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16

Herbs (and leaf vegetables in general) must be harvested regularly and not left to mature too much or too soon. Here are a few tips to harvesting herbs — mostly paraphrased from these two answers of mine — that'll help you keep a good availability of herbs for most of the year. Harvest the young leaves There's a reason why grocery stores only sell the ...


14

Some things I've noticed about basil: 1) Basil is deep-rooted. I have medium size basil plants in fairly large pots (pots which originally contained 5ft pears trees). The basil roots have grown out of the drain holes and anchored the pots to the ground. Basil roots can easily exceed 1ft of depth. 2) Basil can root from the stem like tomatoes. I ...


11

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 environment with strong sunlight, a wider range of temperatures and wind. The stems have to harden, the leaf wax increases, and probably lots of other ...


11

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 night and snack on your basil. If you want to confirm that's the problem, go out with a torch at night, especially a damp night, and see what's around. Clear ...


11

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 taken home at the end. Tough enough, and if grown in the classroom they can also be an educational experience while not taking up any of your growing space at ...


10

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. Watering your plants with this water will not harm them at all. If you suppose there was nothing environmentally harmful in it before (which is NOT a good ...


10

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" or so to dry between waterings. Competition shouldn't be a problem except for very small seedlings, and the flavor should be fine.


9

Yes, your arugula's crop season is coming to an end, as bstpierre notes. Mine finished going to seed and dried out completely by last week (I live in southern California, so you can compare the weather here with your location). You certainly have planted them very close to each other, which is why they aren't tall/the leaves aren't bigger (in comparison, ...


9

It does look like a tomato. The easy way to tell for sure is to gently rub the leaves -- even at that size, tomato should have a distinctive aroma. If you used compost in your potting soil, you could just have gotten a volunteer from a stray seed. As mentioned in the comments, the seedling to the right of the tomato could be a chive. They grow fairly slowly,...


9

Water the pots thoroughly with distilled water. Most distillation processes remove the dissolved elements in water. As this water flows through the soil that is saturated with fertilizer ions it will attract and remove them. Of course you are still left with a stressed plant with leaf burn. Success is not guaranteed....


9

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 Mediterranean region. Most cultivars are quite hardy and easy to grow. They prefer dry conditions, but will tolerate areas with a bit more moisture if given ...


9

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 the pot and moved around to dress up a corner or a group of pots. My second suggestion would be Scarlet Runner Beans. Tough, hardy, vigorous, fast...very ...


8

UPDATE @GardenerJ points out that the list below is far too liberal - blueberries like very acid soil (4.5-5.5), whereas the list includes plants that will tolerate, at best, a little below 7. Of course, what matters is how acid your soil is - not what blueberries like. A list of herb pH preferences can be found at the Gardener's Network - check your ...


8

I would take basil by pinching whole stems off. The new growth is the best tasting and the plant will sprout multiple new stems from the old one. You have to be careful not to overdo it which is why you might want more than one plant to produce enough basil on a regular basis. Most herbs will respond to this treatment, I can't think of any exceptions, but I ...


8

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 it's on the way to setting seed, so clip those off immediately. I can't say I've noticed any deterioration in flavour in the leaves on ordinary Basil when I've ...


8

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. French tarragon does not, so you will need to purchase a plant from a nursery or get a cutting or division from a friend. Tarragon is often mislabeled, so I would ...


8

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 garden bed. Some people use layers of newspapers, and others old wool carpets.


8

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 edible plant, so your only recourse is something like neem or insecticidal soap spray, I'm afraid. Further information on how to deal with whitefly on edible plants ...


8

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 sprinkle the seeds on damp cotton wool) and watch it grow. Given how fast it grows - couple of inches a week - and that it is edible, its a pretty good learning ...


7

Basil is a great companion plant. Have a search for 'basil' on this list of companion plants to see what's good to plant nearby.


7

Yes, generally any salad green's leaves get tough and bitter when they start flowering / setting seed. At this point, you should pull them up and plant something else. I don't know about rocket specifically, but warmer weather and/or longer days often trigger flowering. If your garden provides more shade or a cooler environment, your rocket may grow better. ...


7

This is essentially a pot without drainage. Most herbs do not like to sit in wet soil so you need to have a drainage layer and a soil separator topped with a soil or soil less mix. Here are the things I have used for a drainage layer: peastone gravel - attractive but heavy styrofoam peanuts - light, colorful but maybe not what you want near something you ...


7

Mint is generally a herbaceous perennial, so it loses its leaves and dies back every winter, then new shoots sprout from the roots in spring. With mine, I cut the dead stems back to just above soil level as part of my normal garden clean-up going into winter, and that's what I recommend you do. Don't dig up the dead stalks because mint spreads by sending ...


7

Your best bet would be to try germinating them using a damp paper towel. If they sprout, you're good to go. It probably varies based on how old the seeds are and how they were dried, etc.


7

It looks like nitrogen and potassium deficiency to me. From Chapter 4, Soil fertility and crop production of the book Plant Nutrition for Food Security - A guide for integrated nutrient management published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Deficiencies indicated by symptoms appearing first on older leaves chlorosis ...


7

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 recover, and should be disposed of. The plant looks like it either took some cold, or got basil fusarium wilt. I think the latter is unlikely, but I'd keep that ...


7

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, this is the perfect time. On a quick glance I see no plant that you would be too late for, but I haven't sown/planted all of them myself. Calendula will be fine. ...


7

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 another plant. And instruct your wife to always leave some leaves on the plant next time... or buy two plants so its easier to leave some leaves in place and ...


7

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, but hardyness varies somewhat between cultivars. Note that rosemary originally comes from the Mediterranean with it's mild winters. I am a bit pragmatic when ...


7

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 victimized by a wide range of insects and diseases regardless of what they are planted near. They are not exactly a low maintenance plant. I would suggest searching ...


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