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Today I’m happy to share with you a guest post from Darcy Brandt of medicinalherbals.net. Darcy is going to be sharing with us today some tips for growing herbs indoors from seeds. This is a topic that I was excited to learn more about because I’ve only ever planted herbs from seedlings and I’ve never tried growing herbs from seeds, and I also love the idea of being able to grow herbs inside during the times of the year when you can’t grow them outside. If you want to learn more about herbs, you can check out Darcy’s website!
Growing Herbs Indoors from Seeds
Starting from seeds can be a little tedious, but I love giving my annuals a jump on the growing season by starting them from either the seeds I collected the previous summer or from seeds I order online.
Not all herb plants do well from seeds, so read up on your herb plants before you invest in seeds, containers, dirt and the like.
Before you plant your seeds, you will need to soak your seeds in water for many hours. This can give them the momentum they need to get going. Another way to do this is to allow your herb plants to pre-sprout by soaking them, placing them on a moistened paper towel and then putting your seeds into a freezer bag and sealing it up. Keep the bag at room temperature and out of direct light until you find sprouting seeds when you open the paper towel. Take your germinating seeds and plant them right away.
Do your homework
It’s important to do some research before you plant your seeds or begin the germinating process; some seeds must be scarred before planting (as in the citronella plant) or need to be heated before they can sprout (as in the chili pepper plant). Seed scars also referred to as the hilum, are fairly easy to spot. They are an oval shaped blemish on the scar. The way you scar a seed is relatively simple, you simple scratch or damage the seed, a nail file works great. It’s important not to damage the seed by going too deep. When planting a scarred seed be sure to plant with the scarred portion facing up or else the seed won’t grow!
It is important to control your seeds’ growing environment once the germinating process begins. How long it will take your seeds to grow depends on the seed. Some can take only 5 or 6 days while others can take over a month.
Your seed pots should contain a special seed-starting sod mix that comes with both vermiculite and sphagnum moss, although not needed, they typically yield the best results. There are a variety of these on the market.
Lighting is probably the most important part of growing seeds. Seeds need a ton of light. If you have a sun room or a large window try growing your seeds as close as possible to it. If you do not have natural light, artificial lights will work; typically these are referred to as grow lights. If you can’t find or afford professional grow lights, you can make your own.
The right amount of water is incredibly important, giving too much or too little water and your seeds are done for. You want your seeds to be moist, not drenched with water. Equally as important is to not have your seeds drying out; the best way to prevent this is to check your seeds AT LEAST once a day. If you don’t have the time to give your seeds love and care you can purchase a “self-watering seed kid”.
What are the Best Seeds to Grow Indoors?
I cultivate plenty of herbs from seeds each year. Some of my favorites are:
Caraway: If you have got some caraway in your kitchen spice rack, simply sprinkle a couple of them into a pot, cover with earth and water—how simple could that be? Germination won’t take long, and before you know it, you will be planting it in your favorite flower bed or pot. Caraway is a popular plant for both German and Indian meals.
Lavender: There are a number of types of lavender to choose from. My vote goes to the one called Lady because it germinates pretty quickly. This fragrant type of lavender can certainly grow on you.
Nasturtium: These small blossoms of joy are severely under-rated. Not only are they beautiful, they are edible too. Even better, you can easily raise them from seeds! Soak the seeds overnight before planting for the best outcomes when you plant them in your well-drained soil. You can even cultivate the mature herb inside, and for extra color you can try as a bonus in your salad greens.
Shepherd’s Purse: Although a lot of people believe shepherd’s purse is a weed, this edible plant has a mild peppery smell and the taste is a fabulous addition to any salad. Because the leaves are rich in vitamins C and A you will get health benefits while you feast on this mouth-watering herb. It’s easy to raise. Fill your seeding pot almost to the top with earth and then add several seeds, cover with more dirt and add water. Before you know it, you have got your own shepherd’s purse plant.
If you want to really experiment with cultivating herbs from seeds, try these herbs too: bee balm, borage, catnip, chives, and dill.
Good luck with your herb gardening. Be sure to let me know how your herb garden grows.
About the Author: Darcy is an aspiring herbalist with a special interest in healing through natural & alternative means. After being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease Darcy decided to become self-educated and informed about the natural medicines the earth provides us with. Learn more at: medicinalherbals.net