Newbie questions

docbuttonsJanuary 27, 2009

Hello, This will be my 2nd real year planting vegetables for my SFG. This year I am going to add a small area for herbs. I purchased some oregeno, basil & rosemary seeds to plant...my questions are:

1. When do I start indoors from seed?

2. How much light (hours wise) do they need per day?

3. When can I plant outside?

Thank you

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Start basil, oregano, rosemary and others indoors. For rosemary, its a better germination rate if you get 'primed' seeds, as they usually are slow to sprout. Plant dill and coriander directly outside in late spring about mid May. Most of the herbs can be started indoors about the middle of April, and should be big enough to transplant by the end of May when there is no more danger of frosts. The indoor lights should be broad spectrum plant grow types, and they remain on for about 16-18 hours per day (use a timer). I use 4 foot shop lights and use grow light bulbs two per fixture and two fixtures per shelf. My shelf system is 7 foot tall and 2x4 feet per shelf. I also use heat mats under the pot trays and these are on until the seeds sprout and the greens touch a clear plastic domed lid thats covering each 11x20 inch tray of pots. I remove the clear lids at that time too. I prefer to use sterile seed starting mixes and many are actaully soilless and germinate seeds better than most regular soils. NEVER use dirt from outside, or plain potting soil for seed starting. These can contain pathogens and insects that will kill young plants just starting out. Following these simple rules, I guarantee you will have healthy plants. I do about 500 per year indoors.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 5:25PM
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stephen_albert(8b)

Here's a link to an introductory article on sowing culinary herbs at my blog (cut and paste this into your browser or click on my link below -- both articles appeared in this month, January 2009):

http://www.harvestwizard.com/2009/01/growing_herbs_for_cooking.html

Here's a link to understanding average last frost date and number of days in a growing season (this is something to begin mastering in your second year):

http://www.harvestwizard.com/2009/01/average_date_of_the_last_frost.html

To be on the safe side and to enjoy success the first time out, time your seed sowing indoors so that the plants go into the garden two weeks after your average last frost date. Give them at least 14 hours of light each day indoors, and make sure the temp stays at least 70F until they germinate.

Here is a link that might be useful: HarvestToTable.com

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 10:54AM
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