Sowing Seeds in June!

(Question)

First time gardener! I just bought my first plant (lavender) and a big bag of triple mix as suggested at the store. I found some seeds a friend gave me years ago and I want to know what would be best to try and sow in June.

I live in Zone 6A with a north-facing rooftop terrace. Some areas are shaded, others get quite a bit of sun. I have seeds for Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Mint, Parsley, and Black Eyed Susans. Would prefer if I didn’t have to bring the pot in for the winter.

Thanks!

(Answer)

So glad to hear you are going to try your hand at gardening. You state that you live in zone 6a but your north-facing rooftop terrace could quite possibly be in a lower zone depending on how high up you are and how exposed the terrace is to winds. If you don’t want to bring your lavender inside in the winter you need to protect it in some way from winter winds and keep the roots from freezing. This is presuming you live in southern Ontario.

Generally speaking gardeners start to sow seed in early spring. June is a bit late other than for some Fall vegetables. Remember you need to leave enough growing time – 8 weeks for most plants. Be advised that seeds have a limited lifespan – a date is usually stamped on the package. For seeds that are several years old and haven’t been stored in a cool dry place germination rates will be low to non-existent.

Do not be put off! Go ahead and sow the herb seeds right away.  You may be pleasantly surprised. There are several steps you need to follow though.

STEP 1

  • Fill your seed trays with a soil-less compost
  • Use a water spray to wet the seed trays or containers (don’t make too wet)
  • Press seeds into soil

STEP 2

  •  Cover your seed  (Don’t bury seeds too deep)
  • Spray or water the trays lightly with water, and then cover them with clear plastic covers
  • Label each tray so that you know what herbs they contain

STEP 3

  • Check regularly and keep the soil-less compost moist
  • Watch carefully for the seeds to germinate.

STEP 4

  •  When seeds have germinated take off cover
  • Thin out and remove weak looking seedlings
  • Put the trays in a light place (but not direct sunlight)

STEP 5

  • Replant your seedlings into bigger pots when they look strong enough (1 to 2 inches tall)
  • Keep the pots in a light ventilated area and water regularly

Source:  https://www.herb-gardening-help.com/growing-herbs-from-seeds/

Please note that The Weston Family Library at the Toronto Botanical Garden has a wonderful book collection containing many helpful titles for the beginning gardener. Members can borrow books while non members can read in library. Also there are classes, courses and programs offered throughout the year on a variety of gardening topics.