Thursday, March 5, 2015

6 Herbs that are Simple to Grow from Seed

Starting from Seed

seed starting
It's that time of year, just before spring when the gardening bug bites worst.  Too cold most days to go out and do any real gardening, but warm enough on other days to make me want to grow something. 
Planting a few herb seeds is a perfect way to feed the need to garden when weather doesn't cooperate. 

The following 6 herbs are simple to grow from seed.  And with the exception of calendula and chives, the rest will quite possibly take it upon themselves to reseed all over your garden and you may never need to replant them again!

chive blossom
Herbs to start indoors in pots:
  • Basil- perhaps the easiest of all herbs to grow.  This warm weather annual can be started indoors in pots, or seeded directly in the garden once the threat of cold weather is gone.  Varieties abound, and my current favorites are: Genovese basil, Lemon Basil, and Tulsi or Holy Basil.
  • Calendula- Otherwise known as Pot Marigold.  This easy to grow herb is grown for its leaves as a spring tonic or 'pot herb', and its sunny yellow or orange flowers for use in skin care.  The dried  petals are also sometimes used as a substitute for the expensive herb, saffron.  They don't give the same flavor, but do give rice a pretty yellow hue.
  • Chives- Grown for their mild onion flavor as well as pretty purple flowers, chives are an herb garden essential.  Chives are great snipped into soups or baked potato, and the edible flower florets are beautiful and tasty scattered over a salad.  The flowers are also often used to flavor vinegar, giving it a mild flavor and a delicate lavender hue.  Seed should be sown indoors 6 weeks before your last frost date.  Once you have established plants, those can be divided every 2 to 3 years rather than sowing seed. 

Herbs to sow in the garden:

  • Borage- With its beautiful, sky blue flowers, Borage is a garden favorite.  The flowers make pretty garnishes to spring dishes or desserts.  They can be candied by brushing them with egg white (use dried meringue powder if you aren't sure about raw egg whites), thensprinkling them with sugar and allowing to dry.  These make lovely decorations for cakes and cupcakes. 
  • Cilantro- An herb that is usually either loved or hated, the strong flavor of cilantro is used for salsas and Mexican style soups at our house.  A cool weather herb, cilantro will quickly go to seed once hot weather comes along, and will likely reseed so that you have a fresh supply of cilantro in the fall or next spring.
  • Dill- Another abundant re-seeder, dill is finicky about being transplanted due to its long taproot, so scatter seed where you want it to grow.  Dill will probably plant itself all over the garden once it goes to seed, and you will have plenty of dill for pickles, potato salad, vinegars, and enough to share with the caterpillars of the  Black Swallowtail butterfly in coming years.

These six herbs are easy to grow and can be used in so many different ways, you can have a nice herb garden starting with just a half dozen seed packets.


Are you dealing with Spring Fever, too?

Which herbs do you start from seed?

Blessings,

Catherine Ann

2 comments:

  1. Nice to see another herb lover on the DTE forum although our climates are very different. My caledula does self seed although I always make sure I grow a large bed as well as using it as a vegetable companion plant. Don't forget its antiviral and fungal properties as well as using it for skin care. We'll be sowing some at my workshop on Saturday if it doesn't pour down with rain! Borage is also so much more than its flowers, although the jury is out because of the PSA debate. The aerial parts make a wonderful fresh flavoured vinegar which smells of cucumber and the tincture or tea can be used for post viral fatigue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah!
      Thanks for dropping in from the forum.
      I appreciate your input. I hope you have fair weather for your workshop!
      Blessings,
      Catherine Ann

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Thanks for joining the conversation!

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