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Author Topic: What is it about supermarket herbs?  (Read 6575 times)

blakestyger

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« on: 26/04/2009 19:44:54 »
When you buy fresh herbs growing in pots, ready to be used, at supermarkets it should be possible to sit them on a windowsill, keep them watered and use them over a long period with them getting bigger - even stick them in the garden and grow them on.

But this doesn't work - they've only planted a few seeds in some compost and let them grow - why is this?


 

Offline dentstudent

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #1 on: 27/04/2009 07:36:13 »
I think that cost is the main issue -  there is so little real soil in the pots, that the herbs dry out very quickly. This lack of soil also reduces the capacity for nutrient uptake. I have however, successfully planted-on basil and parsley from supermarket purchases - they are currently on my balcony and doing very well!
 

Offline Don_1

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2009 09:05:45 »
Having never tried this, I can only assume that DS is right. Since these plants are intended for use as a 'one-off' in your kitchen and the grower/retailer does not want to be sued by you for an infestation caused by their product, I think it probable that the growing medium will be sterile. It could be a spent compost mixed with a low absorbency fibre. (I am guessing here). If this is the case, the plant would have been nurtured by some means of hydroponics. By the time it gets to the supermarket, there will be very little nutrient left in the growing medium, perhaps just enough for a few days or so. It will remain sterile, thus you wont find a slug or earwig creeping out into your kitchen during the night.

Simply watering the plant would not keep it alive, but use of a water soluble fertiliser might prolong it's life. Or, as DS did, plant out into a good compost. But it would be easier to buy plants from a garden center, where they would be planted in pots filled with a suitable medium for growing. Alternatively, you can buy packs of mixed herb seeds and grow them yourself.
 

Offline dentstudent

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #3 on: 27/04/2009 09:09:01 »
Good thought about the sterile soil - hadn't considered that.

It seems that the supermarket herbs are forced and are perhaps less than a month old when the reach the shop-floor. This means that they are very tender and haven't been "hardened", and hence have a short life expectancy. Many of the herbs bought from garden centres have been over-wintered, and so are more rugged and likely to survive.
« Last Edit: 27/04/2009 09:17:30 by dentstudent »
 

blakestyger

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #4 on: 27/04/2009 10:41:05 »
Thank you both - sterile soil, I hadn't thought of that.

I usually grow all my own herbs but some, especially basil, can be a bit difficult - this seemed like a short cut, especially if you can pick up a reduced pot. I fear I'm turning into a tightwad.
 

Offline dentstudent

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #5 on: 27/04/2009 10:44:30 »
tightwad = thrifty, in my book, though thrift is easier when one is so impecunious
 

Offline tangoblue

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #6 on: 30/04/2009 11:20:45 »
They will be hard to plant on so that the herb dies and you have to buy another one, giving the supermarket more money.
 

Offline rosalind dna

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #7 on: 06/05/2009 14:54:01 »
If I have bought any herbs in pots from supermarkets then I replant/repot them into proper soil and bigger pots to give the
root ball more growing space/

Depending om which herb you purchase then first check to see, how damp the plants are already, Never over-water them or they'll die
Good luck
 

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What is it about supermarket herbs?
« Reply #7 on: 06/05/2009 14:54:01 »

 

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