Indoor container herb garden questions
I'm growing Oregano, Thyme, Sweet Basil, and Cilantro in containers in my house, or at least I will be very soon.
I'm planting the herbs in EarthGro potting soil that has from the label: "This product is regionally formulated from organic materials (primarily derived from one or more of the following: Hypnum peat, forest peat, forest products, or compost), sand and perlite."
My first question is, is it acceptable to start the seeds directly in the soil of the pot, or should I use the little peat pellets and the dome?
My second question is, should I fertilize and when should I fertilize? Through my research, I've read that you should not use fertilizer, you should use fertilizer designed for flowers as that will help develop the leaves, use liquid kelp, or fish emulsion, some say to use fish tank water etc..One site says to use a 10-5-10 liquid fertilizer at half strength. Some say to fertilize every 2 weeks ranging up to every 6 weeks, some say only during the winter. - It's all so conflicting. I've seen a few sites refer to Neptune's Harvest Organic Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer as well.
This year we will not have a compost pile, but next year we will. This year, we do have access to dried manure from my girlfriends parent's farm. (if any of this info helps)
What I'm interested in is what you've personally done and what has worked for you. I live in Wisconsin by the way.