Tell me about your herb garden

I killed my ROsemary. :frowning:

I’d like to keep Rosemary and Cilantro going.
Where do you grow it?

Well, I tried Mint, inside, in a container outside, and in a chunk of dirt by the house…
…and they all croaked. :frowning: (The cat sat on the indoor one, one time too many.)

Since I’ve managed to kill off multiple mint plants, of all things, I’m not too sure I want to try again, but I am. I picked up from BigLots a ‘greenhouse’ (metal plant stand with fitted plastic sheeting to go over it), so that the cat can’t sit on my plants, and have that set by the window. So I’ll be trying mint (again), cilantro, chives, and a pepper plant. Hopefully those will live long enough to see use.

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I got one of those topiary rosemary plants for Christmas 2000 and planted it in the garden. It’s going just fine. It’s important that the variety you select is hardy in your zone.

Mint is a little tougher. I went to a local greenhouse, one that stocks plants grown locally, and picked up three varieties of mint – spearmint, orange mint, and chocolate mint. I spaded a 5’ x 5’ area with lots of well-rotted manure and planted 12 plants. That was two years ago and the mint is well on its way to taking over the entire 12’ x 12’ garden. (That’s cool; I love fresh mint tea.) Basically mint needs lots of sun, lots of water, and a rich humus.

If your location is “south of the Mason-Dixon line” like me, the soil tends to be pretty crappy and will need some amendment. And if you have been dealing with drought as we have, remember that mint needs lots of water, sun, and space. (If it didn’t smell and taste so good, we would treat mint as a pernicious weed.)

Coloradan checking in here. Mint is outside with southern exposure. I always make sure to grow mint in containers because of the ‘spread’ factor. And this way, all the different kinds I have (chocolate, etc) are a bit more easily identified.

I always bring my rosemary in for the winter, though I think this year I might have been able to leave it in a protected corner.
South window, dappled light.
From my experience, rosemary likes a bit of water spritzing, and I let the soil mostly dry out between waterings. Water twice a week.

I love cilantro but it is a pain in the rear end and I only grow it in the summertime. It is quick to bolt (turn to seed). I just let it bolt and it seeds wherever it wants to.

I brought my rosemary and thyme inside when the weather got cold, and killed 'em both.

In the spring-summer-fall I have a kitchen garden in containers on the deck outside the kitchen door (southern exposure)…basil, oregano, chives, tarragon, parsley, mint, thyme, and rosemary. Things I generally use less than a handful of at a time.

I never bother with cilantro because I usually use too much of it to make it a reasonable home project. I can go through a bunch in a week easy, between Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, and Indian cooking.

Southern exposure is a must in New England…

I ahve a 5 by 10 foot garden encircled by railroad ties. In it we have rosemary, mint, basil, thyme, leeks, parsley, lavender…

My wife made me cut down the sensimillia though…:frowning:

Yeah, I need to get it to seed itself in a meadow or something…

I’ve grown cilantro/coriander. Great plant. Full sun, well-drained soil. The seeds are the herb coriander, so even if it bolts, it is worth harvesting.

Rosemary isn’t winter-hardy in the north, and should be treated as a tender perennial. You can pot it up in fall and bring it in, and it should be ok on a sunny windowsill. However, a lot of people think they’ve killed the plant when it drops its needles – just keep watering and give it a little go juice to see if it comes back. Sometimes rosemary sheds when brought inside, but it isn’t dead.

I’m a trained herbalist and grow a lot of herbs. I have 2 or 3 different kinds of lavender, thyme, sage, lemon balm, mints, lovage, yarrow, echinacea, comfrey, fennel, wormwood, coltsfoot, and several others buried under the snow at the moment. Plus in spring I’ll get some scented geraniums and annual type herbs.

How about when it drops its needles, goes completely brown all over, and has X’s in its little eyes?

Back to the Rosemary…I almost forgot, the guy across the street from my job has a hedge of Rosemary. Growing in his yard next to the street. How does he do that?

Pineapple Sage, Greek Oregano, Lime-scented geranium(wintering indoors) and a yuuuuugggee Spanish Lavendar named Seymour.

Now I can’t wait for Spring.


I think rosemary enjoys a bit of a moist, mediterranean-type climate. Saw huge bushes of it on the coastline in Spain. I’ve seen rosemary survive many New England winters in a protected patio garden, pineapple sage, too, but yes, in general, rosemary prefers a gentler winter. And once an herb finds a spot it likes, it grows like crazy. In Guatemala, I saw waist-high hedges of purple basil! Some gorgeous gardens down there.
Here in arrid Denver, I try to duplicate that climate by doing lots of spritzing. But the thing is, I don’t think rosemary likes ‘wet feet.’
What Stinkum said about well-drained soil goes for rosemary, as well. It takes some tinkering, but once you figure out how to make them happy, then your herbs start to take over. But the fun part is dividing stuff like tarragon, chives etc and sharing.

My parents have a couple big bushes of rosemary at their house. They’re up against the porch, and the only water they get is from the lawn sprinklers, but they seem to be very happy. Of course, we/they (I only live a few mins away) live in a mediterranian (I know that’s spelled wrong, but I’m not sure what the correct spelling would be) climate - the wine county area of Cali. So it might not be what they’re doing so much as where they live.

However, any tips on how to handle the aloe vera plant my mom gave me would be much appriciated. How much water, when, how much sun, etc.

Ike, then that’s one dead rosemary! May it rest in peace . . .
I’ve murdered a few in my day.
Teleute, the aloe likes sun, and if you’re in a hot climate, some afternoon shade. Moderate water is fine, just check it to make sure the soil is somewhat dry. Is it a potted plant? If so, it will probably need to be divided every once in a while to give babies more space to grow.

I’m currently trying to start some new Rosemary from a cutting. Not sure why I’m bothering tho.

<boasting>Around here it grows all over the place as a shrub. My landlord’s got a couple bushes that supply me with more that I could ever use. Makes me chuckle when I go to the store & see dried Rosemary sold in little jars for $3-4/jar. I think alot of people around here don’t even realize their shrubs are a valuable herb.</boasting>

Cilantro is a pain in the “bolts too soon” butt. It reseeds itself like crazy tho.

About the time my son was born six years ago, I bought four small (6" pot) potted herb plants at the local upscale grocery: a basil, a parsley, an oregano, and a rosemary. Killed the first three indoors in a couple of weeks, and the rosemary looked to be about to lose the number of its mess. As the weather had warmed up a bit by then (late April or so), I took it out to the south side of the house, dug a little hole just bigger than the pot it was in, took it out of the pot and buried it, three feet or so from the wall of the house.

It’s now spread to cover an area about fifteen feet long (along the wall of the house) and four to six feet wide. I’ve yet to apply a single drop of water, grain of fertilizer, or anything else to it. The soil is your typical Georgia red clayish stuff, fairly densely packed from the absence of any significant quanitity of organic matter in it. Can’t explain it, but the rosemary just keeps spreading. It is in full sun almost the whole day, and being fairly close to the side of the house (a house that was painted a dark brick red until recently), I’m sure it got a decent amount of radiated heat from the wall even in the winter.

Next to the rosemary, once it became apparent that it seemed to be doing well, I planted some parsley and sage (no, I didn’t plant thyme – my sources suggest it’s too invasive to be something you plant less than ten feet from the property line). Both did fairly well, and the sage has survived (or regrown from seed, I’m frankly too lazy to pay much heed) until now, and the parsley also kept me supplied for a couple of years (at least enough to supply our family and a few others with sufficient quantities for Passover dinners, etc.). I should emphasize that it’s not as if I’ve ever done anything that might remotely be considered as “cultivating” any of this – it’s on a neglected, blank-wall side of the house where the house is within twenty feet of the property line, with his house no more than on the other side of the line. Months go by without my venturing into that part of the yard for any reason other than to snip off a bit of something to cook with.

I did install a window box on the single window in the kitchen of the house, in which I stuck another basil plant and a thyme. I like being able to simply open the window and cut what I need. The basil went pretty quickly when the weather got cold, and the thyme might still recover, but it declined pretty rapidly when we had several days of temps down in the teens last month.

Last summer I tried to get thyme to grow as groundcover in the rose beds.

I liked the idea of the little tiny flowers, the nice smell, the attractiveness to honeybees, and and endless source of the herb. Also I read Ed Eager’s THE TIME GARDEN to my son last spring, and he was big on the idea.

Absolutely no luck. The seeds didn’t take, and when I bought some started plants in flats they died two weeks after I transplanted them in the earth.

Ukulele Ike
I am surprised to hear of your thyme failure. (BTW, I love all E.Eager books, but The Time Garden is my fave.)
Was it the roses? Obviously the thyme was not happy there, but I am not sure why.
I tend to grow a lot of native plants and wildflowers in our beds, so I think they co-exist happily. FWIW, our various thymes get full, full sun pouring down on them much of the day.

I live in central Massachusetts. My herb garden is about 3x5, and lives right outside my kitchen door, with southern exposure. The soil is just so/so, and right now it’s covered with about 3 feet of snow.

My patch of thyme is really well established, and acts like a perennial. I trim it back in the Spring, and by fall it’s huge and spreading.

The rosemary I planted two years ago came back last spring - truth be told it never really died back. I’ll be curious to see how it did this winter, which was much tougher than last. I hope the snow cover is acting as insulation.

My chives came back last year too, but didn’t look very healthy. They stayed scrawny and thin, but were still pretty tasty!

I have more perennial mint than I could possibly know what to do with. It’s taken over an entire flower bed - want to come by and get some? I agree - keep it contained!!!

I also plant basil, cilantro, and parsley. All do well as long as I continually pinch them back (see: cook with them) all summer. They’re definitely annuals here, though. The cilantro does have a tendency to bolt if I’m not diligent.
Can’t wait for the snow to melt!!