A Few Pointers on Starting Herbs Indoors

Maybe it’s because how-to herb gardening books start at the beginning – the propagation of seedlings.

Or maybe, after holiday decorations for Christmas are put up and then taken down, you want to retake “ground” in your home.

In either event, in January many women interested in herbs issue the Gardener’s Decree:  Out with the Holiday decorations! My seed catalogs have arrived!  

Here are some hints for growing herbs from seed indoors — the first step in starting seedlings (after you have issued your Decree.)

•    Determine if the herb that you want to grow is best propagated by sowing  seed.  Some herbs are better  propagated by rooting stem cuttings or by dividing or layering the existing herbs in your garden.  You will be most successful if you choose herbs that are easily propagated from seed.

•    Do not use soil to start herb seedlings.  Soil cannot be used because it contains organisms that may attack your seedlings. Use a sterile, light weight medium instead.

•    Do not worry about directions that you “must” sow seeds at a very specific depth, like 1/16th of an inch.  Do follow the easier directions that state “barely cover seed” or “do not cover seed.”

•    When you moisten your medium with water, work into the medium that amount of water which will cause it to feel like a wrung out sponge.

•    Remove excess condensation that may accumulate on the top cover of your propagation tray.

•    Promptly remove the cover of your propagation tray when green shoots appear.  At that point, the seeds you have sown have germinated and your seedlings need light to grow.


North Country Herbs sells one of the pieces of equipment that will help you keep your herb seeds in a warm environment.  It is called the Gro Mat Germination Heat Mat, a seed heating pad.  We offer two sizes, the 14" by 21" Gro-Mat Germination Heat Mat and the 18" by 36" Gro-Mat Germination Heat Mat – Large.

Please click on the links above to buy a Gro-Mat Germination Heat Mat, browse through other articles about our products in our HerbLOG and visit our Garden Department for these and other fine herb garden tools.