Taylor's Guide to Herbs by Rita Buchanan

By Rita Buchanan

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Soil stays wet for — Plants in containers need to be fertilized. amount of to retain, when soil in a pot is The limited never sufficient to supply, or even enough nutrients for sustained growth, especially regular watering keeps washing the nutrients away. Use whatever fertilizer you prefer, organic or synthetic, or alternate between two or more products to provide a more balanced diet of nutrients. Soluble fertilizers, which you mix with water, are particularly convenient. Figure the capacity of your watering can, and set aside a special measuring spoon to use for measuring the amount of fertilizer to dissolve in a canful of water.

Soil or with a half-and-half mix of potting soil Water gently to settle the soil around the base of the cutting. Set the potted cuttings inside a cardboard box <>r deep enough to hold them, and cover the top of the container with a sheet of clear plastic sheeting to keep the air inside moist. Set the box or tub in a bright place right next to a north window, on the north side of a building, or under artificial light. Avoid direct sun, which would overheat it and burn the new plants. Check the cuttings every day.

An often-heard argument against fertilizing herbs is produces large plants with little flavor or fragrance. sometimes fertilizing produces That's not necessarily true large plants with all the more flavor and fragrance. If you're curious, try comparison plantings of the same herb. Fertilize one but not the other, see what difference it makes, and decide for yourself whether to fertilize or not. Try the same experiment with different kinds of fertilizers, and compare the that it — results. — There are dozens of good fertilizer products available farm manures and processed manure products; animal byproducts such as blood meal and bone meal; agricultural commodities such as alfalfa meal and cottonseed meal; fish emulsion and seaweed extracts; worm castings; mineral dusts such as rock phosphate and greensand; and synthetic fertilizers in granulated, soluble, and timed-release forms.

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