Plants can be expensive and identical cultivars difficult to source, but increasing your own stock or growing new varieties is not difficult and is very rewarding in exchange for a small amount of financial outlay.
- Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs
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What Do You Need?
The bare essentials for raising seedlings include containers, growing media, labels, and the living plant material you are going to grow from. You will also need a watering can with a range of sprinkler heads and a waterproof pen or pencil for labeling.
Buying the full range of pots and plugs can be expensive in one go, but do buy the more robust as they can be reused again and again. Small, frost-resistant terracotta pots are not expensive and are an attractive way of presenting herbs. Organic pots are available, but they are only suitable for one, short-term usage.
A fine sandy texture is good for seeds and cuttings while a coarse grade is better for transplanting older plants. Old compost can harbor pests and diseases.
Using and Buying Vermiculite
This is a mineral that can be added to compost to help alter its air and moisture-holding capacity. It makes the art of growing seeds and seedlings more predictable (Image 1).
Buy a suitable grade of vermiculite, depending on the size of your seed. The coarsest grade can be broken down by rubbing between your fingers (Image 2).
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs
©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
Many plants do not produce viable seed or, if they do, it is so fiddly or slow to grow that it is easier and quicker to take...