Congratulations! You’re on your way to savoring the flavor of fresh, healthy herbs from your very own herb garden.
We at Sow Right Seeds want you to reap the rewards of sustainability, and this indoor starter kit gives you the convenience of harvesting something delicious for every meal.
To get your Heirloom Herb Garden growing:
- Start by following the instructions for hydrating the soil discs. Once the soil is expanded and in pots, you are ready to start planting.
- Plant the seeds according to the instructions for each specific seed packet. (Take note to soak Parsley.)
Knowing how and when to water your herbs is vital:
- Water by misting until the seeds start to sprout.
- Take care that the seeds don’t dry out too quickly - seeds need to stay moist but not waterlogged to sprout.
- Once the seedlings are growing, continue to keep the soil moist. Less frequent but more deep watering will encourage root growth.
- The pot should not dry out completely between waterings, just the top layer of soil.
Now that you've got the watering down, you'll want to consider the other thing that plants need - food. The soil that comes in your kit has the added amendments that create a fertile growing environment. If you transplant to a garden or larger pots, you may need to add fertilizer. Herbs don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but they do benefit from nitrogen for leaf growth. Adding organic matter (compost and/or leaves) to your garden beds before transplanting can help supplement the additional nutrients that your plant will need as it grows.
If you would prefer to keep your herbs indoors so that you can easily access them, here's some extra pieces of info you might find helpful.
- Place the pots on trays or saucers to protect surfaces.
- To increase indoor humidity in the winter months, place the pots on a tray of pebbles with water.
- You'll need a sunny window location - a south or southwest-facing window will usually give the 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight needed for herbs to grow.
- A pair of sharp kitchen shears is a helpful tool for herb harvesting and pruning.
Harvesting your fresh herbs frequently will benefit your plants.
If the herbs are not harvested regularly, they will bolt or go to seed. This means they put all their energy into creating flowers and seeds instead of new leaves. If the plant is allowed to flower, the leaves will have a more bitter taste that isn't as good for cooking. The following tips will help you know how to harvest each type of herb.
- Basil - Once the basil has two main stalks, you can prune it and encourage bushier growth by taking off the top two leaves. Continue snipping the tops as it grows to keep the plant sending out new shoots instead of growing tall and producing flowers. When there are at least six sets of leaves, basil is ready to be harvested. Pick off individual leaves as needed.
- Chives - To harvest, cut about 1 to 2” from the ground, taking only what you want to use right away. This allows the plant to continue growing from its base.
- Cilantro - Harvest weekly by cutting off the top one-third. The lower part will then grow new leaves. Cilantro has a relatively short life cycle, so consider succession planting to have a ready supply of fresh cilantro for all your fresh salsa needs.
- Parsley - This herb takes a while to be ready for harvest. You can start slow by taking off a stalk on the outside edges first. Cut the amount you need at ground level to harvest.
- Oregano - When harvesting, cut just above a set of leaves. This is where it will grow back. Pinch back regularly to prevent it from flowering.
You will have more seeds than you need for one pot.
Consider succession planting to continue having a fresh crop of herbs. To succession plant herbs: plant new seeds 2 weeks after your first seeds sprout - continue this cycle until amount of herbs desired is reached or until you've run out of seed. Have more questions? At Sow Right Seeds, we love gardening, and we want your herb garden to be successful. Explore our Gardening Tips Blog for more growing tips and check out all of our herb, flower, and vegetable varieties to see what you'd like to grow next!
Written by Beverly Laudie