Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Starting Seeds

I promise I do more than just cook all the time!!! I tried starting some seeds in January and had horrible luck. Mold took over and the seedlings were very slow to grow. Now that it's warmer I have decided to try growing some kitchen herbs from seeds. Here's some changes I made that seem to be making things much easier:

First I mixed all purpose potting soil in with the seed starting soil since the seed starting soil didn't seem to want to hold water well.

Next I sterilized the soil by microwaving it in 2 minute increments until it reached an internal temperature of 200 F.

I started saving my plastic containers to grow the herbs in. If needed I can move most of them into bigger pots later. I decided not to grow cilantro because it specifically does not like to be transplanted. I poked 3 holes in the bottom of each container, added the soil and dampened it. I sprinkled about half a dozen seeds on the top of the soil in each container, added another touch of water, put on the lids and set on the germination mat with a paper towel underneath to capture drainage.

Each morning and afternoon I check to see if the seeds have sprouted. Once they do, I promptly remove them from the heat, remove the lid and use it as a drainage base. I put them under a light and leave the light on 24/7. The plants are not placed back on the germination mat because this will cause the soil to dry out too much.

Keep the soil damp but not wet.

That's really it for now. The photo posted above I took a few minutes ago and it's been 3 days since I started them. I have parsley (which isn't showing any signs of germination yet), feverfew (which I'll probably remove the lid from tomorrow morning), basil (which is doing the best), and chives.


Moohn said...

Cool, we can compare notes. haha! I read online that parsley is the hardest to start from seed and that it helps to soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours then pour boiling water over the soil before planting them. I tried that method so I'll let you know how it works out. lol.

Diana said...

Oh, good to know! Yes, let me know what happens. I'll be patient with these.