Instructions - Basil Herb Kit
Planting Directions for the Jiffy Pellets:
- Refer to Individual Seed Instructions on the back side of this sheet for specific herb requirements.
- Expand the pellets by adding two cups of warm water to the base tray. Pour off excess water when pellets are fully expanded . . . about 1 ½” tall and dark brown.
- Gently pull back netting on top of pellets. Fluff and level surface peat. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pellet. Cover lightly with peat. Place dome on tray and keep in a warm location away from direct sunlight.
- When first seeds sprout, prop dome open. When all seeds have sprouted, remove dome and place in a sunny location. After first true leaves appear, snip back all shoots except strongest seedling in each pellet.
- Add water to tray when pellets turn light brown. Do not over water. It is important not to leave the plants in the jiffy pellets too long. (They need the nutrients of the soil.)
- To harden off plants, place in shade outside for several days (bring plants in at night). Gradually expose to full sunlight. If you are going to transfer the plants to inside containers, this step is not necessary. (Transfer when plant is about 2 inches tall.)
- To transplant, dig holes deep enough to cover top of pellets. Gently firm the soil around the pellet. Water.
General Information about Growing Herbs
First Read the Planting Instructions for the Jiffy Pellets. The following instructions are to be used after the plant and pellet have been transplanted to a container or to your garden:
- Herbs like sun. They need 5 or more hours of direct sunlight. If you already have grow lights, use them--or set the herbs near a window where they will get at least 4 to 5 hours of sun.
- After transplanting the herb, soil must be kept moist. After this, herbs dislike always being in extremely wet soil. It is best to put pebbles in the bottom of each pot so that they will be well drained. So the main thing your herbs need are adequate light, warm temperatures, fertilizer (later in the growing stage) and humidity.
- Most of the herbs we have included in this kit, are compact and low growing and therefore suitable for container growing. Keeping the plant bushy instead of letting it get tall and gangly is accomplished by pinching off the terminal ends (use the ends each time to flavor your foods or make your teas).
- Herbs prefer warm temperatures of about 65 to 70 degrees. If the air in your house is not particularly humid, misting the herbs once or twice during the day will suffice. Once your herbs have reached two to three inches in height, let the soil dry out between watering. Too much water can kill the herbs. Feel the soil. It should be dry to about an inch down. Then water with warm water instead of cold.
- After your herbs have reached maturity, they can be fertilized. Mix about a tablespoon of Elemite with your water and water with this.
- Possible problems: For insects, Put a few drops of dish detergent in a spray bottle. Fill with water and spray on plants. Plants can get too thick after awhile and need thinning. Plants can be over watered.
General Things to think about:
- Read the instruction on each package before you plant. Some seeds need to be frozen overnight or longer before planting. Also, sometimes your herbs will sprout faster if you soak them for 2 to 3 hours before planting.
- Once you transfer to a container for growing inside, put pebbles into the bottom of each pot before adding soil. (1/2 to l inch deep) Fill pots with growing medium. Label each herb.
- From this point on, watch your plants grow. Only water when the soil is dry one inch down. After they have reached six to 12 inches tall, pinch off terminal ends to keep the plant bushy.
If you have transferred your herbs to inside containers and you are planning to transplant to an outside garden, you must wait until the temperatures are warm in the late spring. Then, take the plant outdoors for a few hours each day, increasing the time each day over a period of about two weeks until the plant hardens, i.e. gets used to the outside weather. While they are outdoors for this two weeks gradually cut down on the amount of water you give them. Put them in a place that is sunny but that is sheltered from the wind. Then for the transplant, water with warm water. Dig a hole where you want the herb to be and gently turn upside down and remove the pot. Plant the entire soil, which surrounds the plant, cover with a small amount of earth and tamp down gently. From this point forward, don't over water.
If you plan to keep the plants indoors:
- Water when soil 1 inch down is dry.
- Pinch off terminal ends of plants to keep herbs bushy.
- The transfer of herbs should be to a large (clay if available) pot.
- Gradually use your herbs to cook with, flavor your salads, etc. or make tea.
Storage of Seeds: If you store your seeds properly, they will last about three years. Keep the seed in the plastic containers. Make sure they are airtight. (You want it to be airtight because if moisture gets into the package, it will ruin the seeds.) Put your package of seeds into the freezer. If you don’t have room in the freezer, you can put them in the refrigerator. The seeds should last from two to three years. Some seeds don’t last that long, for example: peppermint and chives are only good for about a year.