Growing Herbs From Seeds, Indoors and On Your Balcony is Really Fun and Rewarding!
Choose to either grow herbs from seeds, or purchase herbs from the nursery and put them on your balcony, inside near a bright window, or under grow lights.
Growing Herbs From Seed:
For best success, use artificial grow lights. Once the seeds have germinated then place under the lights 15-25cm from the top of plants.
(I use LED grow lights with 15 W, 230 V, 6400K, 1200 lumen-- Note: I'm positive there are better lights than these but these work great for my herb garden at a reasonable price)
What you will need:
Small Plastic Containers
Various Herb Seeds
Sow seeds in soil (a couple per container) cover very lightly with soil.
Water gently - keep soil moist - I use a spray bottle after initial watering
Cover with plastic wrap lightly and place in indirect sunlight in a warm area indoors.
Once the seeds start to Germinate, and seedlings sprout place under the grow light for about 14 hours a day.
Fertilize weekly with fertiliser labeled for food consumption, don't just use any fertiliser.
After the herbs have been established with good roots then you can transfer them outside, or leave them indoors, you may take away the grow light if you have enough natural sun for them.
Note: Some herbs don't do well with transplantation so its best to start with a larger container. In my experience, these would be basil and cilantro. Some also say parsley but I've never had a problem transplating parsley. In fact, parsley is so hardy, last year it lasted the whole swedish winter on my balcony.
Basil – Sow two seeds per small container, or a few more for a larger one. Basil germinates as fast as 4 days from seeding.
Chives - Keep the soil evenly moist and the seeds will Germinate in 10 days from sowing.
Cilantro – Sow seeds in larger pots, as they don't do well transplanted. Cilantro seeds should Germinate in 7 to 10 days.
Dill – Germinates within 1 to 2 weeks of sowing the seeds.
Parsley – Parsley seed is slow to Germinate, taking up to 4 weeks.
Oregano – Oregano can take weeks to Germinate. Gently press the tiny seeds into the soil and keep evenly moist. Oregano, thyme and rosemary are prone to disease if the soil is kept too moist. Watch out for damping off disease.
Rosemary - Rosemary seeds are hard to Germinate, they are normally propagated from cuttings. Seeds take 15 to 25 days to Germinate, and its best to sow extra seeds because even under ideal conditions only 30% will Germinate. The temperature must be kept at least at a constant 21 °C. Keep moist initially during germination stages and then gradually water less as rosemary is prone to damping off disease. Rosemary needs bright light as soon as it starts to Germinate and does best in well draining rocky soil.
Sage – Sage is slow to Germinate, taking up to 3 weeks.
Thyme – Thyme seed may take 2 to 3 weeks for seedlings to appear.
Living in Sweden, its easy to kill Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme because the climate here does not suit them, especially in the winter. But, that doesn't mean you can't grow them. The first ones I bought, I killed right away because I didn't realise they don't need a lot of water and do best under grow lights or bright sunlight.
In the next few days, I will be starting up my herb garden again. This time I thought about doing a DIY self watering system on a budget. I'll keep you posted with it.
I have a few Thai basil and regular basil plants left from my last round of herbs I grew from seeds on the balcony now. However, they are healing from a leave miner bug infestation.
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I dont personally know of any global seed stores. I'm sure there are some regulations as to what seeds can go to different countries. The organisation Seed Savers Exchange states that you must check with your countries Ministry of Agriculture.