Herbs forum: herbs

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nitakay
May 1, 2015 9:35 PM CST
I bought a lot of herb seeds, but have not had time to get them started indoors. They are all heirloom so I really want to try them. Can you just sow them in the garden after it gets warm? I think they are all perennial herbs.
Thank you
Anita Shelton
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 2, 2015 11:56 AM CST
Welcome to ATP Welcome! and I do hope we can help you a bit here.

Of course you can plant out into the garden, Anita, but you'll have a lot less chance of germination and success doing that. Blazing sun, rain, drying winds, heat and cold of spring weather, birds and animals and slugs and insects eating the seedlings, all contribute to a low success rate of tiny plants and most perennial herbs start out pretty tiny! You have controlled conditions on your windowsill in the house to at least get the little plants up and growing. Some even take a very long time for the seeds to germinate in the first place, increasing the chance that some bird or squirrel will eat the seed.

Where are you located? Is the weather already really warm where you are? If not, get some seed starting mix and plant those seeds. If so, try planting some seeds out, but I'd start some indoors as a backup.

You can use plastic food containers, yogurt cups (with holes for drainage) or any small clean food containers work just fine. Don't use peat pots, though. They are not good for starting small plants and do not break down fast enough when you transplant for the plant to establish a root system.

I really like clear plastic containers with lids, as you can use them as a mini-greenhouse for your seedlings like so.
Thumb of 2015-05-02/dyzzypyxxy/79d874

(the chopsticks hold the lids up a little for some air flow)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

nitakay
May 2, 2015 3:49 PM CST
Thanks Elaine. I am in IN in zone 5b, so it isn't warm enough for anything yet except peas, lettuces, carrots, but not herbs I don't think. I can try starting them inside but I don't really have a good windowsill for plants.
Anita
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 2, 2015 4:19 PM CST
Do you have an old desk lamp? I got one at a thrift store. It holds 2 fluorescent bulbs. I bend the goose neck so the light is as close as possible to the little seedlings and raise it up as they grow.
Thumb of 2015-05-02/greene/119e9b Thumb of 2015-05-02/greene/11ade3

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
May 2, 2015 9:24 PM CST
I agree -- most will do better if started indoors and transplanted out. Any sort of fluorescent light fixture (think "cheap shop light") will do better than a windowsill, anyway; hang it or prop it up on whatever you can come up with, keep the light on about 14-16 hrs/day and just a little ways above the plants, and then transplant out when they get to a manageable size.

Anita, what herb seeds exactly do you have? Some (rosemary comes to my mind in particular) are fairly notorious for low germination rates... Other herbs, like parsley, cilantro, dill, grow pretty easily when direct sown.

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Skye
May 8, 2015 8:48 PM CST
greene, love your idea about the desk lamp. I was lamenting about setting up my large plant stand just to start some seedlings so thank you for that! Will add that to the list with the martini glasses, etc. for this weekend Hurray!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
May 8, 2015 9:43 PM CST
The thrift stores are my favorite place to shop!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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