Grow Lights put Lavender Seedlings in the Spotlight
Herb seedlings that have just germinated need light to advance to their next stage of development. Light is required for photosynthesis to take place.
Photosynthesis is the way that a plant converts energy from light into the energy required for the plant to grow and thrive.
I use a germination heat mat and a hobbyist-size grow light system to grow some herbs from seed. North Country Herbs offers both of these products to our customers who wish to grow their own herbs.
Many herbs can successfully be grown from seed by the home gardener. My personal experience has been that a germination heat mat and grow lights are crucial to that process.
I have previously written posts about growing the herbs Anise Hyssop, Basil and Roman Chamomile from seed. Another herb I have grown from seed is a particular variety of lavender called “Lavender Vera.”
I was surprised to find the seed of any Lavender to be on sale because most reference materials indicate that Lavender is best propagated by taking cuttings and causing them to root.
While lavender may be best propagated by cuttings, if any variety could be had by seed germination, I was willing to give it a go. My budget for Lavender plants always exceeds my savings and if I could have some plants at a fraction of the cost of nursery-bought, I am willing to try.
My method – and I am sure that there are many, other methods – of growing Lavender Vera – is to sow a few seeds in the 72 cell inserts (eight 9 cell packs) that fit in a standard plastic propagation tray with a dome. I place the tray on our germination heat mat and wait until the seeds have germinated. As soon as the seeds have germinated, I place that 9 cell pack under our growing lights for about 16 hours per day and water and mist as needed.
For several years now I have had a germination rate for Lavender Vera seeds of well over 50%. I cull this number of seedlings by rejecting seedlings that are too “leggy” (the fragile stems are too long) in favor of seedlings that are shorter with a broader leaf. My recent experience with Lavender Vera is propagating 35 viable seedlings from 72 cells sown with seed.
Below is a photograph of emerging Lavender Vera seedlings.
Here are the Lavender Vera seedlings in the propagation tray under grow lights. You can see at this point that some are “leggy” and bent over by the weight of the first set of leaves and will be culled but others have straight stems and will survive.
The photograph below shows the Lavender Vera seedlings that I have transferred to larger pots (called “potting- up”). The larger pots are needed to give the roots of the seedling more space to branch out and grow.
North Country Herbs offers two pieces of equipment that will help you to grow herbs and other plants from seed, the germination heat mat and the grow light system. The germination heat mat and the grow light system are wonderful tools for the home gardener. They extend the gardening season by the time that it takes to grow seedlings from seed – 8 weeks! Eight more weeks of gardening equals bliss for those who would garden every day of the year!
If you have a friend or relative that is a year-long gardener at heart, these tools make excellent gifts. They are safe, make seed propagation easier and insure success with germination of seeds and healthy growth of seedlings. They are indoor tools and do not require kneeling on the ground – much appreciated by gardeners who can only work at table top level. They take up little space in the home as they are starter, hobbyist-size tools.
Visit our website to see these products by clicking the product links for germination heat mats and growing lights. You will also see other tools offered by North Country Herbs that are particularly useful to the herb gardener and cook.