It is really funny how when you start down a path of wanting to control the quality of the food items that are going into your body, you jump from one thing to the next and then the next without realizing it. My goal originally was that I wanted to learn to grow my own herbs because I love to garden, I am no expert but love it all the same. Jump to many years later and now I am again looking at growing my own herbs. It started because I was trying to help myself get well and lose weight. I suffer from Fibromyalgia among other things. I wanted to take a natural path to trying to heal myself. It is an ongoing battle. I was not sure I wanted to share that with people who read my blog. But in some small way if I can help others then it is a win.
Now on to herbs..
Two ways to get started. Grow your herbs from seed or buy them in the nursery. But you might want to go further than that and plan your garden and what you want to grow, and how. If you are lucky enough to actually get to grow your herbs in raised beds that is so great. If like me at the moment I have to grow them in pots you want to make sure you have enough pots to grow herbs in before you even get started. I like to use organic soil mixed with compost when planting. I also save coffee grounds and egg shells to add to my soil through out the year.
Growing herbs from seed is such a joy. You check every day just to see if they have come up once you have planted them. Waiting to see that first tiny speck of green. There are so many different ways to plant the seeds indoors. You can use eggshells as containers or egg cartons. Or you can create containers out of newspaper, be creative. Needless to say you can also buy the trays and pods at the nursery to start your seeds.
As you can see there are so many ways to start the seeds. I would recommend you go so far as getting grow lights and that will help you grow healthier herbs and ready to go outside. Before planting them outside you will need to harden them off. That is leaving the seedlings outside for a few hours each day before you plant them outside. This is an easy way to have a grow light and controlled environment to start your seeds. The light can be found at any hardware store. The bulb should be from the nursery. The bulb has to be a certain lumin to replicate the sun.
To harden off plants to go outside is putting the seedlings outside to get them used to the light, temperature and rain etc. Do this for about a week. You will want to put them under a table or something so that they are not in the direct sunlight, that will burn the plants. Each day you put the plants out, incrementally increase their exposure to the outside weather. Do not forget to water the seedlings since they will dry out quickly in the yard. Be patient, after about a week or two of doing this you can leave them out over night, as long as the temperatures at night are no where near cold or freezing
Soil. You will want to use seed starting soil. It should have peat moss, vermiculite, ground up bark some lime and should be organic. I like to put the soil in a large bucket or container and use a scoop to put the soil in the containers. But if you are using egg shells to grow in then you can use a spoon.
Labeling. This is also very important because once you plant your seeds you may not know what is what until they get very large and they may get really tall and leggy before your recognize them. And if you are new to this you definitely will not recognize them.
It is at this time you may wish to also create your own seed catalog, and a garden journal. Here is one idea for you to start with. I love the way this woman did hers on sassybluejay.com. This year I am going to do this with my seeds. Right now they are all thrown in a box in the garage. This year I will get my entire garden organized. Much like this other blogger I am drawn in by the pretty packages and how wonderful I envision my garden will be. She goes into detail about how to put this together.
Looking forward to getting in the yard to play in the dirt!
Be safe, Be healthy