I’ve been meaning to install a container herb garden in my office ever since I liberated the plastic bookshelves of their duty by building a new wooden shelving unit last summer. There have even been occasional plants put in my office with the intention of having them survive and be the beginnings of an herb garden. Those never worked out well, so Poke the aloe plant had a shelf and a sun light all to himself for ages and ages.
Last week I gave shelter to some friends afflicted with a third floor walkup and busted A/C. This involved them bringing over plants their CSA had given them as part of their drop that week. They had no intention of establishing an herb garden and were just going to pluck the little plants for all they were worth and let them die. I, er, was a bad host and stole their plants.
This blog entry is really just here for me to take notes somewhere I’ll find them later on what exactly I did with this herb garden. Also, an experiment in whether it’s pictures of food, or just pictures, that causes big spikes in blog traffic. (Ok, technically herbs are food, but you know what I mean. I think)
They all went into pots with the same generic potting soil. It turns out, based on research I did to see how much sunlight and water they’d need that this was probably a bad idea. Oh well. Hopefully they won’t all die at once, and I’ll do a better job of planting them correctly if I replace them one at a time.
All of these herbs, so says my internet research, want full sun, so I went ahead and plopped them all directly under the grow light. They do not, however, all have the same watering habits. Some of them are water hogs, others get crabby if they have too much water.
The rosemary and the basil, specifically, should allegedly be wilting before you water them. This explained how that one rosemary plant died. Watering it more when it turned brown was apparently the wrong move. Woops.
I wound up grouping the plants that don’t want much watering, then sticking toothpicks in their pots to remind me that there are special watering instructions involved in those plants. In an ideal world I’ll someday know enough about growing these herbs I won’t need a reminder. Until then, I’m seconds away from constructing a giant spreadsheet.
Research indicates that basil doesn’t like environments below 75°. My house has been in that range more than once of late, but not by choice, so the basil is taking up residence at the front door for now. Hopefully it’ll cope with my indoor temperature preferences during the winter without too much tragedy.
Hopefully in a couple months I’ll have pictures of a robust herb garden taking over a wall of my office. Wish me luck!