Under or Over Watering - total newbie here

APinkPeacockApril 27, 2014

I've always wanted my own herb garden cause I'm tired of spending $3 for a few leaves of basil, so I planted one with a few herbs. I got them all as starter plants and now I don't know if I am over watering or under. The basil was gorgeous when I got it and I had it inside for a few days before I got the other plants and it was thriving now it is pooping out on me as well as the chocolate mint I planted. It is on the north side of the house on my back porch. Any help will be much appreciated :)

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

OK, all is not lost but be prepared for lots of info. and some work.

1. Do I see peat pots? They are a nightmare and wick out moisture. As you can see the one around the mint is dry like cardboard. And the potting mix is coming away from the sides of the container implying it is dry.
2. You have too many herbs in one container.
3. You have mixed herbs which need different growing conditions.

What I would do.

1. Get some more containers and fill with a sharp draining mix. The mix can be a little heavier for the parsley and the mint.
2. Water your herbs very thoroughly and then dig them all up.
3. Peel off the peat pots.
4. Replant each type of herb in a pot of its own. Water again.
5. Put the mint and parsley in a semi-shady position.
6. Put the basil, thyme and oregano in a sunny position but shade for the first few days while they get used to it.
7. I don't know your temperatures at present but the basil needs real heat. If it is not yet warm day and night where you are bring the basil back indoors at night. In my climate I never even put basil outdoors but grow it under glass all summer. It can take a baking but hates chill.
8. The mint and parsley will need more watering than the other herbs.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 4:32AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

The idea of mixed herb containers is a popular one but they don't work well. Different plants (as Flora mentions) have different needs. Some have really opposite needs. Split up the different plant types into different containers so you can give each the soil, sun, and water they require.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Oh my goodness, the information you gave me is so amazing! I will do some repotting and splitting them up. I will ditch the peat pots. I really wish I had known all this earlier. I watched a few youtube videos and they all said, throw them in a big pot and watch them grow. And the peat pots said to remove the bottom portion and plant them as is. It is frustrating when you do what they tell you and then you slowly see your money and excitement go down the drain. I will post a followup in the days to come to show you that I can take advice well :) Thank you again for your hard work in replying to my question. You both are gems!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Along the lines of separating out the herbs from each other, I would also say you could separate each herb cluster more also. An example is the basil. There are probably several actual plants growing from that clump. Because of that, it won't be just watering one or two plants to keep them growing nice and strong, but several plants will need your water and nutrition.

Of course, you could thin it out by eating them!

My family eats a lot of basil, and about 2 actual plants, along with the requisite pinching/eating to make them branch out even more, can supply us from spring to fall. So you'll have to gauge your use this year, as well as maybe what you want to dry or preserve, to determine how many plants you actually want in the future. For now, you can keep them together, knowing they will be in fierce competition, or try to thin them out for even more plants.

This goes for the other herbs also that might be able to be separated. Not all of them will.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:59PM
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