Problems with herbs

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Pawty
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Problems with herbs

Postby Pawty » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:27 am

Hi,

I love keeping a good variety of herbs in the back garden. Usually, pretty trouble free, but this year I've had a few problems which I'm after some advice on -

Chives - my plants are maybe five years old, which have been split a few times. On two occasions this year have been completely covered in black fly (a first for me). The first time I sprayed. The second time I cut back all the plants to around 4 inches and have sprayed. Has anyone else comes across this and is there anything I can do?

Oregano - always had a problem with this and find I have to replace every year. It's in a pot on the patio. Should it be kept watered, in full sun, shade, feed, cut??? No mater what I do, it fails.

Tarragon - 5 year old plant, split last year both in pots. One died, the other is just growing on one stalk from ground level, rather than lots? Again am I growing in the wrong conditions?

Parsley, basil, mint, rosemary sage, tyme are all fine (for now).

Thanks

Pawty
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dan3008
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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby dan3008 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:21 pm

I dont know much about Chives or Tarragon, but oregano I've grown for years.

my current plant is 4 years old. The thing about oregano is that its a VERY tender perennial. Its supposed OK in a warm greenhouse over winter, but I've only ever got it to survive inside. Personally, I take some cuttings and root them every september, and grow them on the windowsill untill april/may when frost has passed
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Geoff
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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:27 pm

Can't really help a lot.
Chives - I just leave them to get on with it in a bed, never had trouble with blackfly on them but then I rarely get them even on Broad Beans.
Oregano - I grow in a pot in the polytunnel, cut it down and and it comes again next year.
Tarragon - I assume French - again I grow in a tub in the polytunnel, it does come again each year but better to take cuttings in the Summer before it gets tatty. These do die down but seem to come stronger the next year than older plants. You've reminded me I haven't taken the cuttings I should've (oops can't use that word I don't own it).
Whether Hampshire let's you do outside what I grow in the polytunnel I don't know.
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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby Westi » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:47 pm

Hi Pawty

My chives just self sow everywhere, so long as they aren't in the way too much or just too many close together I let them, as the bees love them & I've never had black fly or even split them. As a newbie I planted Russian tarragon - big mistake, thug of a thing, so I hoe it off in the wrong places and try to dig it out in the herb bed. My oregano is marjoram - another newbie mistake and another thug, but has some work to do to catch up with the nuisance that the tarragon is. As least it stays in the bed.

Don't start me on the bronze fennel or the lemon balm! :D Plan for over winter is to start again & to do a bit of research on interplanting some of the herbs with the veg, then take them out at end of season. My herb bed is quite large & takes precious space. I'll wait to see council response to having to give up a plot next year first though! :(

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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:55 am

I have difficulty getting French tarragon through the winter even if I bring it into the greenhouse as it's too cold and wet here, but have managed it once or twice by keeping it on the dry side.

Chives do better if you renew them every two or three years. They keep growing for ages but get smaller leaves and arent as vigorous. They do seed all over so I just throw out the old ones and keep the new self seeded clumps. I grow quite a few nastirtiums around the garden and they are a black fly favourite so they are less likely to cause much damage on other plants.

I've had golden oregano for years and it is happy in full sun with good drainage. It has seeded around and is easy to take cuttings from. The Greek oregano with tiny leaves is too tender for our winters and the marjoram is tough as old boots and seeds itself all over. The bees and butterflies like it so it usually gets a reprieve.
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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby Tony Hague » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:00 pm

PLUMPUDDING wrote:I've had golden oregano for years and it is happy in full sun with good drainage. It has seeded around and is easy to take cuttings from. The Greek oregano with tiny leaves is too tender for our winters and the marjoram is tough as old boots and seeds itself all over. The bees and butterflies like it so it usually gets a reprieve.


I have the same experience of golden oregano, but the Greek oregano I bought as seed from Suffolk herbs in not a small leafed variety, and is pretty robust. It overwinteres and self seeds, and I have not had to buy another pack of seed in about 10 years. It is the best flavour - but as a philhellene I would say that.
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Pawty
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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby Pawty » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:27 am

Many thanks.

The chives are already looking better. I fear the oregano and tarragon may be destined for the composter and new plants being purchased next year...

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Re: Problems with herbs

Postby Primrose » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:28 pm

My oregano was planted out into a fairly sunny border from a small pot plant and the clump grows embarrassingly bigger every year and part of it needs to be chopped off to keep the size under control . It dies back in winter to virtually bare stick stalks but however bad the winter weather it always returns with a vengeance in spring.

I have problems keeping my flat leaved parsley going. I think the soil here is too dry and stoney and unlike other people I've never been able to get it to self seed and regenerate. The chives self seed fairly easily though.
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