Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Starting Common Herbs from Seeds

Do seeds differentiate between commercial planting soil and soil from the garden?  Maybe.  It depends.  The seeds need good quality soil to grow their roots, sprout, and become strong and healthy cultivars for transplanting.  When the soil is full of stones, sticks, and lumps the seed have nowhere to go and the debris stumps the sprouting.

I have taken the best soil from my garden mixed with compost from my pile for the herbs to germinate and grow in until they are large enough for transplanting into the garden.  It will not be such a shock for the tender plants when transplanted to similar soil as they began their growth cycle..

In a bucket, I added a shovel full of soil from the garden, mixed it with two handfuls of Black Cow, and two handfuls of commercial water retaining compost.  I removed the debris that would hinder the germination and growth and ended up with a rather smooth soil.

I filled the cells half full with soil in the planting containers, gently scattered some of the very small seeds into the soil, and then covered the seeds with additional soil.  I had written the names of the herbs and the germination dates on jumbo sticks used for craft projects and inserted the sticks into the soil .

Cell Containers

The following herbal seeds from Ferry-Morse were propagated:

Basil, germinates in 5 - 10 days, is a good companion for tomatoes and is used in sauces, soups, omelets, and cooked with corn for added flavor.

Dill, germinates in 7 - 10 days or may take as long as 21 - 25 days, is one of my favorites when boiling potatoes or steeping in vinegar and making pickles.  Does not grow well in the heat of the summer.

Sage, broad leafed, germinates in 10 - 20 days, is a perennial that is used in stuffing, for pork and cheese dishes.  With its gray leaves, it may also add an interesting accent to a flower garden.

Tarragon, germinates in 10 - 14 days, is a staple in tuna salads and beautiful when steeping in vinegar.

The cell packs were placed in a tray and put out in a sunny location in the yard and protected from the wind.  I will bring the tray inside when the temperatures are cool.

Be patient:  it may take longer for the herbs to germinate and consider that it will take at least six (6) weeks until the the tender herbs are ready for transplanting.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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