Herbs forum: Trade for herb seeds?

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Name: Jared
Omaha, NE (Zone 5a)
In gardens beauty is a by-product.
Garden Photography Region: Nebraska Vegetable Grower Beekeeper
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Urban_Farmer
Mar 4, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Anyone have any herb seeds that they are willing to share? I'm looking for organic varieties only. Mint, cilantro, chives, catnip, tarragon, etc?
I have Baker Creek organic heirloom seeds i'd be willing to trade:
-Italian pepperoncini
-ivory egg tomato
-black vernissage tomato
-orange banana tomato
-hungarian hot wax pepper
-miniature white cucumber
-Brunswick cabbage
My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Dale
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 4, 2016 5:37 PM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants.

A few questions and suggestions.

First, what are you offering? I've been ordering seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for years. I've never seen the word "organic" on any seed packet I've gotten from them. Your opening post says, "Baker Creek organic heirloom seeds." I checked the first variety you say you have, Italian Pepperoncini Peppers from Bake Creek heirloom seeds, and I don't see any claim those are organic seeds. Is that what you're offering?

Moving on to your "wish list" one item at a time.

  • Mint. My experience is that mint is better when grown from cuttings. Look at your local grocery store for "fresh herbs" and get some mint cuttings there. If you want organic, buy organic if they have it, or go to Whole Foods or a store that sells organic fresh herbs.

  • Cilantro. I'll tree-mail you after posting this. I've got about a third of a packet of cilantro seeds from Baker Creek heirloom seeds. It's from last year, but I just opened it last month, and the other two thirds germinated fine.

  • Chives. I have some chives seeds here as well, but they aren't organic and aren't from Baker creek. They are from 'American seed company' and cost me $0.20 or maybe $0.25 for the whole packet.

  • Catnip. I don't grow that, but don't tell our six feline overlords. They'll want me to start some.

  • Tarragon. If you want French Tarragon, either buy cuttings (while you're at the grocery store for the mint) or buy plants from a reputable source. Taste a leaf or two of any plant you're buying. French Tarragon propagates from cuttings, not from seeds. Any plant that is marked "tarragon" without qualification probably isn't
    the "French tarragon" you want, generic "tarragon" plants (and fresh unspecified "tarragon") are like "tarragon" seeds, usually Russian tarragon or some other mystery tarragon. Any seeds you get will, at best, be "Russian Tarragon" which has a different flavor (more bitter, not as good), or at worst be some other "mystery tarragon." French tarragon doesn't do well in my hot summers, so this year I'm trying "Sweet Mace" which is also called many other names, including "Mexican Mint Marigold" and "Texas Tarragon." Depending on your climate, that might interest you.

  • etc. Not sure where you're going with that. Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and marjoram all grow best from cuttings (from the grocery store if you want). You can taste what you'll be getting and know what's most likely to grow. It might taste slightly different due to your soil and climate, but it will stay close to what you started with. Seeds for these are a mixed bag. You might get something good, you might get something not even close to what you expect. Some of those are more difficult to germinate the seeds than to root cuttings, too. So it's also easier to grow most of those from cuttings.
[Last edited by CommonCents - Mar 4, 2016 5:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Jared
Omaha, NE (Zone 5a)
In gardens beauty is a by-product.
Garden Photography Region: Nebraska Vegetable Grower Beekeeper
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Urban_Farmer
Mar 5, 2016 8:33 PM CST
I appreciate that knowledge! You are correct in misspeaking "organic" when referring to seeds. As we all know, there are really no GMO seeds in circulation for gardening. I only meant, the seeds were derived from the organic process by which i garden.

I also never really thought of taking cuttings from store bought herbs, so thanks! I honestly haven't had trouble growing any herb from scratch, so the thought never occurred to me. Though, i will surely take your advise on rooting the french terragon and mint!
My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Dale
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
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jimard8
Mar 6, 2016 10:03 PM CST
I am sending mint cuttings in the morning or so , Just had to cut (ting) in . (oops ,, small plants really . their already rooted ,)

CommonCents I enjoy that is good information Thank You!

In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
[Last edited by jimard8 - Mar 6, 2016 10:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
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jimard8
Mar 6, 2016 10:11 PM CST
Instead of editing though , I forgot about the store plants being sprayed with various ,, That might work better from a farmers market or that as Organic grown and handled ,
Otherwise you would have to grow out or grow off whatever might be on them ,
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 7, 2016 11:09 AM CST
jimard8 said: Instead of editing though , I forgot about the store plants being sprayed with various ,, That might work better from a farmers market or that as Organic grown and handled ,
Otherwise you would have to grow out or grow off whatever might be on them ,


Generally, I start with "organic (rosemary|oregano|mint|etc.)" when I root cuttings for those herbs. If I start with something not marked "organic", I put the stuff in water, and change out the water daily for a few days, before moving it to a better rooting medium.

I really need to write up a blog entry and submit it as an "idea and article" here about rooting cuttings.

As for selling stuff as "organic," I personally avoid the word entirely. The word is heavily regulated by the government, and the rules are very strict. I don't want the attention of government auditors if I can avoid it. I feel bad about abandoning that word and my first amendment right to use it, but I don't have the resources required for that fight.

As it relates to plants propagated from cuttings, one thing stands out in the regs about "organic" growing. You can't use IBA (IsoButyric Acid, most commonly Indole-3-Butyric Acid). That is the active ingredient in "rooting powder" or "rooting hormone."

A few years back, I was being pressured to label my stuff "organic" by a farmers' market that wanted everything at their market to be "organic." I did some research on this, and not only is IBA not on the list of approved "synthetic substances" you can use and still call your stuff organic, it's also listed by the EPA as a "hazardous substance," and even if I used natural sources (like "willow bark tea" or "willow water"), I was told by someone at the USDA that I couldn't call anything "organic" if the plant was exposed to IBA from any source.

I suspect many sellers of "organic" herbs, and everyone claiming to sell "organic" bay leaves is actually violating that particular rule. They may get away with it. I don't want to try.
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
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jimard8
Mar 7, 2016 11:30 AM CST
CommonCents That is interesting about derived sources .. as a potato is a source of Butyric acid , Indole is found in Green leaf Vegetables , And of course the AA is nothing other than Citric acid or Vitamin C ( Manipulated rose hips ..
They are also Vitamins ,
With the mints , I was using a ten year old piece of cedar wood that had broken down and washed so many times it would be difficult to test for anything except Tannic acid or Tannins ,
That makes the mint Bitter until it is over 8 or 9 inches tall ,

I like this conversation though , Thank You! it gets interesting this way . learn things ,, I really enjoy ,,
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 9, 2016 12:09 PM CST
CommonCents said:
I really need to write up a blog entry and submit it as an "idea and article" here about rooting cuttings.

OK. I need to take more and better pictures and update this, but here's a preliminary blog post showing my latest cuttings and how I rooted them: "I tried a new way of rooting cuttings. Thought I'd share."

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