bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] gardening
Hi. I'm Bridget and I just found this comm. I've been looking at gardening things on Pinterest and recently bought a basil plant because I want to try out an edible indoor container garden and figured a basil plant would be a good test drive. I bought a starter plant from Home Depot and bought a plant light so it's sitting on a shelf in my room.

Does anyone have any experience with an edible indoor container garden, or some sort of variation on that?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-20 11:21 pm (UTC)
gairid: Barn & fields (Seasonal - Spring - Rural)
From: [personal profile] gairid
Hi Bridget!

You should do fine with your basil plant, especially with the plant light. Once the daylight hours are a bit longer, a sunny window would work as well. One of the keys to a nice healthy basil plant is to use it! Don't be afraid to pinch it to use the leaves.if the plant gets leggy or begins to produce flower, pinch, pinch, pinch! The plant will regrow and back in quickly and will stay healthy for a long time.

You probably have a 4 1/2 " pot (possibly 6" if you bought a larger plant.. You may need to transfer the plant to a larger pot at some point. If you need to pinch more of the plant than you can use at one time, you can get and ice tray, chop the basil and put some in each space and cover with olive oil. Pop it n the freezer and you can just toss it in sauces when you need it.

You can try parsley; trick to parsley is to always pluck the leaves and stems from the outer edge of the plant: the new growth comes up from the center so this treatment will keep it going for a long time.

Another tip is not to overwater herbs. Let the soil dry down a bit between waterings. Hop that helps and good luck!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-21 08:36 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I don't have one at the moment, but have done it in the past. Basil sounds like a great place to start.

If you've got a sunny windowsill, other good options are chilli peppers and tomatoes -- there are "dwarf bush" varieties that are perfect for indoor containers.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-22 10:05 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Half a fig with some blue cheese propped against it. (food -- fig and cheese)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I had to look up recipes for basil because basil seemed like something I could grow easily, but there's no point in growing it if I don't use it.

Pesto! Food of the gods!

Also, baby salad greens are easy to grow from seed -- I haven't tried them indoors, but apparently they work great:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/growing-lettuce-indoors-small-space-gardening.aspx

Like basil and other herbs, it's lovely to have some incredibly fresh, even if it's in a small amount.
Edited Date: 2015-03-22 10:05 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-22 05:46 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I just have to keep planting them to replace the ones I'd harvest.

If you go for "baby" rather than "micro", you don't necessarily even have to do that. "Cut and come again" is the magic search term:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=618

Yes...

Date: 2015-03-21 09:53 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
... but it's all bad. Never had much luck growing edibles indoors. Outdoors, yes.

This was apparently many thoughts

Date: 2015-03-23 04:25 pm (UTC)
lizcommotion: red white and yellow tulips in full bloom with dew on them (tulips red)
From: [personal profile] lizcommotion
From my experience with basil, it doesn't do well being transplanted. (It tends to go all wilty and flop over and be sad.) If you find it gets too big for its pot -- like lots of roots start coming out of the bottom -- the good news is that it is super easy to grow an instant new basil plant by taking a "cutting". Basil is super cooperative with that.

Basically, before you completely run out of basil, take a small stem of basil and put it in a glass of fresh water with the requisite amount of light and stuff. You may need to change the water occasionally if it gets murky (or before -- every day or every other day is usually good). Pretty soon the basil should start magically putting out roots, and then you can just plant it in a pot. When the basil is grown this way, it's okay to plant it. It's just when you're moving it from one soil-filled-pot (or the ground) to another that it tends to get...fidgetty.

Also if you're into cooking, there are a lot of different varieties of Basil that are super delicious. You might be able to find them at a nursery, grow them from seed, or from another gardener. (Some garden groups have plant/seed swaps.) My favorites are Thai basil (spicy!) and lemon basil. (Lime basil was tempting, but I cannot tell it apart taste-wise from lemon).

FWIW, my cilantro has always flopped over and been sad, even when I tried staking it. Maybe you will have better luck!

Oh, also very good to know: Mint is a big bully and will take over everything, so if you ever decide to grow mint, grow it in its own pot not one of those "share with other plants" pots or very soon you will only have mint in that pot. Also if you ever have ground, don't put mint in the ground or you will never get it out. (But bonus, it is super drought resistant!)

Growing plants is kind of trial and error, so if you have issues at first don't despair. My mom is a seasoned gardener and even installs gardens for other people, but she really cannot grow orchids for the life of her. She "fusses" and honestly orchids do better if you leave them alone most of the time. She has a similar problem with cacti, which are supposed to be "easy" and "good for beginners". My mom drowns cacti.

If you live in the US, there might be a cooperative extension office run by your state (other terms to look for Master Gardener Program, horticultural line). At least where I live, they tend to have a phone line, kiosks at farmer's markets and the library and other resources so if you're trying to grow something and suddenly weird spots appear you can bring the plant (or a bit of it) in to the gardeners and they can tell you what's going on and how to make it better. (It also helps the state keep track of if all the non-commercial tomato plants are getting mold diseases one year and, y'know, encourage gardening.)

P.S. If you ever want to have a way to cheer up in the middle of winter, growing paperwhites indoors is one thing that keeps me sane when it's horrible and dark and cold out. And really not too complex, as long as you don't forget that you have bulbs in your fridge and thus forget to plant them. >>

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