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Old February 13, 2018   #1
Cole_Robbie
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Default Container Gardens of Greens and Herbs

I have a lot of 9" mum pots left over from last year. I am thinking that I can plant then with lettuce, greens, and herbs and sell them as container gardens in the spring. The pots are quite large, and I use a time-release fertilizer, so it should be a good product for the customer.

I planted my first seeds yesterday. So far I have:

Emily Basil, dwarf variety, my favorite basil
Ethiopian Blue Mustard, from Fred Hempel, one of the best greens I ever tasted
Endives
Cat Grass, which is just wheat
Rainbow Chard
Green and Red Mizuna
Green and red leaf lettuce
Kale
Cilantro

Customers always ask for more than one variety of herb mixed into the same container, but I have a hard time accomplishing that. I have seen the same product on big box store shelves and the mixture is always very poorly paired, like planting Genovese Basil next to rosemary. That's going to look great for about a week, until the basil overgrows and chokes out the rosemary.

I could probably grow two microdwarf tomatoes in one pot, also. I have a yellow cherry, Aztec, that I like. I can pair that with a dfollet red cherry. Dan's red/pink microdwarf cherries are the best I have ever tasted. I think customers would love the combination with Aztec in the same pot.

I will update this thread with pics. I also welcome any suggestions of seeds or rooted plugs to try in these container gardens.
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Old February 13, 2018   #2
Nan_PA_6b
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Tatsoi is adorable.

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Old February 14, 2018   #3
bitterwort
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I've done different types of basils (purple, lemon, lime, Thai, genovese, etc) and they usually go pretty well and don't overpower each other early on.
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Old February 14, 2018   #4
kevrow73
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The Ethiopian Blue Mustard sound interesting, I think I'll give it a try.

Thanks
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Old February 14, 2018   #5
Nan_PA_6b
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I could see people buying a mixed pot of nothing but (well-labelled) basils.

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Old February 15, 2018   #6
PotGarden
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I agree with Nan on the basils. Emily gets pretty large for me, but I seem to have a way with basil. There are also smaller ones like Sweet Greek and Spicy Globe. Some small parsley might be nice in containers like that. Darki and Wega are really small, pretty plants, for parsleys.

I think if you have a nice simple label describing what's in the pot, how to grow and use it in a few sentences, that would make it even more appealing. I'm always stunned by how little people know about the vegetables and herbs at the markets here.
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Old February 15, 2018   #7
Koala Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I also welcome any suggestions of seeds or rooted plugs to try in these container gardens.
I'm trying Dwarf Greek Basil (aka Pluto Basil) this year for the first time. That might be worthy of consideration.
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Old February 15, 2018   #8
Nan_PA_6b
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Shallots & parsley in with the lettuce, chard, & mizuna. Make the basil purple.

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Old February 15, 2018   #9
Gerardo
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Basil: 3-4 flats with sweet, purple, pluto and lettuce, then you create a mix within each pot.

I bought too much sweet genovese once and I took it with me to market. When they purchased a basil mix I'd sprinkle fresh seed around the edges so they could try their hand at growing and have a 2nd harvest. They walked away quite happy.
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Old February 16, 2018   #10
BlackBear
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Ideas :

Aristotle Basil

some regular chives very useful ( and purple flowers )

variegated lemon thyme (cant remember the variety)


One or two of the Japanese minis (Rejina , Rejina yellow, Chibikko etc. )

Sorrel in an evergreen pot .
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Old February 16, 2018   #11
Hatgirl
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Tom Thumb peas grew well for me in a similar pot size
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Old February 16, 2018   #12
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Have you thought of a Salsa mix, Spaghetti Mix, etc?

I bought half dead mixed theme herb pots from Chef Jeff for a quarter end of season, manly for the pots. Regular retail was $5.99. A few not only came back, but had set seed and regrew. I have them in a sunny window, no fertilizer, lots of neglect. They are in the background of a photo in an overwintering pepper thread. I will try and find it.

The pot I have at home is Mexican : oregano, thyme, cilantro. I have another that had a single dill in the center but I can't remember the companions. There must be an Italian too.
I overwintered their curly parsley pot, which had 3 plants in it. Whatever potting medium they used is a bear to keep from drying out. Probably why they were a quarter.

Herbs are quite the money maker and hard to find. I liked that Chef Jeff had mixed pots and also a lesser amount of a single popular herb. The pea pot is a cute idea too.
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Old February 17, 2018   #13
Nan_PA_6b
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Exotic/Novelty pot of thyme could attract customers:
Lemon thyme (there's a yellow variegated variety)
Caraway thyme
Orange Balsam thyme
Italian Oregano thyme
Variegated green/white
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Old February 17, 2018   #14
bower
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I love this idea. The mum pots should be plenty deep for bigger rooted stuff like kale, arugula, cilantro, parsely, dill. The shallower rooted stuff like lettuce, basil (?) can fit in as companions around the deep ones. You can definitely come off with a beautiful bouquet effect too, why not.

Personally I would keep away from the woody perennials like rosemary, which IMO don't really like crowding and competition. Although you could always put the long lived woody one in the center, and then fill in with annuals that will eventually be removed. That might be a good sales tactic as well, if the woody perennials (rosemary, sage, thyme, savoury or hyssop) are in demand. (I haven't tried selling those but basil and cilantro were hot sellers, parsely too has appeal. Celery = couldn't sell it. ) OTOH the woody herbs also take a long time from seed, and are slower growing even from cuttings, so you would want to plan well ahead.
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Old February 17, 2018   #15
Cole_Robbie
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Thanks for all the suggestions. My mustard, Kale, chard and endives are up. The mustard was up in about 36 hours.

I noticed that seedway sells dandelion seed, a tame variety that does not flower as quickly as the wild stuff. I think I could sell a couple pots of those every week. It's a good conversation starter, anyway, as I'm sure that people will ask me if I am selling the weeds out of my yard.
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