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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seed Starting and Germinating Lavender & Rosemary: Start Really Early!

Seed Starting and Germinating Lavender & Rosemary: 
Start Really Early!


Lavender and rosemary take a long time to germinate, compared to many vegetables and flowers. They are also slow growers. They are both seeds you can start indoors a good 10-12 weeks before they would be able to go outside into your garden. Lavender and rosemary are a handful of seeds I start indoors in January, here in Maryland Zone 7. 


The best tip I have for both of these seeds is that they germinate poorly. Some people say refrigerating them for 7 days helps with germination. I have not tried that yet. So make sure you put several seeds in each starting cell. They actually divide pretty, easily so don't worry if more than one germinate. I place a seed in three of the four corners of each cell. It is better to have to remove seedlings and have too many than to have too few.


I recommend you buy a sterile seed starting mix. Don't bring soil in from your yard for starting seeds indoors. You will bring in disease, fungus, mold and insects. Pre-moisten your starting mix before you pack it into your seed cells or cups. You want to gently press the starting mix into your containers to makes a firm planting base for your seeds. If it is too loose, seeds can fall to the bottom of the cells or cups when moving them around.

Lavender Transplants After about 12 weeks
Lavender and rosemary can take 3-4 weeks just to germinate, so be patient. I press my lavender seeds onto the surfaces of the starting mix. Press them in with your fingers, to make sure they make good contact with the starting mix. Rosemary should be covered with about 1/4 inch of soil. Water the seeds in after planting, from the bottom. Let the containers sit in water and absorb water from the bottom holes. After about 30 minutes get rid of excess water in the trays. 

Once you see the first seed germinate, the trays or starting cups should get 14-16 hours of light daily from your grow lights. After I see the first seed germinate that is when I put everything under the lights.  If you don't have grow lights, you can try a south facing window. Water them when the seed starting mix dries on the top. The video will give you tips on germinating and seed starting lavender and rosemary.


Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)


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