When you are experimenting with early-season seed starting, be sure to include your favorite herbs. Many herbs grow easily from seed. These add fragrance and unusual flowers to the spring and summer garden.
Starting From Seed
Sage, oregano and basil start readily indoors and flourish when moved to an outdoor container or bed. For those with short summer growing seasons, starting seeds early allows for a more mature and productive plant. Planting from seed also allows for a wider selection than when purchasing young plants.
Following the previously provided planting instructions, few changes are required to grow flourishing herbs. The germinating mix should ideally be properly moistened the night before planting and care should be taken not to compact the soil. In early stages of development, keep the soil moist. Again, read directions on the seed packet for light specifications.
Many basils, oreganos, sages and other herbs originated in Mediterranean areas, translating that they need good soil drainage and full sunlight when transplanted. These are heat and drought-tolerant, making them low-maintenance additions to the garden. Most are quite adaptable and will brighten containers as well as the flowerbed. Many attract birds, bees and butterflies.
When herb seeds have developed they should be moved outside for a few hours each day, to become accustomed to outdoor conditions. Increase outside time gradually. Plant outside when garden soil has warmed and night temperatures are well above freezing.
Once in the ground or container, clipping or pinching helps maintain a fuller, bushier, more attractive plant and will increase growth. You may choose to put your seedlings into a designated herb garden or scatter them throughout the flowerbed. I plant basil alongside my tomato plants. Wherever their home may be, make sure to allow enough room for the plant to reach optimum growth. Keep plantings near the kitchen so you can take advantage of your growing herbs for cooking, garnishing and indoor aroma.