December 12, 2022
When growing herbs, there are a few things to keep in mind: 1. Keep the soil moist 2. Water seeds gently to avoid washing away; water mature plants when soil is dry 3. Use potting mediums that are peat-based. (Peat soil has a high percentage of organic matter content from decaying plant material).
Once you’ve taken note of that, you can start planting! Some herbs take longer than others to germinate and have lower germination rates. Germination rates are affected by environmental temperatures and herb seeds will germinate between 70 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 - 24 degrees Celsius. Avoid sowing your seeds during winter as these won’t germinate due to the extreme cold. Instead, start sowing during the summer when the sun is out and the threat of frost has passed. Depending on the herb, the germination rate is different for each plant. Basil sprouts as early as 4-5 days while chives can take up to 7-14 days. One important factor that affects germination is sunlight and water.
Herbs such as thyme need adequate sunlight to germinate while basil and parsley don’t as much. In this case, seeds should not be completely covered with soil. Try your best not to over-cover these with soil and place your pot in an area receiving a good amount of sunlight.
Keep the sown seeds in a sun-facing window where they can receive 4 to 6 hours of sunlight. Do not keep the newly planted seeds in direct sunlight if is too strong. Keep them in a bright, shaded spot and wait until they sprout. You can cover the planted seeds with a plastic bag. It helps in holding heat and provides moisture that helps in quick germination. Remove the plastic as soon as you see the seed break in the soil. It will give the sprout fresh air to grow.
Another important thing to remember when planting herb seeds is using only a thin layer of soil to cover it. The amount of soil over the seeds will depend on the seed thickness. If the seed is small, the soil cover will also be thin. Also, keep in mind never let the soil mix become completely dry as herbs need moist soil conditions to thrive. Keep the soil moist by misting it daily. It will fasten the germination process.