Urban Gardening: Moving on to Herbs

For your reference, here is a list of entries under the Urban Gardening series:



Before anything else, allow me to show you the latest photo of my urban garden:

No more tomato plants; I've moved on to herbs!

I've since given up on trying to grow fruit-bearing plants, mainly because they turned out to be quite high-maintenance. I can only go as far as making the plants flower, but it takes a certain kind of effort (and environmental conditions) for the flowers to pollinate. I wasn't able to bring my tomato plants to fruition, so screw it I'm moving on to herbs.

I haven't been keeping track on my herbs as diligently as I should, but at the very least I remember the order of purchase (and potting). I buy most (rather, all) of my herbs in Marketplace, it being near the office.

Sweet Basil

One pot contains around three seedlings; I separated them and planted
them in separate containers to ensure more yield.

Basil plants are rather easy to grow and also easy to propagate.

To propagate basil plants, simply snip a part of the thick stem, pull out around two rows of leaves from the bottom, and put the stem in a jar of water. In about two weeks root will start to grow. Once a significant root ball has grown, you can plant the cuttings into the soil.

NOTE: Basil plants are rather sensitive to sudden changes in watering schedule. Over-watering may cause the leaves to wilt, while under-watering may cause the leaves to shrivel up. Basil plants also need lots of sun, so it is best to water frequently.

Thyme

This one's a bit tricky to maintain as the plant itself is rather thin.

Not much has changes since I first purchased the plant;
they're supposed to be creepers but I still see no creeping from them.

My interest in growing thyme started when I saw one of Gordon Ramsay's videos, particularly the one about cooking the perfect steak:


Towards the end of the video when he was basting the steak with garlic and butter, he also added thyme sprigs for that herb-y flavor. I like steak, therefore by the law of transitivity I like thyme as well.

However, looking at the growth rate of my thyme plant, I don't think that I can make a harvest to use for steak-cooking, just yet.

Mint

I don't know what variety of mint I have, if it is peppermint,
spearmint, or
whatever mint.

By far, my mint has got to be the most successful grower in my urban garden.

As I have observed, my mint plant is the most resilient plant in my urban garden. Its original container had a soil depth that was too shallow; it cannot accommodate the rapid growth of the plant. Thankfully, the plant isn't shy to express its discontent, showing its withered leaves openly. After transplanting the herb to a larger container, the plant's leaves rarely shrivel up.

Downside is, the plant is starting to overflow from its current container. I don't know of any other uses for mint aside from making mojito, so I don't really harvest from this plant that much.

Rosemary

I do not have a later picture of my plant,
but the growth isn't going too well.
:(

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take a picture of my rosemary together with its label.

Like the thyme, I'm having a bit of a hard time growing this herb. Currently, most of the leaves are dried out and there is only one shrub left that is fully green. Methinks that I would be repurchasing another seedling soon.

Oregano

Oregano is a creeper, much like thyme,
but the leaves and stems aren't as delicate.

I have to be honest with you: right now, my herbs (especially the basil) aren't looking good. I recently tried a DIY insecticidal spray for plants to get rid of the insects swarming around the garden. However, I think I made the spray a bit too concentrated, which burnt the leaves on my mint and caused my basil leaves to fall off.  I tried to spray some water on the plants to dilute the solution somewhat, but I've yet to see if my plants will recover.

Updates, tips, and lessons learned in the future. Keep in touch!

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