Messages posted to thread:

Erin23-Jan-05 10:59 AM EST 2a   
Duncan23-Jan-05 01:59 PM EST 4a   
Patricia23-Jan-05 07:31 PM EST 5   
Dan25-Jan-05 01:33 PM EST   
Janine26-Jan-05 07:31 AM EST 2b   
janine26-Jan-05 07:44 AM EST 2b   
Dan30-Jan-05 08:00 AM EST   

Subject: herb in 2a?
From: Erin (
Zone: 2a
Date: 23-Jan-05 10:59 AM EST

Hi, I hope everyone can bear with me cause I am new not only to this site but also to gardening. Me and my mom are getting ready to renovate our whole yard and put in gardens everywhere. It's pretty overwhelming with all the information out there but is there and really basic but necessary tips or advice that I need. Maybe something that you wish you had of know when you started gardening?Thanks Erin

Subject: RE: herb in 2a?
From: Duncan (
Zone: 4a
Date: 23-Jan-05 01:59 PM EST

The one thing I wish someone had told me when I started gardening is, "Duncan, you have no idea how many mistakes you are going to make and how much money you are gonna spend." Having said that, I am still gardening.

There are plenty of good books and magazines out there, as well as local gardening groups. But the person who will be able to give you some of the best advice is that neighbor we all have who's yard looks like it belongs in an edition of "Better Homes"...that's the person who will know about what will do best in your area. Most of these people are very proud of their gardening accomplishments and are more than willing to share their knowledge if asked.

One word of caution if I may; you may not want to try the "whole yard" in the first year. Start in a sunny location,build on your success stories and learn to laugh at your mistakes.

"Welcome to the Dark Side"

Subject: RE: herb in 2a?
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 23-Jan-05 07:31 PM EST

Remember: it's your garden, nobody else's. Listen to all the good advice, but do it your way. I agree with Duncan above: start small because if you try to do too much the first year, you will get discouraged. Once you have planted a bed, you have to go back fairly often and keep the weeds in check. Ask at the nurseries for plants that are "easy to grow" - I have some plants in my yard that I bought 25 years and three houses ago! Going by the subject line, are you asking what herbs will grow in Zone 2A? If yes, then I suggest that you start with annual herbs - plant when your soil is nice and warm - wait till June. You will harvest lots of good stuff within a very short season. Try dill and basil, yummy! As for herbs that are perennial (come back every year) start with mint: mint is pretty easy to grow. Good luck!! Enjoy!

Subject: RE: herb in 2a?
From: Dan (
Date: 25-Jan-05 01:33 PM EST

Hi Erin You can grow lots of herbs and stuff in your zone. It will be tough though to get a whole spice/herb cabinet going because of late and early frosts. What about starting from seed and then potting up into containers intead of planting directly into the ground? If you go to the National Gardening Bureau you'll see they have some very neat container combinations> grow a pesto pot, how about all the ingredients for a sphaghetti sauce- with a peper and tomato plant in the centre. I think you'll also find that these can be very decorative. The benefit, other than being easy and cheap, is that when a hard frost is approaching you can slide them under cover. Good luck and good eating.

Subject: RE: herb in 2a?
From: Janine (
Zone: 2b
Date: 26-Jan-05 07:31 AM EST

Hi Erin Welcome to the wonderful world of gardening. I really agree with Duncan's advice about looking for someone in your neighborhood with a great yard and asking their advice. A lot of the books and magazines are written by gardeners who think of zone 5 or 6 as being northern! There are a lot of plants, trees and shrubs that will thrive for us. I love to go to the Nursery and garden centres in Edmonton (my nearest city) and asking lots of questions about plant hardiness, what kind of soil it likes, and whether it needs to be in the sun, shade, moist, or well drained soil. The best thing about gardening is that there is always something to learn, and always next year to dream about. Good luck!

Subject: RE: herb in 2a?
From: janine (
Zone: 2b
Date: 26-Jan-05 07:44 AM EST

PS I think when you find a Nursery with knowledgable staff that can help you with plant choices it's important to support them by buying some of your plants there.

Subject: RE: herb in 2a?
From: Dan (
Date: 30-Jan-05 08:00 AM EST

Janine, I couldn't agree with you more re the knowledgeable staff comment. You may be able to guess that I work at such a place. Generally, the good nurseries and garden centres (I will include some of the summer asphalt nurseries)who do employ such staff will have slightly higher prices. There are a few reasons why this extra price is well worth paying. You will likely have better success and the plant itself will have received better care during its stay. Also, good nurseries will stock the plants that grow in your area- they want repeat business from a happy customer. If they do sell plants requiring extra care or micro-climate, they will be able to tell you. We do have customers mining us for information and then purchasing the plants elsewhere. Occassionally it does burn my ..., but over the long run it is to our corporate benefit to service even these non-customers with a smile. Zone 5 and 6 being North?? I once received a very nasty letter from someone on this site with that exact omplaint. The best thing I can say is to take a look at who wrote the book, where they have gardened, and for whom the book is being written. The unfortunate bottom line is that Zone 5 and up is the lucrative end of the stick. That said, you folks in the Edmonton area have one excellent current resource ( Lois and Jim Hole's nursery and books) and one soon to arrive (Donna Dawson- you may have heard of her-) that will stand in good stead to you cooler customers. A non-book resource that works best is web sites- like this one where you can find articles about Alaskan gardening. However, as Duncan says, visit the gardens in your area and join the local horticultural club. You will meet the nicest people, guaranteed.

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