Sowing Herb Seeds in Containers

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This article will teach you how to grow herbs from seed
by Brett · All Zones · Food Gardens · 0 Comments · September 22, 2010 · 8,937 views

Sowing Herb Seeds In Containers

Timing: The correct timing of seed sowing for herbs is an important factor in successful indoor seed starting. In winter months, overanxious gardeners may sow seeds too soon. Seedlings that are held indoors too long perform poorly once transplanted into the garden. The time it takes for seedlings to be ready for transplanting outdoors will vary.

Plant herb seeds indoors at the recommended number of weeks,(indicated on the seed packet) prior to transplanting outdoors indicated on the seed packet. Also, follow instructions on packet for light or darkness needs to gerninate, and whether it should be covered or uncovered, as well as any other special growing requirements such as soaking, chilling or scarifying.

Acclimation: An acclimation period before placing seedlings directly into the permanent growing site must be included. However, readiness for outdoor planting will vary with how quickly germination occurs, the growth rate and weather conditions. Quality and quantity of light, temperature and nutrients affect the growth rate. Seed catalogs and packets provide information on days to germination and weeks needed to reach transplant size.

Fill Container: Fill the container to within 1/4 inch of the top of the container with moistened seed-starting medium. After sowing seeds, keep the medium moist, not wet. To keep the medium moist, you may place the container in a plastic bag just large enough for the container. Seal the bag. The plastic bag keeps moisture in, but allows air exchange. The plastic bag method should not require any further watering until germination. Provide proper light and temperature conditions.

Sow Seed: Use the following rules to sow seed, depending upon seed size.

  • Sow very small seeds by sprinkling on top of the medium and pressing in.
  • Use a fine mist of water to gently wash seed into the growing medium.
  • Sow medium-size and larger seed in rows 1 to 2 inches apart, and 1/8 to 1/4 inches deep. If no depth is specified on the seed packet, use the general rule of planting the seed at a depth twice the diameter of the seed.
  • When sowing in a tray or flat, sowing in rows is preferred over scattering seed. This method provides better air circulation than scattering of seed. When seedlings are crowded, they may become tall and spindly.
  • To avoid the need to transplant seedlings from a seed flat to pots, you may sow seeds directly into cell packs or peat pots. Plant two or three seeds per cell or pot. When they germinate, remove the two less vigorous seedlings.



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