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herbs fro the desert

Posted by maranagrls az (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 5, 06 at 20:20

hi all!
with spring here I am getting the urge to plant things! what herbs do
well out here?? I have rosemary growing and it is beatiful! I am
thinking about some type of mint, basil, catnip. I know desert
lavender will grow, but does it do well in a pot? can it take full sun?

I've got so many questions?? I am thinking container gardending fro these herbs?? yes?
do herbs need different soil requirements from back east?

I also am intereted in white sage and sweet grass. For smudges. Any
suggestions for growing? and purchasing?

thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: herbs fro the desert

I have had great luck with Mexican Orgegano, Dill Weed and Cilentro (Coriander). Some are planted in pots while others are in the ground. I buy the plants at HD or Lowes, but for the Cilentro I buy the seeds in the Mexican Spices isle at the grocery store you get a whole bag of seeds for around a dollar. It's called Coriander and all I do is slightly scratch the ground and throw the seeds out and throw some more dirt over the seeds water slightly and in several weeks you will have plants.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

I've got mint and basil growing in the ground... a lot of basil... I've got cilantro, chamomile, and oregano growing in a pot, for the sole purpose of moving it around... I've got crappy soil and the basil and mint are thriving in it so I don't think you have to do anything special, but I don't know what it's like to garden back east... hope some of this helps...
Brittany


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RE: herbs fro the desert

I brought some herb plants with me when I relocated from Colorado Springs, where I maintained a xeric garden. The savory, lemon balm and (of course) mint plants have done well. I also grow basil, tarragon and marjoram in a large container. All plants are in light shade during the torrid summer months. I was surprised that my chives from Colorado didn't make it. I read that chocolate flower was a Native American flavoring. I'm growing that as well but haven't used it in cooking. For some herbs, there's nothing like fresh, is there? Cilantro and basil, definately are best fresh!


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RE: herbs fro the desert

Kathi, I really like this coriander seed idea so I bought some the other day. How much room does the cilantro need for its roots? I have a rectangular container that needs something in it. It's about a foot deep, 6 inches wide and maybe 2 feet long. Will that work?

Thanks,
Mary


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RE: herbs fro the desert

I have an herb garden that I put in a year ago. It is a 3 tier raised bed thing that is about 16'x6'. I have one tier where I have only mints, one tier ( the highest) that is for drought tolerant plants like different rosemarys. Then the last is for everything else. I have had good luck with all kinds of basils, oregano, thyme, cilantro, chives, garlic chives, marjoram and parsley. These all lasted through the summer. My garden is under a Palo Verde tree and gets filtered shade in the summer and sun a good part of the day the rest of the year.
I did lose my regular sages, pineapple sage, lemon balm and all of my scented geraniums over the summer. I am trying them again though.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

I have just finished planting my third set of basil plants. I live in Arizona and the plants do not seem to like the sun. My first set started in a pot in my backyard next to the pool. The plants became very pale in color and just didn't look well. I decided to move them to my front yard under my covered porch. They got sun in the morning and shade the rest of the day. They seemed to improve, but then the mosquitos moved into the plant and it just went down hill from there. I started over, I planted the basil and moved it indoors I used a mixture of potting soil and dirt from the yard 2 of the plants died rather quickly and the last two didn't look well. I have just this morning purchased 3 more plants a new pot and planted them in potting soil only. They are in my house next to the window where there they will get filtered light all day and some sun in the afternoon. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can become sucessful in growing basil I would love to hear your suggestions!!!


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RE: herbs fro the desert

I've been growing herbs, both in the ground and in containers, in Tucson for many years. During the summer containers for herbs and other plants should be at least 10" in diameter and should be a good-quality terra cotta, such as those made in Italy. I avoid plastic and those cute Mexican pots as they don't last long and plastic heats up too much and actually burns the roots of plants. Terra cotta pots allow water to evaporate on the surface, thus cooling the roots. My potting mix is a combination of 1/2 potting soil (good quality - Black Gold is best, though expensive), 1/4 perlite, and 1/4 compost. Basil likes plenty of sun so I'd place it in a location where it gets good morning sun and filtered or shade in the p.m. It also needs to be trimmed frequently after it gets larger. More than just pinching off the flower heads. I trim mine by about 1/3 at least once during the summer. This summer I'll be doing this about 3 times. Keep your pots well watered but not soaking. When you first plant them you'll need to water them every day. After that, you may be able to cut back to every other day. For fertilizing, since I garden strictly organically, I only use fish emulsion or compost tea and only do it maybe once a month. In my experience, herbs are best grown outdoors. They need plenty of sun and fresh, circulating air to stay healthy and insect free. I hope this is helpful.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

I put in rosemary, thyme, and basil straight into the garden outside. THe only thing that came up was the basil, but it is doing great and has really good flavor.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

momherb - Question for you if I may? I received a bunch of herb seeds in a swap the other day. I have never grown herbs before. Out of basil, thyme, oregano, sage, and coriander...what can I direct sow outside right now. Even if in August, I would love to have a crop of herbs for the fall.


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RE: herbs for the desert

All you people that are having trouble with growing basil. Did you find out what was wrong? I still can't grow it. I can grow parsley, but not basil or cilantro.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

Basil and marjoram do the best for me. If you are having trouble, i would say check the drainage.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

Bill123dare, basil is easy to grow here provided you protect it from cold. It is a "tender" plant, you have to check each variety but basil can be damaged around 50 degrees or lower.

I haven't started any outdoors yet. I started basil indoors at the end of last summer and to my surprise it survived the winter. It's in a small (2 gallon) pot and I covered it most nights.


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RE: herbs fro the desert

Bill -
Basil grows extremely well for me ... but it's free-ranging in the dirt, not in pots. It usually grows best when the weather warms up.

AM shade, sun until late afternoon, then shade again ... ample water from drip system

Container planting in AZ is tricky because the pots can get so hot they damage the roots, and it's hard to keep them properly watered.

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I also have marjoram, thyme, and oregano growing in that bed. The marjoram is thriving under an orange tree, the oregano is getting the same exposure as the basil and the rosemary is in full sun almost all day.


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