Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Herb Garden this Year

Along with my big new veggie garden I had planned to install a small herb garden this year around my birdbath. I looked forward to planting basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, lavender, and dill. But, I never found just the right way to cut cardboard in a perfect circle to smother the grass so I could make the bed. Any suggestions?

Anyway, this is what I have now: 4 basil plants I transplanted into what was the spinach bed, potted rosemary, chives, and parsely from last year, lavender and tiny cilantro transplants in a small planter, and dill and oregano that didn't sprout. It is a sad herb situation around here.

At least the basil is doing well. I transplanted it a couple weeks ago and it has started to grow new leaves, so I think I'll fertilize it today. I do love tomato sauce with fresh basil! Usually I grow basil with tomatoes because they seem to do better, but I am curious if maybe this is because I baby my tomatoes so much, so this year I'm growing them separately and trying to give equal love to all my plants.


  1. How did you try to make a circle? Trace a garbage can on to the cardboard? Make your own compass from string and a spike?

  2. Ooh, Nick would like the string idea! Maybe he would even do it for me! I did think about a trash can, but then I have no choice about the size and it is a small space.

  3. Have you ever had your cilantro plants flower and stop producing? I think I let the roots get too warm when I was on a trip because I came home and shoots of flowers had sprouted! I read online that the flowers produce seeds and I can replant those to keep the cilantro going... but I don't see any seeds. Where are the seeds?

  4. @Melissa: Yep, my cilantro goes to seed when it gets warm. Are they first year or second year plants? I don't remember my cilantro plants making many seeds the first year (3 years ago) and it doesn't look like they'll make many this year, but I think they did make a lot last year as 2-year-old plants. Here in Maryland my cilantro comes back in the fall, and then again in the spring the second year. I'm not sure if it will do that in Chicago or not.

    Or you might just need to give it a little more time. Are the flowers dried up?

  5. The flowers aren't dry yet, but they probably will be soon. Do the seeds come out once the flowers are dry? I'm very confused!

    Do you just continue taking care of the plant and then it comes back on its own or is there some other trick I don't know about?

  6. I have never paid attention to when the seed forms, but from looking at mine it seems like there's still plenty of time for it to make seed. Lots of plants do form seeds after the blossoms fade; once the plant is fertilized the blossom has done its part.

    While it's dormant your plant shouldn't need much care, except if it's in a pot you want to keep watering often enough to keep the soil from drying out. I don't know if that would kill the plant but dry potting soil is a PITA to re-hydrate. I just leave mine outside and nature does the rest - no tricks on my part. Good luck!