- Seeds are inexpensive. Start your herbs from seed whenever possible, and start more than you hope to use. That way, you will be fierce when thinning the seedlings, and will end up with replacement plants when needed.
- Start your seeds at the proper time by counting back from the time you plan on putting them into the garden. There is a delicate balance of starting them early enough to be ready as soon as the ground is ready, and starting so early that your herbs end up leggy and weak.
- Once your days start to lengthen appreciably, water your plants and seedlings with a weak fish emulsion. Water more often at this time as well. Your plants will be coming out of dormancy, due to the hours of sunlight, and have increased fertilizer and moisture needs.
TIP A natural fungicide that helps you avoid dampening your seeds is a triple-strength chamomile tea spritzed across the top of the soil before the seedlings break through.
Amy Jeanroy is a garden writer living off the Bay of Fundy in Northern Maine. She harvests herbs from the forest and seaside whenever possible, and grows the rest in her gardens.