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How often should I water?

Gardeners, I need your help with just a quick question.

I have either just planted or will be planting the following herbs:
- Dill
- Cilantro
- Italian Parsley
- Sweet Basil
- Chives
- Rosemary
- Oregano
- Mint
- Lavender

How often should I water each one, and with what amount of water? The parsley, basil, and chives are all in the same long container and it doesn't drain. The rest are in draining pots. I'm a notorious over-waterer. Not only have I killed many orchids in my time, I have also killed a cactus... in West Texas. Even though I've checked Google, I couldn't find super-consistent information, and I'd like to double check my results.

Also, should I keep these outside or in the windowsill? We get decent sunlight in the window sills but it's cloudy often, and we don't have a lot of windows to use. However, I live in a pretty humid environment, not to mention the neighborhood is overrun by possums and raccoons, so I'm hesitant to put them outside if they will actually grow inside.

Thank you so much!

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
rainarana
Mar. 18th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
I always grow mine outside. I kill indoor plants. But with the basil, especially if you have a tendency to over-water, it should be in a draining pot. It likes a decent watering, avoid the leaves, and then most of the water drained out, so the soil is moist but not wet. I also wouldn't worry about animals getting your herbs. Rabbits, maybe, but possum and raccoons won't bother them.
tokio
Mar. 18th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, I decided to grow them outside. Thank you!
plantyhamchuk
Mar. 18th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
Your plants need different amounts of water - rosemary and lavender need less (generally speaking) than say, mint. But it's actually good to stress herbs a bit with underwatering, they'll be more flavorful. I'd plant them outside. How much water they need depends on a lot of things, like how sunny a spot they are in and what kind of soil they're in. The best way to check is to put your fingers in the soil 2" down to check for moisture. If it's still moist, generally speaking they'll be okay but if it's dry go ahead and give a good soak, preferably in the mornings or evenings (less water lost due to evaporation), at the roots. If you're doing everything in containers, just remember that the smaller the container, the more it will dry out. I'm absent-minded so I use bigger ones.
tokio
Mar. 18th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
Ah, that's a good tip about the containers! I didn't know that, thank you. I decided to grow them all outdoors, but I am going to use pots because we're moving in a few months and I don't want to stress out the plants too much.

Thanks!
tokio
Mar. 20th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
Another question, if you don't mind. Should I keep the soil for the newly planted seeds moist continually, or should I let it begin to dry before I water it? Sorry, I'm really awful at finding consistent gardening information on Google.
plantyhamchuk
Mar. 20th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
You want them to be moist, but, you have to be careful because they can also mold if they're too consistently wet. Mixing a thin layer of sand on the top layer can help prevent said molding.

Much of gardening is trying to find a balance, and it depends on your set up on how to get there - that's why there's so much conflicting information out there.
auntie_lovie
Mar. 18th, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
Most furry pests have most herbs, but especially chives!! Maybe the mint would be okay in a non-draining pots, but I would think it's kiss of death to the others. Can you find some cheap-to-free plastic pots to put inside the non-draining pots? Most of plants on your list like sunny but dry, I'd put them outside if it's warm enough.
tokio
Mar. 20th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
It's definitely warm enough outside, so I moved all of them outside and I've been making sure to keep them in the sun. The chives/basil/parsley are planted in a little narrow metal pail, and I've been instructed to take them out when they're a few inches tall, but I've decided to just drill a few holes and leave them in there for a while.
(Deleted comment)
tokio
Mar. 20th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Ah, very cool! Thanks!
calizen
Mar. 20th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Now if I can only figure out what to do with raccoons!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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