Greetings to everyone in rec.gardens.edible,
I am hoping that you can help me with some buying advice for kitchen
herbs for 2007.
I wrote to my local nursery and got given a list of herbs, but most of
the other questions I raised were not addressed.
Here's a copy of the information I gave to the Nursery and the herbs
NURSERY RECOMMENDATION :
Bay Tree, Chives, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Rosemary, Parsley, Sage and
Firstly let me give you some background about myself - I am a
relatively inexperienced Container Gardener living in Edinburgh,
United Kingdom - I have managed to grow Basil indoors in small
window-ledge pots. I have managed to grow patio tomatoes outside in
containers this year for the first time. I have had limited success
with indoor pots of Parsley and Coriander (probably due to lack of
light - they went leggy).
I am looking to grow between 4 and 8 different herbs outdoors in
containers for use in the kitchen next year instead of some of my
tomatoes since I have found the local kids too interested in the
I am hoping to use the herbs both dried and fresh. I tend to use
"Mixed Herbs" and Bay leaves in the winter in soups and casseroles
(though not actually vegetarian, we tend to eat very little meat -
something that can stave off the "What? Parsnips again?" syndrome of
winter soups would be appreciated).
I should mention that I have a good Food Dehydrator - one of the
thermostatically controlled ones with trays - drying herbs as and when
they are at their peak is no problem.
Now, about where I can put these pots (I have some 14" terracotta pots
and a couple of deeper 16" pots available for larger plants such as
Bay) - there is a west facing sunny wall which gets sun from noon to
evening which is where I put the tomatoes. This wall tends to get a
fair bit of wind, but not too much. A small windbreak is not out of
the question. We have a south facing wall which gets the sun from
morning to mid-afternoon, but this wall is in direct view of the
street and also gets substantial wind. There are a few shadier spots
too. The west facing wall is my preferred spot.
As for local predators... there are the usual insects of course,
aphids and little sap-sucking things... but we have a large population
of snails and slugs. A large population! There are also a few wood
pigeons and squirrels, but they tend not to come too close to the
house. I am guessing that soft herbs such as Basil and possibly
Parsley would get chewed and sucked to nothingness within moments of
being set outside. We would prefer not to spray insecticide if at all
I am happy to start plants from seed if necessary - I have a covered
seed tray and all the necessary small pots (I managed well with the
During the winter we have *some*
space indoors for the pots - either
inside the flat itself or in the communal stairwell - there is some
space for one pot at the top under the skylight to overwinter. We got
some hard frosts last year, so I don't know how well plants will do
Please could you recommend a selection of herbs which would fit within
these requirements. I am fairly certain we want a Bay in a container,
but beyond that I am a bit lost. Something suitable for a Mixed Herbs
selection plus anything you think no garden should be without. I would
also need to know *when*
to order these from the nursery.
What do you folks in r.g.e think about the pest problem... of whether
to buy seeds or small plants?
Thanks in advance...