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12 votes
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Is rust from a steel rainwater barrel harmful to edible plants?

Rust is iron oxide, which does not harm plants in moderate amounts, because it is not water soluble unless the soil ph is very low. In fact, oxidized iron is what gives most red subsoils their color. ...
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11 votes
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"Softening" plants before they go inside?

I've never heard of the need. The issue with hardening is that you're taking a plant in a largely controlled environment with low light levels, and a steady temperature, no wind, to a highly varied ...
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11 votes

A dark blight is eating my Basil. What to do?

That might well be slug or snail damage - given there's lots of leaf litter laying around your plant, you've created a perfect environment for slugs to hide beneath during the day, and then appear at ...
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11 votes
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Plant recommendation for gift for kindergarten students

I recall doing something like this each spring (for several years) growing up, and the plant of choice was Marigolds (planted in a paper cup, as far as I recall) which were grown in class and then ...
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10 votes
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Is there anything wrong with allowing moss to grow around herbs?

Moss on an indoor pot is a sign that the mix surface is constantly damp, and that isn't good. Use a fork or toothpick or something, and stir up the top layer to get rid of it. Always allow the top 1/2"...
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9 votes
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Caring for & maintaining thyme

First, there are lots of 'Thymes'. But the most common culinary thyme is Thymus vulgaris. It's a small perennial woody shrub or subshrub (having only some woody stems, near the base), native to the ...
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9 votes
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My basil is "rotting", here's all the clues I have gathered

Looks like a heavy whitefly aphid infestation - they're usually underneath the leaves and suck the sap within, causing the leaf to shrivel and die. You can't treat with pesticide because it's an ...
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9 votes

Plant recommendation for gift for kindergarten students

My two suggestions; Scarlet Runner Beans and the second is Carex testacea or Orange Sedge. Easy to grow, very pretty no matter its age, wonderful to tuck into any plant bed or pot, nice just left in ...
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8 votes
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Should I let lemon basil flower?

I'm not sure how it will taste, but letting it flower is a disaster for other reasons - this plant is a half hardy annual, which means its main purpose is to flower, set seed and die - flowering means ...
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8 votes
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UPDATE: Is there a tarragon lookalike OR can tarragon be flavorless?

There absolutely is a tasteless tarragon. It's usually called Russian Tarragon. The plant that you want for cooking is French Tarragon. Russian tarragon grows from seed and reseeds itself easily. ...
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8 votes
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Why use landscape fabric in a raised bed?

Without looking at your video, I would expect the landscape fabric is being laid as a weed mat to inhibit weeds from regenerating from roots left in situ and coming up in the middle of the raised ...
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8 votes

Plant recommendation for gift for kindergarten students

Have you considered something as simple as Garden Cress (Lepidium sativum)? You can simply hand out a pack of seeds and a piece of cotton wool. The kids can then "plant" it themselves (really just ...
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7 votes
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Can I save this basil?

Does the basil on the left side have any chances of survival? It doesn't seem likely, but there is still some green on the leaves. The plant on the left side is too far gone. It will never fully ...
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Should I let my basil leaves age?

The larger leaves don't necessarily have poor flavor. It's more about age than size. Old leaves don't taste as good as new ones. That's why a good harvesting system is key. Most people try to do this ...
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7 votes
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Can leaves absorb light from below as easily as from above?

Lighting a plant from beneath will cause the plant to grow towards the light, ergo, downwards, if it grows at all. Phototropism is the name of the process induced by lighting or sunlight from above - ...
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7 votes
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Is late April too late to plant herbs from seed in the US Pacific Northwest?

Just a quick answer to get started, based on my experience. I never lived in the Puget Sound area, but know it quite well. Will continue to fill in as I have time. Short answer: Get started now, ...
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7 votes
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Will my basil plant regrow without leaves?

Unlikely to recover - not impossible, but unlikely, and waiting to see if there's any regrowth will take some time. Given you might want some basil between now and Christmas, its probably best to get ...
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7 votes
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How to prepare herbs for winter?

The term you are looking for is perennial, describing plants that can live for many years. Your rosemary, thyme and peppermint fall in that category. Of these, rosemary is the most frost-sensitive, ...
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7 votes
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Is it OK to plant flowering plants near my herb garden?

If anything, I have heard arguments (likely anecdotal) that plants like Tarragon and Basil actually repel some insects, possibly at a range of a few feet. Roses on the other hand, tend to be ...
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7 votes
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Can annuals work like perennials if you keep using cuttings?

Well, yes and no, or maybe. Annual plants have one purpose - to grow, flower, be pollinated and fertilized, set seed and die, all in a year. Then there's biennials - these form, usually, a basal clump ...
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7 votes

"Softening" plants before they go inside?

Some plants are sensitive to light changes (such as Shark Fin Melon). I think this is partially because Shark Fin Melon is supposed to rely on light changes to know when to set fruit, but even though ...
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7 votes
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Is if safe to use this insecticide (d-Allethrin, Permethrin, Piperonyl butoxide) on my edible herbs?

It's extremely helpful that you included the actual ingredient list in your question, rather than a brandname - thank you! So you know, I grow anything that I eat organically and this question is one ...
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6 votes
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How to acclimate a store bought plant to a home-outdoors?

The little starts you buy at the grocery store have recently undergone a huge amount of stress, and wilting after being brought home is relatively common. They are usually grown fast in a greenhouse, ...
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6 votes
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What is this pest on my hydroponic basil and how can I remove it?

Most likely a form of red spider mite, although these prefer hot, dry conditions, and you say you're growing hydroponically; this often means moist air, although not necessarily. Assuming it is spider ...
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6 votes
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Can I grow Basil indoors this winter?

You can certainly try - seed won't cost much. Without more active/brighter/closer/longer lighting, it will probably be rather spindly and weak basil, but providing adequate plant light electrically ...
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6 votes
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Can indoor mint grow all-year round?

Mint does this when constrained within a pot - its natural growth habit is to throw out long runners up to 18 inches under the ground and pop up a good distance away from the original clump, which is ...
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6 votes

Why is my basil doing poorly after I split it a month ago?

You can't actually "split" a basil plant as they grow from one stem. What you probably had is a pot of seedlings / small plants like they are sold in grocery stores or garden centers for cooking. ...
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6 votes
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Can I revive my basil that wasn't watered for a week?

"Worth it" is often personal taste. Of these plants (in those store-bought pots are many young plants, not one), the smaller ones with the large leaves on top will probably bounce back and grow a bit ...
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6 votes
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Are Majorana hortensis and Origanum majorana the same plant?

Yes, they are the same species. Moench put it as different genus (Majorana), but still keeping references to Linnaeus' Origanum majorana. So they are the same species, and both are acceptable (and ...
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5 votes

How to acclimate a store bought plant to a home-outdoors?

Plant your rosemary outside. It does horribly inside. There should be enough time for it to acclimate and put down some roots before it freezes. Don't fertilize it with a product high in nitrogen! ...
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