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I purchased a mint plant, parsley plant as well as a basil plant in a 4-inch pot recently with hopes of putting them in my small herb garden. I know I must improve the soil first. My main question is: The parsley appears to be dying! I have it in full sun in my dining room, water it well, have even pinched the tips off. This does not help much. The same for the mint, although the mint is looking much healthier, but losing some of its green color. I waited so long because we have had cold snaps with even some sleet/freezing rain up until 2 weeks ago. Do you have any suggestions for me about planting these successfully? Maybe I am keeping them too wet? The outside herb garden is in full sun, and so far I have a small rosemary bush that has grown well for 5 years, and a lavender bush that is very vigorous. OR, would these herbs fare better in an herb pot? What kind of soil would be best? I ask this because I realize that, once established, rosemary grows in poor soil. Anything you can offer would be appreciated. I live in zone 7B- NC. Thanks.

Answer
Patricia:
First,the plants are getting root bound, because nurseries grow them with a fast fertilizer such as miracle grow to get them up quickly for sale. Take them out of small pots,look at bottom for roots that are bound up. If they are cut 1/2" off the bottom. Cut right thru the roots.Place back in pot a little larger or into ground if weather permits. Soil should be anything but clay. Add fertilizer to the hole before planting. I recommend a liquid fish or fish/seaweed fertilizer every 3 weeks. Cut back on watering,let nature do that.Once a week is enough. Give all plants morning sun from east. Prune the plants 1/3 from the top down on each branch. You are doing well with rosemary,be sure to prune this also. It loves to be prune for more vigorous growth a healthy plant. All can go into garden,except mint.Basil should not go into garden until night temps are in the low 70's. Pot should at least 12" or more deep.It hates it's roots touching bottom of pots. The flavor will change when it does.  It will eventually take over the garden if not control. Visit my web site:www.asktheherbman.net for some more tips. I hope this may help.

Love,
Leroy

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Leroy J. Wilton

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I have been growing herbs organically for 27 years. I have also written and self-published a book, "Herbman`s Journal".144+ pages of herbs that I have grown. Photo & short profile at the Smile Herb Shop on "you tube".Sign in "The healing herbs part 3A & 3B". My face book "the Herbman" You can request it from my e-mail.It is $28.95 with free shipping. 5517 Nome Ave., Balto..Md.21215. It is loose -leaf. A free "Herbman" t-shirt included while they last(large,X-large).It covers many names of herbs that I have grown, such as culantro,shadow bennie, recao de monte & 97 other names.

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I have been growing herbs organically for 27 years. I have also written and self-published, loose leaf binder, "Herbmans Journal". 2008 is my last year at Smile Herb Shop. I plan to grow herbs in my small back yard and sell at David's Natural Store in Columbia, Md. on saturdays. I also will return to the Baltimore Herb Festival in May 2009(memorial day weekend).I used the word organically grown, but the state came into the picture and stated that I could not use the word unless I become certified & paid a $300.00 fee. I decided to add to my name (99% chemical-free) since nothing on this planet is 100%, except Jesus Christ, taxes & death. My customers were satisfied with this instead of paying a large fee and raising my prices,with no guarantee that it is organic except for a label.Their belief was in my word.

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Book: "Find your calling,love your life" Martha Finney & Debra Dasch,98',(Simon & Schuster) page 42. www.askthisherbman.com

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