Grow Your Own Herbs

Growing your own herbs from seed is easy

The smell of cilantro in the garden is intoxicating! Just working around it will send you into all kinds of mouthwatering ideas of how to use it. The problem most people have with growing their own herbs from seed is the challenge of germination. If you start herbs from seed and grow them to a mature plant, the taste difference will surprise you and the satisfaction of being successful is sweet. And it saves you money! I’ll help you start your herbs from seed with step-by-step instructions. Before you begin, decide what herbs you commonly use. Add a couple of new ones to try, just because it’s fun to try. Follow these steps and you can grow your own herbs from seeds.

Your shopping list for growing your own herbs from seeds

  1. “Seed Starter” soilless compost
  2. Old yogurt cups with holes poked in the bottoms, paper pots, or purchased trays for starting plants.
  3. Herb seeds!
  4. A spray nozzle with a mist setting or a watering can that you can dribble water out of

All of these supplies can be found at your local home improvement stores that have a garden section. Store leftover seeds in their packet and place the packets in a freezer ziploc or freezer container.

Start your herbs from seeds three months before your Spring planting date. 

Plant Herb Seeds Early

I start herbs when I sow my tomato seeds. For me, that is the first few days in Jaunary. I live in central Florida, zone 9b. Calculate 12 weeks before the “safe” date to plant common veggies for your planting zone. The reason you need to begin early is that herbs don’t survive very well during prolonged hot temperatures. They also do not like intense sunlight all day long. Establish your plants before then.

Plan your herb garden location

Most herbs need either cool to warm weather for the best chance of survival. You can still be successful if you grow them in a spot that has only morning sun or partial shade throughout the day. In my sub-tropical climate, I have herbs year round on or next to my front porch that faces east in various pots. They get morning sunshine and plenty of water. 

To plant herb seedstiny herb seedlings

  1. Fill your tray of pots almost to the top with your soilless mixture.
  2. Very carefully allow 3-4 seeds per tray to fall into each cup
  3. Cover with just a light sprinkle of the same mixture
  4. Water with a mister, or carefully dribble water into each cup
  5. Water daily.
  6. Protect them from the cold 

When to transplant your herb seedlings

Once your seedlings get as tall as the cup they are in, they will need more room. At this point, they can also be planted directly into your garden or pot. Keep in mind that herbs do not like frost. You will need to cover them if they are outside or simply bring them inside. When you transplant them, use a spoon to lift the plants out because you don’t want to disturb the roots. 

Herbs that I have successfully transplanted into the garden include cilantro and dill. I transplant the rest into pots where the morning is the only time they get direct sun. Remember, direct summer sun is too intense for tender herbs. 

Daily care for herbs

Check potted herbs every day. The easiest way to determine whether the plants need water is to simply stick your finger into the soil about one-half inch below the surface. If it is dry, or barely damp, it’s time to water. Plants that are growing in pots tend to dry out very quickly and may need to be watered daily. Soon, you will be able to tell if the soil is dried out when you take a quick look. For example, I water the dill and cilantro that has been transplanted into the garden every other day but I water the herbs that are in pots every day.

Keep track with easy records

Keep a journal of your garden activity. You will thank yourself when you have notes from the previous years. It’s easy to keep track when you have a method that is easy to follow and easy to enter your information in. You can read how to make your own or you can check out this one that is already done for you.

A photo of the author, Deborah Schreffler

Debbie Schreffler

Veteran Homeschooler, avid gardener, and proud grandma

I believe that you can design a peaceful lifestyle while you homeschool, complete with a garden if you want, and meals that will make the best memories you ever could imagine!

I homeschooled seven kids through high school, starting them all with a lot of planned, hands-on activities. Then, I centered subjects around the activities. That gave them lots of room for their natural curiosity to be satisfied as they learned about God’s world.

Let me help you teach kids, grow food, and stay calm!

oregano overflowing a pot

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