Using Home Grown Herbs

I received a Chia herb garden kit as a gift and am growing parsley, basil, cilantro, and dill on my windowsill. The plants are doing well but I am wondering how big they have to get before I can start harvesting the herbs for cooking. I was also wondering if I can use my basic miracle grow houseplant food for the herbs or if I have to buy something special since the herbs will be used for cooking. Thanks for the help!

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Tracey from Hibbing, MN

May 9, 20080 found this helpful

Greetings,Tracey! Fresh herbs are great!! They take alot of abuse, the more you trim from them, the happier they tend to be (my kind of plant).You can pretty much use them as soon as they have leaves, and they no longer look like one pluck will uproot them. My advice for big healthy herbs, pluck the top growth off , helps them "bush" out better. But I wouldn't use miracle grow on anything that you plan on eating. Oh, and let the soil get a bit dry between watering. Like I said, herbs like alittle abuse! Good luck!

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May 10, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Tracey, I was going to say the same - that you can use them any time. Trim from the outside leaves, and the more you trim (within reason of course) the more bushy they grow. As a tip, do not let them go to seed! They often die after doing that, basil especially. You can use a liquid fertiliser, as long as it's not too strong. Have fun with them!

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May 12, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for your help! I will start using them now in my cooking. The chia instructions do say to use a liquid fertilizer, I just wasn't sure if my miracle grow for houseplants would cut it. Is there a special type/brand of liquid plant food for edibles? When I re pot the plants should I use a special type/brand of potting soil? Thanks again!

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May 12, 20080 found this helpful

People everywhere use Miracle Grow in their gardens. There are several different varieties, you may even find one just for your herbs. I am positive they have one for vegetables.

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July 7, 20090 found this helpful

Tracey,

Using Miracle Grow is very effective in making plants grow. I would suggest that you use a natural fertilizer so that your herbs will have the nutritional value they are supposed to have. Miracle Grow only contains (N) Nitrogen, (P)Potassium and (K)phosphorous. I hear they now have an Organic mix. (Organic is becoming hip)

Here is a website I just found a website with a discussion about Miracle Grow if you want to find out more:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/msg04163043711.html

Here's one quote from that site that might help you grow healthful herbs:

"Espoma GardenTone is a very good all around fertilizer it is premixed and mostly organic. It has a lot more minerals and nutrients in it than your typical NPK fertilizer. It doesn't shock your plants."

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