Lime and herbs

margowicz(8/9 UK)February 9, 2013

Hi I am wondering if lime application will kill herbs I read somewhere they need alkaline soil so done a PH test and they are in a acidic soil so I went and bought lime try get it to alkaline but wondering if the lime itself will kill the roots of herbs?

Any help be appratiaced thanks

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi margowicz -are you still growing your herbs in containers? If so you can just get a bag of container compost (nb US readers - 'compost' means growing medium in the UK as well as compost).
You do not need to be fiddling with adding lime. All the herbs you mentioned in your other post are happy in neutral soils. I feel you are over-thinking your herb growing experiment, margowicz. How about posting us some pictures so we can see what your plants look like and whether they need any special treatment? Have you read a basic herb growing book yet? That will give you lots of advice rather than trying to second guess what your plants might need. It's really not as complicated as you are making it.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:10PM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

Problem is I spent some amount money so far on soil it is (link below)

I planted oregano in it had it in warm place and sunny and it look like it dying drouping shoots trimmed it about 30% as I put it in new pot and it the same.

I have seeds growing red basil chives greek basil they are coming up really well but this really looks like it dying and I got 12 more coming (mix herbs bay rosemary x4 sage x 3 different types) so wanna try get in right

Here is a link that might be useful: soil

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:48PM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

Have you read a basic herb growing book yet?

internet I use mainly at minute as I don't know any good books

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:54PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Jekka's Complete Herb Book: In Association with the Royal Horticultural Society
by Jekka McVicar

Or anything by Jekka McVicar

I think the basic problem is you are trying to grow a whole bunch of plants with differing needs in vastly less than ideal conditions at the wrong time of year. I would really suggest you read up a basic herb growing guide and try again later in the spring with just a few easy things like parsley and thyme start with. Bay is really hard to grow from seed. While you were at Homebase you could have picked up young plants at a reasonable price of many of the things you are trying to grow from seed. Sage, thyme, rosemary, bay,oregano and mint are all hardy in our climate and once you have them in containers outdoors they will last you several years. Not intending to be discouraging but I fear you are making this project far more difficult than it needs to be and are trying to run before you can walk by attempting to grow these things from seed indoors in the winter.

All the same good luck with your experiments.

Here is a link that might be useful: herb books

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:47PM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

LOL thats me but it ain't run before walk it run before I can crawl I look at the jekka book I be getting that in next day or two (will this be for our climate) I seen at least are hard from seeds so I am currently buying ones like Bay from a nursery even with delivery I get 3 times more plants started from inch to 4 inch.

I have had mints x 3 for two years curley parsley with common thyme.

Here another question can you over water Oregano as I put water in base mine and since then it looks like it dying before I only watered it once a week from top and it was coming on well but since put water in bottom it wilting and dying.... is it possible to grow Basil in our climate?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:22PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is very hardy and will takes oodles of abuse. But overwatering is not something I think it will tolerate very well. Better to err on the side of too little water rather than too much with that one.

Most culinary herbs need little adjustment to the soil pH unless you are way off of neutral. I mean if you are trying to grow your herbs in a peat bog, well....I guess you would have to do something to sweeten the soil. But if your soil is only a tad on the acid side, I wouldn't try any adjustments unless you met with failures that you believe are soil related.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:37AM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

Ah the plant is over watered then so now I let it be let it completely dry out for 2 days and soak the soil and let it be again

I have bought that book also so I will stop asking stupid questions soon enough lol

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:14AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

margowicz - in another post you let slip that you have had to put holes in one of your pots. If your oregano has no drainage holes then yes, you absolutely can over water it.

You can grow basil in our climate but it is never really happy outdoors except in the few weeks of what passes for high summer. And even then the slugs will probably get it. I have given up putting it outside and only grow it in pots in the greenhouse.

Jekka McVickar is the queen of British herb growers, so her advice will definitely suit your climate. It is only February. You have weeks to research this project. Keep reading but please keep asking too.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:22AM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

my pot has holes in it it was only since I put a bowl with water under it it started to deteriate might be that I also moved it when I put that under it.

Before I soaked the soil threw and let it be for a week and it seamed fine but I sorta keep thinking if there no water under it it won't grow (from school)

Is there any feeds I can give them I will end up buying something then ask have been doing so the last while so I guess it time go the other way

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:25PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Margowicz - don't stand your pots in bowls of water - they can't drain that way. And I really would not give your plants any fertiliser either, at least not now. If you used Homebase potting compost it has nutrients in it already. And most herbs don't need rich soil. I keep saying - it is February ie it is Winter - plants are not actively growing. They don't need feeding. I would still like to see some photos!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:25PM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

Ii will get some up tomorrow for you I know spring don't start until march 20th so don't expect that much growth at minute

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:26PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Margowicz : "I have bought that book also so I will stop asking stupid questions soon enough lol"

I do urge having some good reference books on hand - they answer so many fundamental questions and give some really good advice and tips. But please do keep asking questions here as well. We do love helping other gardeners - both the new and old ones. :)

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:37AM
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margowicz(8/9 UK)

Thanks I have a quick read of it and the oregano had to much mostiure in it I now got rid of all the water below the pots I hope I got it in time I try dry it out a bit now.

I should have got this first as I got some cotton lavender and it is not ideal for pot growing, it is very hand before I go and buy a plant I can have a quick read see what is ideal.

Is it best to pull the plant out pot and add the bark as it says in book or best to let it be? and how often should I change the soil?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:20PM
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