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Indoor herbs

(32 Posts)
Gordonbennett Thu 16-Apr-20 16:13:08

I was given a lovely indoor ‘allotment’ from my son for Mother’s Day, it sits on the windowsill. I have used the soil plugs, and followed the instructions, sadly, nothing has happened in a week (am I being impatient?)

I am useless at anything like this, but I didn’t think there was enough soil from the plugs, so wanted to start over. Can I use soil from the garden, and what are the easiest herbs to grow?

Many thanks in advancesmile

J52 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:58:56

It all depends on what seeds were in the kit. But I suspect they may not sprout.
Basil, Parsley and Coriander are easily grown from seed. I wouldn’t use garden soil as it will possibly have weed seeds in it.

In the past I have bought the growing herbs such as chives, mint and Parsley from the supermarket and separated and re potted them in new compost. They then grow well. The pots they are sold in are only meant to last a week or so.

Gordonbennett Thu 16-Apr-20 17:51:03

They were exactly those herbs you say! Obviously something has gone wrongsad

I’ll get some more seeds/compost!

toscalily Thu 16-Apr-20 18:02:28

Parsley is very slow to germinate, Basil & Coriander less so. Make sure they do not dry out, keep warm, be slightly less impatient & talk to them wink

Eglantine21 Thu 16-Apr-20 18:37:36

There’s a saying that parsley has to go down to the devil three times before it germinates!

I don’t think it’s warm enough for coriander yet. I won’t sow mine till mid June.

Don’t know about basil.

Mint is always very hardy (damn stuff...)

Marydoll Thu 16-Apr-20 18:41:20

Soaking parsley seeds in warm water for a days helps them germinate.

Daisymae Thu 16-Apr-20 19:02:35

A week is not very long. Give them more time. Basil is easy, I have a few seeds in a pot they did take a couple of weeks to show their heads. Just keep the compost slightly damp. It could be that the seeds are old, you can buy some new on ebay. I did yesterday!

Witzend Thu 16-Apr-20 21:42:52

I do the same as J52. Have done it with parsley and chives for outdoors - I use both a lot. Parsley takes ages to germinate, don’t think I could be bothered to grow it from seed.
But until recently I kept a supermarket pot of basil on a windowsill for ages, cut and used it often, watered it with Baby Bio, it made lots of new shoots and leaves.

Callistemon Thu 16-Apr-20 22:37:48

You could try putting a poly bag (if you have any) over each pot.
Parsley seeds do germinate more quickly if you soak them in fairly hot water but are very slow. It's a bit early for basil, I haven't sown any yet.

Oregano, once it gets going, will seed everywhere if you grow it in the garden, I've just been heaving it out.
And chives seem to grow better in cracks in the paving slabs than in a pot.

A week is a bit soon; I've stopped looking anxiously at my lettuce and spring onion seeds every day and decided to ignore them apart from watering.

Marydoll Thu 16-Apr-20 23:00:37

I have been using shower caps over my pots. You know the ones you get in hotel rooms! It works a treat. 😁

Hetty58 Thu 16-Apr-20 23:27:03

Callistemon, very true about chives. They must like their roots in cool soil.

I've found it far easier to grow herbs outdoors. Rosemary, golden marjoram. thyme, chives and a bay tree in a pot, all easy.

Mint is in a tub - to stop it spreading and taking over. I'm growing spring onions from seed in a container on the window sill. The tomato plants will go outside soon.

Marydoll Fri 17-Apr-20 19:54:14

I'm so excited!
Three of my lettuce seeds have germinated!!

Callistemon Fri 17-Apr-20 20:49:37

I am still not looking at mine. As Mother used to say
'A watched pot never boils'

Gordonbennett Sat 18-Apr-20 06:48:09

Thank you all for your replies. I think the seeds were probably old, and the soil plugs were a bit, well, old too, and only gave about 1/2 inch of soil, is that about right? I was expecting it to be at least 3/4 of the pot??

I’ll have to sort some compost etc and invest in some new seeds.

I had some mint in a pot in the garden, which is now Woody but showing some new shoots, if I cut it right back will it grow?

See? I really am ‘green’ with growing things!

inishowen Sat 18-Apr-20 10:06:49

When the lockdown started I happily sewed seeds, tomatoes, parsley and flowers. Nothing has germinated yet, although the parsley may have started. It's too cold I think. I had a big box of wild flower seeds from Home Bargains and have scattered them around the garden. Hopefully they'll do ok. It's a wait and see scenario. I think you should give it more time.

Daisymae Sat 18-Apr-20 10:07:07

Yes, cut the mint right back it will spring up. Have a look on your local Facebook page there might be someone having a order from a garden centre or someone going to a hardware store who would be willing to collect something for you. Again check eBay for seeds, pots etc.

Babs758 Sat 18-Apr-20 10:07:39

Has anyone successfully grown cumin or coriander from spice cupboard seeds?

TATT Sat 18-Apr-20 10:13:25

I’ve never found those discs of compost satisfactory at all. I was given a kit as a gift and used compost from a bag. Sorry it’s not much help to you now!

Authoress Sat 18-Apr-20 10:33:31

I think it's impossible to kill mint smile You could cut back 1/3rd of it if you wanted to be cautious.

polnan Sat 18-Apr-20 10:56:08

love this thread...

I love growing herbs,,never use them, just love growing them

Gordonbennett Sat 18-Apr-20 12:05:39

Thank you again for your knowledge. I will get some compost and start over.

What compost is the best? I’ve seen peat free? What’s the difference?

Sorry, keep asking questionssad

Gordonbennett Sat 18-Apr-20 12:06:54

polnan what do you do with them then?confused

Craftycat Sat 18-Apr-20 12:29:11

Give them more than a week but don't let them dry out.
I find they work better in greenhouse until they are established when I bring them inside or plant them in a large circular planter with sections like a wheel that DH made for me outside back door for herbs which is always pretty & so useful. Saves going down the garden in the rain for them.
Our cats love the cat mint which always looks tatty as they feast on it!

cc Sat 18-Apr-20 13:07:28

I also buy supermarket pots and normally pull the separate plants apart then transplant them, the chives do particularly well in the garden so I no longer need to buy any as they come up every year.

This year I have no compost so have left them in the pots inside slightly taller glass jars (IKEA vases) so that the herbs don't fall over. Apparently you're supposed to water from the bottom but not leave them sitting in water so, before they completely dry out, I water into the vase and then tip out the water after a few minutes soaking time.

There are so many little individual seedlings in the pots that they pretty quickly exhaust the food in the compost but most herbs like a fairly poor soil, except perhaps for the lusher basil plants, so I just add a very small dash of plant food to the watering can once a week. Personally I nip off any flower buds, but you might want to use flowers in your salads.

I've found that the "Greek" basil is the longest lasting, its a pretty little bush with smaller leaves than the normal version, the flavour isn't quite the same but I drop a sprig in my cooking and can't really tell the difference.

I've got a west facing windowsill so they get lots of light, but will have to move them back into the room later in the year when they start to get direct sun in the afternoon.

I never have much luck with coriander and would appreciate some tips on how to keep it going. It seems to grow on single stems and doesn't come back after you've snipped the leaves.

3nanny6 Sat 18-Apr-20 13:29:21

Gordonbennett; I just do not have "Green fingers" and nothing much will grow for me. The only one I have had any luck with has been mint. I have grown it myself and also I sometimes buy the little plant in the supermarket and plant it outside and it grows so well.
Last week I bought a hanging basket with all the kit to plant trailing sweet pea. I am going to plant it up next week although I hold little chance that anything will grow from it
I do try.