Ask a Question forum: Lavender in pots, stratification, & best time to plant from seed.

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Name: Melissa
Mason County, Northern Michiga (Zone 6a)
melissaha
Jun 6, 2017 6:51 PM CST
First time gardener here! Very inexperienced! I would like to begin growing medicinal herbs and I am SLOWLY learning. I'd like to start with lavender for soap making, etc. I purchased a packet of True Lavender seeds, a bag of seed starting soil, and a large plastic pot that drains. Got a bit ahead of myself and put the whole bag of soil into the pot, sprinkled around the whole packet of seeds, covered the seeds with about an inch of additional soil, and then watered them. I didn't think to start the seeds in small pods or containers and funds are extremly low so I wasn't sure why starting the plant in what I want it to stay in until I transplant it to a raised garden bed in the yard eventually would be a bad idea! But then I thought about the time lavender takes to grow, found out that the seeds might need stratification?, and all of this is making me think I completely messed up this first attempt! Will my plant still grow if I plan to set it in the nearly summer sun of Northern Michigan each day and bring it in the house at night? Should I have done the stratification/germination? Should I scrap this all and start another way at a better time of year?
[Last edited by melissaha - Jun 6, 2017 6:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jun 7, 2017 3:44 AM CST
If I were you, I'd go out and buy a whole lavender plant and plant that.

I have grown lavenders from seeds and they require a specific cycle of not only cold-warm, cold-warm, but also wet-dry, wet-dry in order to germinate at their highest potential.

Lots of people will tell you that lavender has a low germination rate or takes a long time, BUT that's only true if you plant it without mimicking the way it would get wet, dry out, freeze, thaw out, get wet, and dry out, then freeze again and thaw out again.

One year I did this with seeds in a wet paper towel that I froze several times and dried out several times. I was surprised that once I planted the seeds they sprouted in 2-3 days, not 10-20!

P.S. Welcome and stick around! Smiling
Keep going!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 7, 2017 12:40 PM CST
Howdy there Melissa 😁
Seeds 😁 Yes !!! Thumbs up
Packaged seeds should be stratified already. You dont need to bring pot in house at nite. There not tomatoes.
What does package say about days to germination?
How many days has it been since you planted ?
I belive ! Your only mistake was burying them to deep. General rule of thumb with seeds, is to plant them three times the diameter of the seed deep.
Hears what i would do. Dig down a small area, to see if they are sprouting. If they are, take half inch, maybe less of soil off entire top off.
If there not sprouting, mix up entire inch and half of soil up, to bring half or so seeds within germination range. If planted to deep, they may have not germinated. When you mix soil up, you will probably see a few seeds un-germinated. If not, get another pack of seeds, and follow directions.
I'm not trying to make you feel foolish. I've made plenty of D'Oh!
Mistakes in my time ! And ! More will likely come.
🎡🎡Phil Phil !!! The science guy !!!
Over and out !!!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Melissa
Mason County, Northern Michiga (Zone 6a)
melissaha
Jun 9, 2017 2:39 PM CST
I just figured out how to respond. Smiling I ended up buying plants and re-potting! Thank you both for the wonderful answers. I ended up buying lavender, rosemary, and lemon balm plants, took the biodegradeable pots off and planted them each in indoor/outdoor potting mix in a breathable ceramic pot that drains. I added a layer of stones from the earth to the bottom of each pot for extra drainage. I put the soil in the pots somewhat loosely but also pressed down a little around the plant. I think I will take the top layer of soil off of the mess up pot to remove the seeds and just save the seed starting soil for another time! We will see how well I can care for these 3 plants for now and do my research on what all to do next. :)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 9, 2017 2:44 PM CST
Welcome!

Next time you repot, I would recommend you do not put a layer of stones in the bottom for drainage because it actually causes the potting mix to hold more water rather than improve drainage. For best drainage use the same textured medium throughout the pot, no layers.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 9, 2017 3:36 PM CST
Sue is right !!! It seems, logical, but its not !!!
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 9, 2017 4:07 PM CST
Wait a minute Melissa. 😁
Re-do Re-do Re-do !!! Girl !!!
It's only been a couple days.
Dump them out. Mix soil and im guessing small rocks, all together. Small rocks, gravel, washed sand, all make for even better drainage. Personally, i use, equal parts of potting soil to washed sand or gravel. Thumbs up
Re-pot ! And your good to GO ! Hurray!
If dranage holes are big, use a old peice of widow screen or coffee filter over holes. Thumbs up
Go girl go ! Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Melissa
Mason County, Northern Michiga (Zone 6a)
melissaha
Jun 9, 2017 9:33 PM CST
Yes! Makes perfect sense!!! I will repot! Should I leave these 3 types of plants out at night? We are at about 65Β°-75Β° days and in the 50's at night here in Michigan right now. Just wondering if it's too much just at first for them being freshly planted and all. I am learning everything online and have no experience gardening whatsoever so any care tips for the lavender, lemon balm, and rosemary varieties is always appreciated! You all seem great! Thank You!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 9, 2017 9:42 PM CST
Hi and welcome, Melissa. You've had great advice from everyone here so far. I'd only like to add that all those are more or less Mediterranean herbs and so they like to dry out a bit between waterings.

When they're first out in the full sun and outdoor life, you may need to water every day, but as they get more established with bigger root systems, be sure to let the surface of the soil dry out before watering again.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Melissa
Mason County, Northern Michiga (Zone 6a)
melissaha
Jun 10, 2017 5:36 AM CST
Thanks, Elaine! Will do. Thumbs up
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Jun 11, 2017 12:15 PM CST
Hi Melissaha & welcome !
I have over 60 lavender plants. I love them. They are mixed among my other perennial plants. Some I harvest at peak bud stage and some I let flower for the beneficial insects. I noticed the seeds naturally broadcast and up come new plants ! I never transplant the new plants.


Thumb of 2017-06-11/katesflowers/aefada

"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Melissa
Mason County, Northern Michiga (Zone 6a)
melissaha
Jun 11, 2017 12:27 PM CST
Very pretty! :hearts:
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Jun 11, 2017 6:38 PM CST
Leave them outside in sun, if starting from seeds.
If they have sprouted. Gradually introduce to sun, a little, by little everyday.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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