Herbal remedies?

August 5, 2009

parsley seedlingOkay, so contrary to all sensible advice I have planted my herb seedlings too early, and now they’re in the garden – surviving, but still looking decidedly peaky.

I separated all the weeny dicotyledons (love saying that) and planted them in the new herb bed a few centimetres apart. But at this time of the year, until the sun gets a little higher and reaches over the studio roof all day instead of for only three or so hours, the bed just ain’t getting quite enough sun I guess.

The thyme, planted in a long row right along the cement edge of the bed (as advised by Jamie here), is looking just fine, nice and deep green. But the parsley, basil and coriander all seem to be wearing this rather wan shade of green that doesn’t quite convince.

I’ve been watering every couple of days, very gently with a watering can (from our new rainwater tank – so satisfying), and have given them one slurp of seaweed food and one of diluted worm juice. Is this too much, or not enough, do you think?

The basil in particular (the fat-leafed baby at the back of this pic) seems to have completely stalled, though looks quite upstanding still, so I’m thinking from Jamie’s earlier advice that despite our current average daily maximums of 19 and 20 degrees C,  it’s perhaps still just too cold for this summer herb?

I’m hoping the main issue is warmth and sunshine, which will gradually improve as we move towards spring.

But bring on the advice! Do let me know if I’m doing anything else wrong, specially with the food and beverages?


  1. Charlotte
    I think you transplanted them a bit early, especially the basil. It’s best to wait until the babies are about 7-10cm high before transplanting them, but what’s done is done. Presumably you have seed left over, so what I’d do is sow some more seed straight into the ground where you have transplanted the babies, and then let nature take its course. If your transplants cark it, the new ones which come up from the freshly sown seeds will get going in mid to late August, by which time it should be getting a bit warmer. By the end of September or early October you’ll have herbs to harvest.
    The worm poo is good for the babies, and applying it, diluted in water, once a week should help. But don’t get too attached to your basil babies…
    (Caveat: last year I told Fenella she was doomed with her tulips and yet they eventually flowered, so I actually, truly rooly, love it when I’m wrong, especially where baby plants are involved.)

    • D’oh. Thanks Jamie… I hope my doom is the Fenella kind, but I suspect you’re right again. Excellent advice about the other seed, will do that post haste and if they all survive I will be ruthless…!

  2. As a notorious black thumb, I am staying right out of this one, except to wish you good luck!

  3. This is slightly similar to a situation at school. A teacher has picked her tadpoles too early, and although they are meant to grow legs in twelve weeks, it is now sixteen weeks in and no legs in sight. She has added rocks as encouragement to climb, for which they need … legs. Perhaps you could use similar encouragement. Maybe plant a tomato nearby? Or perhaps both need more warmth, and their owners more patience?

  4. My recently sowed coriander is surviving – just. It’s a bit cold for basil.

    Good luck!

  5. […] and for those of you desperately wondering (ha) about my ailing herbs , they have survived! I got sick of waiting though, so bunged some much larger seedlings in the […]

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