Home grown herbs


Rethinking the ginger experiment. If I leave it in ground over the winter I'm pretty confident it will do fine. But ginger needs about 70-80 deg soil to get going good which doesn't happen here until sometime in June. The way I've grown it for years is to plant a piece in a pot on a heat mat in Feb-Mar to get it going and set it out in May. I've gotten between 2-3 # per plant this way. If I wait until the ground warms up - pretty sure yields will be down but will see. I'll dig a piece beginning of Mar and pull a piece off to put on a heat mat and leave the rest in ground to see. Maybe try some ground warming strategies.


Hmm, I seem to have missed this thread before now. Never too late.

I'm all about the herbs, couldn't imagine life without them. How would I live without a fresh chimichurri sauce? Or pesto? Or not top a baked potato, or pizza? I could go on and on. :slight_smile:

Lots of garlic chives around the lot:

Unknown (but excellent) mint gifted to me from my Sister-in-law:

Trader Joe's basil bought at the end of Winter, potted up and still going strong. I have to BirdBlock it:

I also have some sage, rosemary and oregano, but don't have pictures at the ready. I grow garlic, parsley and cilantro through the Winter here.


Continuing the ginger experiment... We've had several hard frosts so far and a handful of nights in the mid 20s and the ginger tops got frosted down good. The soil temp thermometer has the soil around 50 but my kitchen thermometer (shhh I wash it off good) says 44 degrees. Thought I'd harvest some to check the status.
Pulled back the pine straw and dug around one end and broke off a piece (~1.25#).

Upon inspection the stems (which are thick) showed no softening from frost damage and the roots looked beautiful with no soft spots. So thus far it seems to be a great way to store and harvest fresh ginger. Will probably use some of this sample to pot up to a heat mat in February after it rests and dries some.

The worst of winter is not over and I plan to harvest after adverse cold events to see how it responds. Will also leave some in to see if/when it comes back.

Fall Vegetable Garden

They look beautiful.


Try papalo for a warm/hot weather substitute for cilantro. I always hated not having fresh cilantro available when the tomatoes were ready for salsa. I like papalo more than cilantro now (in salsa)- it adds a hint of lime to the flavor. As a word of warning, it can grow over 6 feet tall, so it may not fit in the same bed as many other herbs. The only disappointing thing about papalo is that my season (zone 6b) is usually too short to collect the seeds from the pods that are starting to develop.


Hey Noah,
Looks like a winner, but I have read that papalo smells like skunk. Your thoughts?


Strong scented and flavored, but nothing like skunk. I have grown papalo from two different seed sources and they were both very similar. Cilantro-like, with some lime and arugula flavor. Not exactly the same, but close enough. I do not think it would be an ideal replacement for cilantro in all recipes. We make salsa on a daily basis in the summer and I like papalo (both flavor and convenience-wise) better for that purpose.

My father-in-law hates cilantro and he hates papalo too. I think he has that genetic variant that makes him think that he is eating soap: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html


We've had temps down to 8 deg for several nights and several days where we did not get above freezing plus 12" of snow all at once. This is typically how bad it gets here, so I thought it was time to revisit the ginger experiment.
The stalks are somewhat visible here and the ground temp is 46 deg at 5"deep. (Note to self: Mark the ginger's location better - i.e. don't rely on the stalks as markers.)

The ground was very wet from the snow melt but there was no evidence of any softening or rotting of the ginger. The lower part of the stalks were firm and the ginger root was pretty easy to retrieve.

I pulled off a pretty large chunk to examine.

It was just beautiful.
It's looking like keeping ginger in ground year 'round in my zone is gonna be doable. Anyone wanting to try this next year may consider going out and measuring the ground temp under mulch. If the temp is above freezing, this is an easy way to have access to fresh ginger anytime.


So the conclusion of the ginger experiment is that the ginger will keep in ground over winter IF it is kept dry-ish. The last remaining piece of ginger in the ground succumbed to the wet soil from the 12" of snow last year. Note to self: Cover the area that the ginger is planted in with a tarp tent to shed water/snow away from the ground it is in.


And I was wondering if any herb growers on here have any extra African Blue Basil cuttings to share?


I have the plant, it looks rather weak this year. Wood is old and hard, not much new wood, I can try to give you a piece of the old wood.


Wow. Nice. Whatever cuttings you can spare I will see what I can do with them.


It never goes dormant, so do what you can. I’m not sure how they clone this one? But they must since seeds are sterile. The plant is a few years old. I just used some basil from it for garlic bread yesterday. Not as good as Italian but nice to have fresh basil. I’ll get it out this week, if you have any extra good tomato or pepper seeds, always looking for growers favorites, that would be nice!


Exactly - there are no seeds so you need to find cuttings, and fortunately, from what I’ve researched so far, it is easy to root. :blush:
I was thinking someone on here surely is growing this. Thanks Drew.


Here is my rosemary. It seems healthy but grows slow and the leaves curl a lot. Could this be from to much n?


I can’t see what you mean by curl. Is it rams horning? Ie top looks overly smooth and it curls out and down from the center, like the middle of the leaf is growing faster than the edge?


If you click twice on the photo you can see it well. My rosemary does not do that.
Mine is currently in a south window and will go under T-5’s once I start other plants.

I have VHO T-5’s, but the fixture can take the lower lumen T-5 HO too. Currently I’m using T-5 HO, the VHO are so hot, I don’t care for them, but they work well with a fan. I had a pepper plant that didn’t ripen it’s fruit so I brought it in.


Turmeric (left) and Galangal. I’ll play with the turmeric, cooking-wise, but the galangal is going to the compost b/c it is too spicy and perfume-y for me, although I wouldn’t mind a perfume made from it…well…actually I don’t wear perfume, but it smells awesome. Both were very easy to grow and def on the vigorous side.


I bought some peppers invite inside and have fighting aphids since…


I always treat three times before bringing in and that has worked for me the past few years. I use oil with an insecticide. Usually whatever I have on hand.