New gardener here! some help please

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by nibs9, May 3, 2011.

  1. nibs9

    nibs9 Member

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    Toronto, Canada
    Hello everyone,

    Recently I bought some plant identification and botany books, as I'd like to learn more about the wild plants around me. In addition to the foraging I'm planning on doing once I've learned enough, I want to grow some herbs inside my room.

    I've never gardened in a serious way before, and instead of just buying some seeds or a plant and passively watching it grow, I want to thoroughly understand what I am doing this time. So I have a basic question about growing plants from seeds versus an already mature one, and also the difference between indoor and outdoor plants, regarding the seasons and health of the plant.

    First, how does growing a plant indoor affect the lifecycle of the plant? If I were to grow some basil outside for example, it would flourish in the spring and summer, and then die in the fall/winter, only to return the next year, living naturally according to the seasons. But if I grow plants indoors, because it is temperature controlled, would the Basil live year round? Is it less healthy for the plant to be grown and eaten under 'synthetic' conditions? There is also the factor of light. While it would be warm enough for the plants to grow inside year-round, would the lack of light in the winter kill or weaken it? I've considered buying a light for my future plants, but I'm just trying to gain some knowledge on the basic conditions of a plant inside vs out - and the difference between growing plants naturally with the seasons or inside where I can 'play god' so to speak.

    My other question is about growing a plant from seeds or buying an already maturing one. I'm going to plant these herbs pretty late in the season, probably not until I return from a trip on June 1st. Now considering it's indoors, I don't know if planting something late in the season even matters, but I'm wondering if it's better to buy a mature plant or grow from seed, knowing that the seeds will take much longer. Also, health wise - would the plant be better off if I grew it from seed or if I bought it from a store? Just looking for some info on the pros and cons of each, and what people's experiences and recommendations are.

    Ok, sorry if that was a bit long-winded... all thoughts and ideas are appreciated!

    thanks. :)
  2. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Marysville, WA USA
    I don't know much about individual herbs, but the chances are that if it is a common plant, and it's not well known for being a good houseplant, then it will probably do very, very poorly in average indoor conditions in a heating climate like yours. The much lower humidity & light indoors will cause most outdoor-type plants to wither & succumb to pests quickly.
    Seed or an established plant won't matter much except to give you a nice head start. It is getting towards being a little late to start most perennials from seed.

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