I’ve always wanted to have my own herb garden, and now that we have a house with a big yard and plenty of sun, it’s time. At the beginning of March I started doing some research and very quickly discovered that buying herb plants, particularly the number and variety I want, was simply untenable. At a minimum of $3 per plant (plus shipping, and shipping plants isn’t cheap) I was looking at a final bill of a couple hundred bucks, the majority of which was for annuals. Since half the idea is to save money by not buying fresh herbs at the grocery store (seriously, $2-3 for a small handful of wilted basil?), a couple of hundred bucks wasn’t in the cards.
Then I spotted the seed prices, which are much more in line with what I had budgeted for this little experiment. While there are a few herbs that can’t really be grown from seed, the vast majority can, and ordering from Richter’s, I got many more herb, tomato, vegetable, and decorative plant seeds that I really need for less than $50. Another $12 got seeding flats and soil, and I was all set.
Last Saturday I spent a couple of hours planting out two flats’ worth of seeds — 144 units in all, with 2-3 seeds in each. These included: Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Lemon Balm, Chives, Cilantro (two types), Dill, Greek Oregano, Italian Parsley, Rosemary, Garden Sage, French Thyme, Yellow Currant Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Alpine Strawberries, Chinese Lantern, and four types of chiles (Cayenne, Jalapeno, Scotch Bonnet, and Serrano). I planted 144 in total because I’m pessimistically expecting a 75% failure rate, but we’ll see how it goes. There are still some herbs I need to buy as plants, including Bay, a couple of Mints, and French Tarragon. I expect I’ll also need to pick up a few Rosemary plants since those are apparently difficult to grow from seed.
Today, six days after planting the seeds, I was excited to discover the first sproutlings. The Sweet Basil, Thyme, Chives, and Oregano have all germinated, in spite of the less-than-stellar conditions they’ve had to deal with. Of course, I really have no idea what I’m doing beyond what I’ve read on a handful of pages on the internet, so we’ll see how it all turns out in the end.