This is the twelfth in our biweekly series from Amy Pennington – urban farmer, founder of GoGo Green Garden, and author of Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening – on how to start growing your own food, no matter how tiny your garden-to-be is.Grab a pair of clippers, "borrow" a clipping or a root, and grow your own plants -- no seeds required.Sarah has been farming for years and she's an absolute pro, so I asked her to meet me out at a new space to help me devise the perfect garden plan.With at quick snip, she cut a couple inches length from the fig plant, looked at me, and whispered, "You want one?".Many herbs and plants can be divided by simply splitting up their roots: Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Chives, Tarragon, Lovage, and Marjoram are all perfect candidates.Dig up the plant and its entire root system as best you can in early spring or fall.This is best done in late spring or early summer -- cuttings prosper in warm conditions.Choose the newest growth and cut about a five inch length just below a set of leaves.Place the cutting directly into a small pot of potting soil (leave it unfertilized for now), being sure to bury the lowest leaf node (the node is the area below the lowest leaves that you just removed) and water well.This leaf node is where the bulk of the plant's hormones are located, and they will aid in root development.You will know it's ready when the cutting does not pull out of the soil with a gentle tug, indicating the new growth is sufficient for transplanting to a bigger pot.We'll be covering garden DIY – salvaged containers and clever (read: free!). .
How to Divide Herb Plants: 8 Steps (with Pictures)
Many people grow fresh herbs in their gardens or in pots in order to use them for cooking, seasoning or medicinal purposes. .
How to Harvest Chives All Year Round
As well as being attractive to both humans and pollinators for their globular bright purple flowers, they're flavorsome, not too fussy about where you grow them, and are tough enough to cope with just about any weather conditions.Chives can spread out and lose vigor over time, so dividing the plant every few years helps to keep it compact and productive too.The best time to divide chives for forcing indoors is on a dry day in autumn when the soil is moist but not wet – it shouldn't stick to your boots.Site them somewhere well-lit under cover – a cold frame, greenhouse, hoop house or even a sunny windowsill indoors are all fine.Being in active growth when they would normally be dormant is exhausting for plants however, so next year give your forced chives a rest from being harvested.It's not just chives that can be treated this way – other perennial herbs such as mint and French tarragon can also be forced for continued use during the winter months. .
Tips for Growing Basil from the Supermarket (Plants for Free
Growing basil from the supermarket is easy and by splitting them you’ll have dozens of plants that will thrive all year long.Basil, coriander, and even the thyme aren’t meant to last more than a couple of weeks.There’s no space in that tiny pot for dozens of plants to live so they run out of nutrients and die.Everything about their early life is monitored, from humidity to temperature, moisture, and nutrients.It’s a commercial greenhouse method that produces lush green growth and supermarket standards but not hardiness.The DIY involves dividing supermarket basil into individual plants and growing them in their own pots.Small individual pots – toilet paper rolls are perfect.Begin by taking the basil out of the pot and gently pulling the compost/root ball into two pieces.Using a slow but firm action in this step helps minimize damage.Gently pull and tease these larger plants out and use the smaller ones for your next meal.Removing them will make the plant focus energy on developing a good root system.The best part of this step is that you can use all of those growing tips to make a nice pesto that very day.Now place the plants in a warm conservatory, window sill, or greenhouse and keep them well watered.Hardening off involves setting the plants outside during the day and then taking them back indoors at night. .