Thursday, January 30, 2014

Slow to Start

It is weeks yet before I can start my hot weather loving plants, like tomatoes and peppers, but I've got plans for some harder-to-germinate items that can be started now.  Every year, I spend oodles of money at greenhouses buying the same herbs: savory, chamomile, sage, lemon balm, basil...and usually, I either kill them off accidentally, they get eaten by something, or I forget them one frosty night and wham, down they go.

I think the reason why we all buy these things at greenhouses is because, well, they are terribly fiddly to start.  They have very specific preferences: winter savory likes light and just wants to rest on the surface of the soil, while sage needs to be 1/4 inch deep--no more, no less.  They all want to stay moist but not soggy.  They want a lot of light, but not too much heat. 

Persnickety little boogers.

Good thing it is arctic outdoors and I have nothing else to do but attempt the impossible.  If it works, I will be a heroine in my own eyes.  If it fails, ah well. 

I'm hoping for success by broadcasting seed on top of recycled plastic tubs (I cut lots of holes in the bottom for drainage and/or wicking of moisture up from the trays they are set in).  Herbs have a historically poor germination rate, so if I plant 25 seeds I may get 10 to start.  Once they are big enough, I'll break out my chopsticks and prick the seedlings out, moving them to individual small pots to continue growing.

Of course, they have to start breaking out their seedy shells, first.

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