Growing in Flagstaff, Arizona
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Sandy Thomas
Posted on: April 5, 1998

First, let me thank you for sending me your new herb catalog. I found it to be very exciting and I am interested in purchasing a few starter plants. My big concern is that I live in Flagstaff, Arizona, which is 7,000+ feet in altitude. The air is very thin and very dry with a short growing season. The sun is intense and the nights are cold. I have tried growing herbs indoors and out, both from seed and small plant with absolutely no luck. They never mature or grow more than an inch or two, then fall over and die. I am not a gardener, but am very interested to know if I fall into any of your zones and if there is any hope for me growing my own herbs. Do you carry any variety or strain that would survive up here in these type of conditions? There are ponderosa pine trees with very little soil, mostly cinder, clay, sand and rock. I have had no luck with flowers from seed either. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

You have not said if your summer nights get cold enough to freeze? If your day and night temperatures are too extreme you may have to content yourself with growing herbs under lights in the house. Most culinary herbs are Mediterranean in origin and like lots of sun and no extreme temperature fluctuations. The presence of the moderating sea evens out temperature differences between day and night as well as amongst the seasons.

Your experiences growing herbs indoors suggest that your plants were not getting enough light. First, position your herbs in the brightest window in your house. Second, you should consider investing in supplemental light, such as a fluorescent light stand. Even if your herbs are in a bright window, they will benefit from the extra light.

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