Clueless Newbie with beginners luck- now what?!
I am a complete Newbie, and I apologize in advance for the many questions I am sure to have, but any help is greatly appreciated!
I decided this winter to try to create an indoor herb garden in the S/W facing windows of my apartment. About 5 weeks ago (?) I planted the following into individual 4" pots:
- 2 pots of sweet basil (5-8 seeds in each)
- 2 pots of parsley (sprinkle of seeds, maybe 15 each?)
- 2 pots of chives (maybe 10 seeds each?)
I expected only a few of each seed to take, and to struggle to keep those alive. On the contrary, it appears that absolutely every seed I planted sprouted and is growing! But now I'm not sure what the next steps are to keep them that way. I have a collection of 12" deep by 8" across pots that I had planned to use as the "final" pots for each plant, but I'm not sure how to get there.
I have read that I need to pinch back the plants to promote bushy growth instead of tall, spindly growth. How and when should I do this? I also read that I should pinch back all but the strongest seedling. Is this true?
Currently the basil pots each have about 8 seedlings each, around 4" tall. About half of these have begun a second set larger leaves. Is it possible, instead of killing the other healthy seedlings, to separate them into their own individual final pots when re-potting? What if I pinch back to 2-3 healthy plants per pot and allow them to grow together before seperating into new pots? How large should they be before I re-pot them, and when should I pinch the top to promote more growth?
The parsley pots are both overflowing with healthy (albeit wispy stemmed) parsley that is about 6" tall. You can't even see the soil underneath the plants, and the leaves are getting larger by the week. Am I really supposed to pinch back what looks like a healthy plant, to have 1 single wispy stem left? Or can this be divided up, or left alone?
I don't think the chives are getting enough sunlight, but they are still surviving. They are about 6" tall, but it appears I still only have a single, thin, chive from each seed, as opposed to an actual plant. Will these meld together to form a single, plentiful plant like my mom used to have? Or do I need to pinch any of it back to get a more bushy growth from 1 seed? Or should I start with a grow lamp for them first?
Again, sorry for so many questions- I got excited and now am in over my head! I guess there could be worse things in life! Also, if it is possible to separate and save a lot of these seedlings, I know of plenty of "homes" willing to take them, so that would be fantastic!
Thanks again for any and all help!!