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I'm the kiss of death to herbs it seems......

Okay, so I sow all seeds as instructed on the packets/gw site - they include Parsley, Basil and Chives....and if I'm lucky a few will germinate, grow about an inch tall then keel over and die on me:/ ....I don't overwater them and keep them on my kitchen windowsill  but to no avail...I have to resort to buying the supermarket herb pots which also keel over on me within a week and a half....any idea where I'm going wrong? I use Marshalls, Unwins and Suttons seeds... 


  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    Apart from all the obvious reasons, which I'm sure your doing right. Have to tried growing them in a different room, perhaps the conditions are not favorable for some reason or another.

    When I first started off, I too use to grow on my kitchen windowsill and everything would die shorty after germination. However, when I got new plastic windows it all changed. Perhaps, my old wooden windows were too drafty or harboured some weird spore that didn't like my seedlings. lol I don't know really, all a bit weird if I'm honest.


  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Read somewhere Parsley can be irratic at germination, it's also a biennial, try sowing it later in the year. Last year I sowed some about June/July time and planted it out late September in a sheltered nursery bed. to over winter. 

    It's still a little early to be sowing some herbs. Basil and coriander for instance, like it to be warmer. Basil's a meditarenian plant, some varieties do better in our climate, than others, I grow Minette which does well here in the North West.

    I don't think it's worth sowing perennial herbs when you only want one plant, far cheaper just to buy the plant from a GC or nursery. Chives, thyme, rosemary, lemon balm and mint don't seem to mind our most harsh winters, I'm sure there are others and so you don't need to keep sowing once you've bought your first plant and all these can easily be split.  

    I had the same problem with supermarket bought herbs so never buy them now.  

  • Thanks, I'll look for different varieties this week...I use lots of herbs in my cooking so need a constant supply..lemon balm has gone mad in my garden(typical as its the only herb I don't use and OH allergic to it...has major sneezing fits whenever he gets near to it lol) and last year Parsley grew to a mini forest in my veg bed but in the joy whatsoever..I'm trying them in the heated greenhouse too but I guess I'm being impatient againimage everything else I start off on the kitchen windowsill goes great guns so it is very odd:/

  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    I use a window box in a south facing window for my herbs many start as supermarket herbs at the very least with them they need repotting they seem to thrive on neglect. But they do like a south facing window on the north side they grow very poorly.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    I use a lot of herbs in cooking too. One of the advantages of having fresh is you can put hand fulls inimage. Made an aubergine dish the other day which needed a layer of basil, ever so tasty.

    If the seedlings are just keeling over, the problem could be damping off. I find watering from below and sprinkling a layer of vermiculite around the stem helps prevent this. 

  • Theres an old wives tale that says if the lady of the house can grow parsley she wears the trousers. I grow parsley at my allotment and its really sink or swim up there and it grows beautifully. Are you able to grow yours herbs outside slughunter?

  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    you have to have the right soil for Herbs,think about where they come from,hot dusty country to a wet cold soggy climate,no wonder they despair! I have very bad soil for herbs,so best to grow in pots with a good compost and drainage,because if you have clay soil they wont like it and if the weather is cold if they are in pots you can bring them in.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    If you sow parsley late in the year, you will have little use of it before it goes to flower the next spring.

    Sow early in the year, indoors, with heat then you will have strong plants to enjoy cropping through the late summer, autumn and winter into spring when it goes to seed.

    I think supermarket herbs are grown under optimum conditions which few of us can supply; maybe hydroponically. I find the tougher herbs like chives and thyme, etc. transplant most sucessfully.

    Basil is a good herb to sow sucessionally and thickly in troughs in the greenhouse.  Crop hard then discard. Ensure you remove the flowers and pinch out the tips frequently.

  • When I sow parsley I always boil a kettle of water and pour the hot water over the area where I am going to sow the seed, usually 100% sucess. Once you have parsley in the garden you need to sow every year as you can use it for 2 years before it goes to seed and dies.

    If you can grow parsley you are supposed to be a witch!

    Basil likes plenty of heat and light, is very tender and short lived.

    Most of the plants on sale in supermarkets are grown under special conditions so the move from home into the shops and then into our homes is usually too much for them and they turn up their toes and expire.

    Chives are quite hardy so try sowing them where you want them to grow in the garden later in the year or try buying a pot of them from a garden centre rather than a supermarket as they may be better hardened off.

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