessons Learned Last Year: I quickly found that rosemary doesn't like too much water, the romaine got too much sun no matter where we placed it on the balcony and if we ever wanted to keep up with the amount of mint that was growing, we were going to need to spend our days pretty drunk on mojitos. 

Potential Issues for this Year: I was really hesitant to accept the apartment that we're moving into because it doesn't have any outdoor space. I've come to be quite attached to our balcony, but mainly I knew I wanted to try out more herbs this year and where exactly was I going to put them without a balcony? Then I realized that since I had quit smoking I had spent maybe a total of 5 minutes on our balcony and I could easily use the sunroom in our new apartment to grow the herbs.

Purchasing the Herbs, Part 1: So on my birthday I ventured out to the wonderful world of Wal-Mart to purchase herbs I intended to only grow indoors. We went through parsley and oregano faster than it could grow last year, so I purchased two of each plant. The basil looked especially pretty so I added one of those to my cart. I wanted to try another lettuce for this summer but there wasn't anyone working in the garden department that could give me advice.

Purchasing the Herbs, Part 2: Recently, a new Lowe's was built nearby. I headed over to there and had quite an amusing experience. After finding out that their forklift had accidentally run over the garden hose causing a huge blast of water to knock down 90% of their herbs, I asked an employee if there were any forms of lettuce that grew better inside than out. His response: You grow herbs in pots. 


Hello, there Smart One: I blinked a few times then just smiled and walked away. Then ended up returning to Walmart to pick up Cilantro, Spinach and Red Leaf Lettuce.


Cats - Murderers of Herbs: Having two curious cats, one moreso than the other, and having limited space to keep these herbs indoors before we move, I wanted to keep them as contained as possible. After purchasing plastic planters to transfer them to, I also purchased a clear Rubbermaid tub just about the height of the planters that would hold 6 of them. Now I didn't have to worry about any accidental watering drips on the carpet and I figured I reduced my chances of the cats getting into them.

What You'll Need for Above:
herbs of your choice
watering can
planters/containers
gardening gloves, optional
soil (Miracle Grow Organic for herbs/vegetables is what I used)
large plastic container

To Create What's Above:
Read the directions on your herbs. Mine said water the herbs then remove the earth-like lining from around it carefully. After watering each herb in its container, I filled each of my planters up with about 3 1/2 cups of the soil.
Gently place the herb with the surrounding soil on top of the soil in the planter. Add enough additional soil to cover all of the roots of the herb and keep it standing upright. Gently pack down the soil around the herbs. Water, set aside and repeat with remaining herbs. Place into a plastic tote and place in an area with adequate sunlight.

In just a few days some of these herbs look better than they did in the stores. I think the spinach and lettuce will need to be moved to bigger pots as they grow, but for now I'm happy with their progress. But I'm even more impressed that the cats are leaving them alone!

Happy Saturday,

2 comments:

  1. Basil is the only herb we grow. We have it in a planter in the backyard and once it gets going it is wonderful. Make sure and trim it before it flowers. If you cut off a big stem of it, another stem grows back so it reproduces well. Make sure it doesn't dry out.

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  2. I enjoy growing herbs so much! Thanks for sharing this article.

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