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Jul 8, 2013 11:08 AM

growing herbs?

Fully intended to put plants IN the ground but never got around to clearing the patch I planned to use... was either too rainy/wet, too buggy, or too hot... I'm not good at that!

So I have several very happy herbs in nice roomy pots right outside my front door. Several were rescued from school greenhouse when nobody claimed them at the end of school. Some are ones I was successful in NOT killing over winter indoors. A few were purchased.

This is what I have:

2 small bay trees (giviing one to sister soon)
basil (regular and purple)
flat-leaf parsely
and ??? a few more that can't recall right now.

I know to pinch back basil & not let it flower. I let chives flower and use in salads. I know some like an occasional "haircut"... to promote more/thicker growth. Thought I killed one of the bay trees when I totally forgot about it in a rarely used room. A nice long soak did NOT revive it, so I just kept cutting till I hit green in the branches and it did make a comeback.

If I scalp the chives, will they come back? Any herbs that really enjoy a summer buzz cut?

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  1. I only have a small plot so like to grow my herbs in amongst the more ornamental plants. Means I work to a number of rules - they have to be perennials, they have to look good and they have to be herbs I use.

    Chives I cut back once during the season - you can chop them and freeze in ice cube trays for winter use. I don't cut back any others except for occasional pruning to tidy up. No experience of basil, parsley or tarragon as they don't meet my perennial rule.

    1. This is actually a thread better suited to the Gardening board. You'll get more there, probably.

      But meanwhile: I find it helps to keep picking larger Italian parsley stems from the base of the plant, giving more energy to the smaller sprouts. In cases of way to much parsely and many other herbs, washing, seriously patting or spinning dry, and then freezing, are good tactics. In fact, at the end of the year last year, I made a big "log" of rolled parsely for freezing, using an internet source for the idea. Scroll down a bit here:

      It might be good to pick oregano so as to keep it from flowering, but I'm not so sure there.

      Scalped chives will come back. Chives are tough. I don't think any of your other herbs would prosper from such radical treatment, though. Rosemary grows rather slowly, I find, so it's good to start with a good sized plant if you use it often.

      1. I've kept potted parsley, chives and rosemary over winter sitting in a sunny windowsill. The chives just keep going, and going, but I replace the parsley and rosemary from seed when spring arrives.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DonShirer

          Yeah, chives are like grass in the lawn. I have chives in a pot. I use them so seldom that I basically pay them no attention. But they persist, drought-stricken or rain-soaked, and I'm happy for that, on the rare occasions when I desire chives...