growing lawns & herbs

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by tollhousegoddess, Aug 28, 2001.

  1. tollhousegoddess

    tollhousegoddess

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    Wow. I never thought I'd have many of my lawn problems address on Chef Talk. I was ready to start surfing the web for a lawn board. I am curious if people have good luck in growing herbs inside during the winter months. We have a pot of rosemary that lasted through last winter. It just went dormant and didn't grow much at all. It made up for lost time in the spring & summer. I would love to have basil all year round but have never had any luck growing it. The stalks get woody and the leafs get black. Also, I'd love to grow cilantro...I've never ever had a bit of luck growing that. It gets very long and stalky and the leaves do not fill in. Any suggestions?
     
  2. isa

    isa

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    Welcome to Chef Talk tollhousegoddess !


    I tried to bring in some of my herb plants plant at the end of the summer but they don't stay alive for long.
     
  3. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Well... I had to respond to my husbands mistress, my husband is definately the tollhousegod! He seems to think HIS are the best in the whole world and loves slow Sundays so he can partake in his favorite sport: baking his speciality, which he so kindly teaches me his secrets each time.....(by the way I'm a pastry chef and he uses the tollhouse recipe on the bag, but.....I'm not dumb, it's nice to eat someone elses baked goods).

    Sorry, I'll get back to your subject. Growing cilantro is tricky because it doesn't wait for you. When it's real small it must be pinched back alot to get a nice bundle. Otherwise it won't get very full and will be thin and leggie. You must harvest it all at once when it appears to be about equal to a bundle like you buy at grocerie store, per-plant. Don't try to take small cuttings, it doesn't work. As soon as the plant reaches it's peak bushiness in earily summer one day it will just bolt into a completely different plant and it creates cilantro seeds. You can't hold one plant thru the season and try to harvest from it slowing, just take the whole plant when its at it's peak.

    Growing herbs indoors takes good grow lights to make it thru the winter. The plants won't thrive, certainly not enough for you to cook from them.

    Both cilantro and basil are one season plants (like a tomato plant). When the basil turns dark it's done, spent. Where as rosemary is a perenial and it does go thru dormancy and rebirth every year. I think drying your herbs is the easiest way to have them in the winter....
     
  4. nancya

    nancya

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    I don't have much luck with indoor herbs over the winter. I do winter the pots indoors, however, and one spring when I hauled them out again, Chamomille had taken over all the pots!

    BTW Wendy, IMHO, the secret to tollhouse cookies is to add an extra 1/2 cup of flour to the recipe. [​IMG]
     
  5. w.debord

    w.debord

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    My personal secret is an extra tsp. of vanilla....my husbands is to (yuk) underbake them, he calls anything that's not totally pale, a burn bottom (like a large kid). We're goofey....


    P.S. isn't chamomile a perenial???? I've never grown it.
     
  6. cape chef

    cape chef

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    W.Debord,
    There are many types of "Chamomile"Annual and perennial.
    Double flowered
    Dyers
    English
    German
    Moraccan
    Roman
    Yellow
    Perennial Chamomile "Roman"has an apple scent to the leaves,The leaves are feathery.
    This is the one most used in teas.So you might find this one under the"English"variaty.

    Herbs like Rosemary and laural I plant in the ground in a clay pot 2 times larger then needed and then in late fall I dig them up and bring them in doors,I find if you pick or trim them over the cold season they will still develope fresh shoots. basil and cilantro is a different story.Unless you have a temperate room designed with proper sun and moisture you will be fooling yourself in the off season.
    Depending on the winter you get there are a couple of herbs that can be picked in the colder climats(depending on snow)
    Sorrel,Burnet,Hardy thymes and sage even Marjoram.If you cover other herbs (tarrogon,mint,chervil) with a class or plastic cloche you can get a couple of extra weeks out of them.
    cc
     
  7. nancya

    nancya

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    CC: Besides taking over all my pots, what I remember best about this chamomile was if you sniffed it really lightly, it had a horribly bitter, chemical smell....but if you breathed deeply, it was really, really sweet. 'twas an interesting plant.
     
  8. tollhousegoddess

    tollhousegoddess

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    I've never tried chamomille and am sorry to say I don't know what you'd use it for except for tea?

    My chocolate chip cookie receipe isn't off the bag :) It's actually an M&M cookie recipe and I do 2/3rds semi-sweet chips and 1/3 white chocolate. The white chocolate adds an extra dimension to the taste.

    Back to the herbs. A friend of my mother's is Cuban and she has a perennial cilantro plant. The leaves are wide and flat and look like a cactus plant. Anyone heard about where to get such a plant? I need to ask her for a clipping and see if I can transplant it. Her's lasts all year long.
     
  9. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Wow , that would be cool...it lasts thru Buffalos winters thats' impressive. I hope you pass on the info. if you find out any more about it?

    P.S. My Moms family was (and some still) from Buffalo...my grandma would be traped for days in the house from snow storms until someone could come by and dig her out. She had the largest store room for keeping canned goods and such for those times (I forget what they called those rooms). Does anyone ever do that anymore, stock a room full of food for the winter? I suppose that's a sily question.......
     
  10. tollhousegoddess

    tollhousegoddess

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    Your grandmother must live in the southtowns because typically (and last year was not a typical year) the city and northern suburbs don't get *that* much snow. Plus, we've got great plow drivers that work all night long if need be. We're used to driving around in the snow so it doesn't really stop us much. I grew up outside of Syracuse (and learned to love to bake from my mom) and there was much more snow and cold where I grew up compared to here (I live in a northern suburb of Buffalo).

    The perenial cilantro plant is an indoor plant. It doesn't stay outside. I don't even know if she puts it outside during the summer. I'll have to get a clipping, see if I can start one and let you know.