Today was the day! It has been 6 days since I planted my herbs, and it turns out I didn’t totally screw them up (at least not all of them)! The basil is coming in strong (at least 4-5 plants in one area) and there is a tiny sign from the oregano (the seeds were tiny, so I guess it makes sense that the plants would start out pretty small too). One thing I didn’t mention in my last post is that I had decided to cover the basil and parsley with plastic wrap and put them in the sun rather than on top of the fridge. Because the sun dries out the soil, the plastic wrap is used to keep the moisture in. I can’t remember why I only chose those two, but it will be a good experiment to see how those grow compared to the rest. So far with the basil coming in strong, I think that covering them did help, but with the oregano sprouts coming in a few days before anticipated, it could just be that they are both easy to grow plants. In the end it probably depends on the plants and the conditions that they prefer.
Here are the herbs I planted with the name descriptions that came with them and the expected sprouting time for the seeds:
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum): 7-14 days
Chives, Common (Allium schoenoprasum): 7-14 days
Oregano (Greek): 10-21 days
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum): 14-21 days
Parsley (Single Italian Plain Leafed): 14-21 days
Thursday night I spent some time taking the back off of one of my tall bookcases that I had bought from a leaving grad student for $10. All it required was taking out some nails, and the result was great! My plants now sit on a shelf in front of a south-facing window and on bright sunny days they will hopefully get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Sometime this week I hope to plant my vegetable seeds in the tray that I bought and start getting stuff ready for the garden. The days are already starting to get warmer and the soil is definitely workable. It might be time to start planting some of the seeds in the garden that can survive the cooler outdoor temperatures, or at least starting to plan out my plot. Really, I should narrow down the list of things I want to plant and then figure out where to go from there. For instance, I would really like to grow spinach, but they are cool weather plants and would not survive the summer. I found this article really helpful that goes over different strategies for planting spinach in the spring and fall: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2635/how-to-grow-spinach
Since this is my first year of gardening, I need to try to not take on too much. I am really excited to grow all kinds of things, but starting out small and being successful would be better than taking on too much and not being able to keep up with everything. So maybe I will wait until the fall and try my hand at growing spinach then depending on how everything else turns out. Other things I would like to try (at some point, probably not all this year) are: peas, carrots, lettuce, onions, garlic, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, and melons. There are probably more too, but this seems like a nice starter list.
For now I will continue to care for the herbs and start my indoor seedlings later this week. Updates to come soon!