Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Herb Society Meeting: Growing from Seed

At last night's Herb Society Meeting, we discussed some resources for growing from seed. I must admit that I haven't had much success growing from seed, but it's still fairly new to me. I tried growing lavender from seed a few years ago and got nothing from it. This past fall, I tried Thai Basil (from some seeds from the Herb Society, in fact) and got some adorable little green sprouts that quickly died. Honestly, I think I may have over watered that one. One of these days, I have to give it a go again. I also have to eventually invest the time, energy, and money to try to plant something in our sandy soil.

I have not tried any of these, but here are a few seed suppliers that they recommended:
Horizon Herbs
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Kitazawa Seed Company

A highly recommended fertilizer (again, I haven't tried it but it sounds amazing):
Ocean Solution

I was also thinking that I need to pick up a field identification book and heard at the meeting last night that the Smithsonian Handbook of Herbs is a really great book for all of it's color photos.

For the workshop portion of the evening, we repotted some herbs that one of our members who has a farm was growing for the group. I repotted & brought home with me (two for $1 was a steal!) a nasturtium, some lettuce, Tulsi (or Holy Basil), and Perilla.

The nasturtium is a lovely edible flower. I'm not sure what it tastes like, but it's colorful and looks so pretty on salads.

I was warned that the growing season for lettuce in Florida is probably just about over, so I'm not sure if these will take but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway.

I'm very excited about the Tulsi and Perilla. Tulsi is a nerve tonic, helps lower fevers, is good for treating respiratory problems, reduces cholesterol, it's an adaptogen, and even helps treat insect bites.

Perilla is good for sinus & allergy problems, colds, congestion, asthama, bronchitis, it helps sweat out a cold, and is anti-bacterial. Plus, it's leaves are green and a really lovely purple.

Here's a little gem that I picked up last night: The plant leaf most attacked (by bugs or whatnot) has the most magic and medicine of the plant.

If you're in the Tampa Bay area, the Green Thumb Festival is going on this weekend in St. Pete. It sounds like an amazing event with every kind of flower imaginable, food vendors, gardening accessories, soil testing, and more. I hope my feet are feeling up to it because I would love to check it out!

The lovely ladies on the board at the Herb Society allowed me to set up my fundraising goodies last night, too. It wasn't a huge success, but I did leave with $15 more to fight breast cancer than I had before the meeting. Every little bit helps.

Don't forget to check out my raffle benefitting the 3 Day!


Aquarian Bath said...

I like horizon, but you have to be careful and look up the plants online before you order the seeds to make sure that they will grow in your zone.

One thing I do with seeds sometimes is to soak them over night in water with a quartz crystal. They seem to germinate better that way.

Athena's Armoury said...

That's a really good reminder about checking the zone! I've heard about soaking the seeds overnight before, but I've never heard of including a crystal. What a fabulous idea! Thanks for the tips, Cory!

Faerie♥Kat said...

I've grown nasturtiums from seed here in Central FL, but I didn't just throw them into regular soil; I planted them in a container. A big whiskey barrel, in fact, with some other low growing herbs. The flowers are a very pretty yellow and orange, and taste very much like a peppery radish.

Athena's Armoury said...

I haven't grown anything in our FL soil yet. I'm terrified to try! I don't want to kill the poor little things. So, I've got a decent container herb garden growing outside my front door. The nasturtium plant that I got was actually pretty feeble looking, so I'm trying to nurse it back to health.