This is my fourth year starting my own seeds indoors to transplant into the garden. Every year I seem to perfect my technique a little more and learn something to consider and incorporate for next year. My grow lights that I started using last year are definitely worth every penny of the investment. It is like night and day at how much faster my sprouts grow and how healthy they are once established. I am so excited to be adding some new herbs to my garden this year!! They include: California Poppy, Valerian, Fenugreek, Garden Sage, and Tulsi (Holy Basil). I also grew some common Yarrow from seed which I hadn’t done before (I usually buy plants from the nursery) and they look great! These are just the ones I’m sure of since I now have little plants started, but I did also put some seeds into the ground outside (Oats, American Skullcap, Blue Vervain, & Elecampane); and if they come up, once the weather warms up and the snow melts, I will be sure to update you about those as well!
One new thing I learned this year is the importance of wet, moist, warm soil for helping some of my seeds to germinate. When certain seeds didn’t come up within a few weeks, I made sure to put more seeds in the soil and keep trying! After doing this, some of the seeds that never sprouted after the first attempt were now peeking up out of the soil within a day or two (Red Clover, Calendula, & Poppy), so this is a technique I will try next year with some of the herb seeds I plant. The process will be to get the soil in the containers, moisten it with some water, let it sit for a day and warm up on the heat mat, and then put the seeds in. These learning lessons and tricks are all part of the learning process & dedication of a gardener. I am so very eager for the start of my garden this year, but these little guys are getting me by as spring is hardly here yet!!
I have even started transplanting my seedlings into my handmade newspaper pots because they have outgrown their original containers. It’s so exciting to watch them grow, and I love making these pots for them. It saves money and is a fun folding activity for keeping my memory fresh and reusing something in a very useful way. Below I will show a bit of the process of how I move these beautiful little plants into their new homes. These could be put right in the ground outside once they’re hardened off and ready to transplant, but I usually remove most of the newspaper when I place them into the ground. It just seems like the roots should be right in the soil. It’s a personal preference though because they will biodegrade and newspaper is often used for composting.
Here’s to new life, edible herb plants that just keep giving, and the onset of my 2018 garden!!
It’s time for renewal, growth, & new adventures as the days get longer and warmer. The soil calls my name and gives me purpose. The plants I nurture are a therapy like none other & offer me healing; not just through their growth but by the leaves, roots, and flowers they generate. Each year it is a new beginning and there is an eagerness and anxiousness in my soul as I ponder what wonders, new opportunities, and experiences it will bring for me and my family! Love the EARTH and all it gives to us for we only have ONE; a very unique, rare ecosystem that gives life to us all!!
I leave you with a photo of my Goji Berry plant which is now more like a small weeping willow tree, and the berries are ripening like crazy. They have a slight sweet taste to begin with, the texture is that of a tiny little tomato, and a sour ending. Again, one of those things that once it is thought of as medicine, each note of flavor is like its own healing constituent. They are truly a delight to have in our dining room as a rare treat to freshly pick for our health & enjoyment. There is nothing quite like eating something within seconds of plucking it!
Love & thanks to you all,