how to grow herbs from seeds (how I did it)

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how to grow herbs from seeds (how I did it)

Spring is here and the warmer temperature is a great time to start thinking about growing herbs. Luckily, it is super easy to grow herbs indoors and you will have great tasting meals with a fresh herb or two because of your indoor herb garden.

Some of the easiest herbs to grow are basil, mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. And what’s great is they can easily be grown in a container garden indoors.

how to start growing herbs indoors

I walked over to my local Whole Foods to buy seeds but you can easily get them at garden centers, Home Depot, and other plant shops. The basil I’m growing actually came from a basil growing kit I got from Dollar Tree.

If you do not have all the things needed like pots and soil there are a ton of herb growing kits. These are some of our favorites from Amazon:

what do you need to grow herbs indoors?

what you need for growing plants indoors

how to grow herbs from seeds indoors

First off, read the seed packet to learn more about the needs of the specific herb – when to plant, the right temperature, how far apart the seeds should be, etc.

how to start seeds in a sandwich bag

One of the easiest ways to start seeds is in a plastic bag. It acts like a mini grow tent, plus you do not have to plant the seeds that will not sprout. 

plastic-bag-seedlings

Thai basil April 8

seedlings plastic bag

Thai basil April 17

Simply moisten two paper towels, place seeds between them, and seal in a sandwich bag. Once they have sprouted, carefully peel away the paper and plant in pots with potting soil

how to start herbs in pots

  1. Prepare the soil or seed starting and mix with water. It should be damp.
  2. Add the potting medium to the pots and fill up 3/4 to the top. You can add more seeds than recommended because not all the seeds will sprout.
  3. Cover the seeds with more potting medium and gently pat it down.
  4. The seeds need humidity with the soil moist, so it’s best to cover the pots individually, cover each pot with plastic wrap or place it in a seed tray and cover it with a dome.
  5. Keep covered until the seeds start to germinate then remove the plastic wrap or the plastic dome.
  6. Place the seedlings under a grow light
  7. When the seedlings have true leaves you can transplant them into individual pots.
seeds in soil

Seed starters April 8

Seed Starter Mini Green house

Seed starting greenhouse April 8

the different types of soil used when growing herbs from seed

Not all growing mediums are created equal! You have to think about what the seeds need to germinate well.

  • Seed starting mix is specially made for germinating plants, it has a fine texture that will be good for the delicate roots of the seedlings
  • Potting soil or potting mix is best for when the seedlings are transplanted into bigger pots, it typically has fertilizer and perlite mixed in
  • Never use plain old dirt from the ground, it is not suitable for herbs

Though you can definitely start seeds in potting soil or mix if that is what you have. No need to stress over that! I made my own potting mix with vermiculite, perlite, and worm castings.

Germinated Basil

Germinated Basil

Basil Seedlings

Basil Seedlings

growing herbs from seed – watering tips

Water whenever the soil on top looks dry but the pot should never dry out. In the same line, the soil shouldn’t be super wet either. You will probably have to water once a week if the weather isn’t too hot. It’s also a good idea to water and let it drain out once a month to flush out any buildup.

As much as possible try to avoid getting the leaves wet when watering. Water it around the base and on the soil. It will help avoid mildew and disease.

Germinated Thai Basil

Germinated Thai basil April 16

Thai Basil Seedlings

Thai basil seedlings April 29

what to expect next?

The seedlings will become big enough for transplanting into bigger pots in one to two months. I have transplanted three to four seedlings into pots with no problems. I just keep in mind that I might have to eventually repot again to a bigger pot.

There may come a point when you have to stake the herbs of your indoor garden. You can use chopsticks easily and twist ties. But you should really be pruning and harvesting the herb plants regularly to keep the plants healthy.

in summary

herb from seed summary

As with any indoor plant, herbs can be grown if they have the right conditions. I think in the case of herbs, it’s the right light that is important. And it doesn’t have to be sunlight, herb plants will be happy under a grow light! And you will be rewarded with fresh herbs to add to your salad, pasta sauce, or mojito. That’s a great way to enjoy your indoor garden!

common questions:

when is the best time to plant herbs indoors?

The best time to start is in March but the seeds can be started anytime between March and August.

what is the right herb growing temperature?

Your best bet is to keep them in a room with 60-75 degrees. Some herbs cannot withstand lower temperatures, even if they are indoors.

what are some of the fastest-growing herbs?

Most herbs that we use are good growers – mint, cilantro, basil, parsley, green onion, dill, and chives.

which herbs need light to germinate?

Thyme needs light to germinate. Other herbs like basil, parsley, mint, oregano, and coriander can be in a slightly dark area to germinate. But all herbs will need bright light to thrive.

do herb plants need fertilizer?

Indoor herb plants will need a boost from fertilizer. To avoid over-fertilization, do it every two months or so.

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