Zone 9b, east Central Florida

beth7happyMay 20, 2008

Does anyone know of a good handbook on growing herbs outside in this zone?

I've got several growing right now:

in ground: mint, dill, fennel, wormwood, african blue basil, and rosemary...don't seem to have any problems with those. My parsley always seems to die off.

in pots: thyme, oregano, more dill, chives, sweet basil, and chamomile, cilantro (this one I can never get to last!)

I guess my problem is that I don't know which ones are annuals and whether some of the potted ones should go in the ground. It gets HOT here in summer...and hopefully we'll start getting some rain soon, too!

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Many good books out there, as well as doing searches in this forum.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 4:34PM
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Cilantro you grow in the winter months, then clean in water, towel dry and freeze in Zip-lock bags for use in the summer,also Florence Fennel should be grown during the fall and winter months along with Parsley for cool months. If you have enough room why aren't you growing Mint, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, chamomile, wormwood, and Rosemary in the ground? They should all be no problem.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 7:58PM
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You might want to check with your local Department of Agriculture; they may even have a website that answers your questions.

There are also Regional forums that might be helpful.

Unfortunately, national book publishers have, in the past, tended to publish books that have what they consider to be universal appeal across climate zones, making them essentially worthless, in many cases. That trend does seem to be changing a bit, though.

Everyone in this Forum seems to agree that Cilantro is a very short lived annual, and that Parsley is a biennial. I think Parsley is also quite cold tolerant, which probably means that Zone 9 is not its favorite place to be.

Thyme likes very well drained soil and is so tiny it is better off in a pot unless you have a good spot for it where it won't get competition. It likes full sun.

Oregano does not usually get that tall, but returns here even in Zone 6. It seems to like a bit more moisture and is a bit more shade tolerant than, say, Sage; it should do well in the ground if it gets enough moisture.

Basil reportedly likes sun, but it can be destroyed if it does not get adequate moisture at the same time. Some say it does better planted in the soil, but that depends upon the quality of your soil as well. It tends to like a richer soil than some of the other herbs--probably more like the soil that mint would like. Oregano, too, seems able to tolerate a richer soil than Sage or Thyme.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 3:39AM
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