Have you tried growing herbs from seed? If you are an herb lover, you may want to get started on growing several varieties so they will be ready to grace your summer vegetables and recipes. Many can be started from seed (which are now available in stores as well as from online sources) and others from cuttings.

A favorite for making salsa and adding to other dishes is cilantro. This is a fairly easy one to start from seed indoors in a lightweight potting soil. Small plastic or clay pots, flats, jiffy pots, peat pots, plastic cups, cans or egg cartons with holes punched in the bottom all make acceptable containers for starting seeds. Sow seeds ½ inch apart, depending upon your container and how many plants you want. As a general rule, the depth of planting seeds should be 3x their greatest diameter, with larger seeds, like beans, planted twice as deep as their diameter. Make sure the soil is evenly moist when you plant the seeds, and keep constantly moist while they germinate. I like to cover my seeds with some kind of clear plastic dome or create a mini greenhouse out of plastic wrap with stakes for the corners. This keeps the humidity up and the seeds germinate faster. Place your newly planted seeds in a warm place to germinate and remove the plastic as they begin to sprout. After sprouting place in the sunniest place you have available to prevent spindly seedlings. Soon you will have a nice sized plant that can be transplanted into a bigger pot or moved directly to a garden bed outdoors after danger of frost.

Try other herbs from seed such as basil (lots of different kinds), dill, chives, flat leaf and curly parsley, thyme and oregano for a great selection.

Rosemary, lavender, sage and mints are all fairly easy to grow from cuttings from a mother plant if someone is willing to share! Try snipping off a 6” piece from the tip of a soft stem (not woody), strip the leaves off the bottom 3” and place that end in the same type potting soil that you used for your seeds. Keep the soil moist and the cutting out of direct sunlight until rooting begins. You can make a little ‘greenhouse’ for these as well by putting a plastic bag over the pot with some little stakes (or twist a coat hanger to make a hoop). Soon roots will begin to form underground and your cutting will be putting out new growth, ready to be transplanted. These herbs are perennial, meaning they will come back year after year when planted outside.

Are you excited to begin? I can’t wait to hear about your herbal ideas, uses, favorites and success stories!

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