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are supermarket herbs ok to use outside?

mike24w Posts: 55 Forumite
simple question really, but are herb plants bought in supermarkets ok to use outside in a windowbox style herb garden?
Seem much cheaper than garden centres and there better vfm if ok to use.

was thinking of parsley, basil, chives and maybe even thyme.


  • frugal_shopper_2
    Supermarket herbs will grow but they will need a bit of TLC initially as they will of been forced to grow faster than they should of done.
    Take care not to damage them when repotting & make sure you harden them off gradually before planting them outside.
  • foxgloves
    foxgloves Posts: 11,230 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    If you mean the herbs that come in pots, then I have to say I've had limited success with getting them going as proper plants. I think the problem is that despite filling out to look like a big healthy pot-full for supermarket shelves, they are actually usually unthinned out seedlings which are very close together. I've recently managed to unpiggle about 3 or 4 little separate parsley roots & potted them up & coriander has occasionally worked. The difference is that if you sowed the seeds yourself, you would pot up each little plant separately in its own pot, or space them properly along a row or trough so each has enough space to thrive. The clump of plants in the single supermarket pots might do OK in a windowbox for a while but I think for the price of a value packet of seeds, you might do better in the long run. Plants do want to grow though, so always worth experimenting.
    "For each of our actions there are only consequences" (James Lovelock)"For in the true nature of things......every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold & silver" (Martin Luther King Jnr)
  • mike24w
    mike24w Posts: 55 Forumite
    sorry to sound thick, but how would i harden them off? - maybe keep them outside during the day and bring them in at night?
    cheers for reply.
  • officeguru
    officeguru Posts: 725 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 4 April 2011 at 9:13PM
    I buy the parsley plant and put it outside. You have to harden it off first... Put the plant out in a sheltered part of your garden for a little while each day, gradually increasing it until it is out all the time..over a period of say, about 10 days. I would wait until May before I did that. Also the parsley is made up of too many plants... so I take a very sharp knife and cut the plant in half, and then quarter it and cut it even smaller if I can.. and then repot the smaller clumps, otherwise they will die off as they are overcrowded... The basil I cut up into smaller clumps and plant them into the greenhouse border so, just find out which ones you like and then do the same, either harden off for outside or pop into the greenhouse....

    Once they have been established, when I need any of the herbs, I gently pull a extra seedling plant out totally so that eventually, I am left with one plant in each of the sections..

  • mike24w
    mike24w Posts: 55 Forumite
    cheers foxgloves, might do a combo of plants and seeds to see how it goes.
  • CommitedToChange
    CommitedToChange Posts: 1,325 Forumite
    edited 4 April 2011 at 9:15PM
    yes that's exactly what you do :D (i think cause I'm new at this)

    Edit - too slow ;)
  • stumpycat
    stumpycat Posts: 597 Forumite
    I think it often depends where you live & what you're trying to grow - thyme, chives and parsley I would plant outside, but I think basil would snuff it quite quickly here.
    Actually I planted a shop-bought (reduced! :D) pot of chives, all split up into a window box on the ground last autumn. We had a horrendous winter and it was under ice & snow for 2 months, but the chives are back up & thriving!
  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
    Thyme seems to die a death and then come back. Coriander just seems to have the inevitable delayed. Chives - how do they manage when they are such weedy little pale things in the shops? Greek basil survives much longer than normal stuff. Mint (put it into a pot) is probably the most successful - but it has the recuperative powers of dragons' teeth, so that's not entirely surprising.
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  • carole.uk
    carole.uk Posts: 1,774 Forumite
    I have had success with basil, mint, parsley. coriander & chives all from reduced herbs at the supermarket
    IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!!!:j:money:
  • hollydays
    hollydays Posts: 19,812 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    In my favourite the cookery book by Elizabeth Prince,The new English Kitchen,she says she dos this with basil,but as basil is very delicate,I think it would have to be in early summer,not spring.Putting things next to a south facing wall,is the warmest spot,I think.
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