smokable herbs

Germinating amaranth seeds
Because of their sub-tropical origins, edible Amaranth will do particularly well in warm climates, so much so, that it if you are growing it using the ‘cut-and-grow-again method’ it can be harvested a mere 30 days after sowing.

When planting directly into the ground, amaranth seeds will germinate more successfully if they are sown into a finely prepared seed bed that receives adequate moisture. This can be done anytime from April onwards so long as the threat of late frosts are over. However, it is more important to make sure that soil temperatures are averaging above 16 degrees Celsius - you will be able to sow them earlier if they can be given the protection of a small poly-tunnel. Of course, once the weather stays consistently warm the cover can be removed.

Thinly sow the seed into rows 12 inches apart with each row spaced up to two feet apart. Cover with a 1/4 inch of soil, firm gently, and keep moist and weed free. When they are large enough, thin the seedlings out to approximately 1 plant for every 3 inches when using amaranthus for baby leaf, or 8 inches apart for producing mature plants. If you wish, any thinnings collected can be eaten as you would do with baby leaf salad or they can be added as part of a stir fry.

Some edible amaranth varieties can get quite tall and may need the support of canes. Check the height of you crop before you sow so that you can place your canes before the plants are of a size that the roots can become damaged by their insertion.

Read more:

Germinating summer savory seeds
Planting Depth: 1/4" press into soil but do not cover as they need light for germination.
Soil Temperature for Germination.: 70-85°F
Days to Germination.: 10-14 for Summer Savory and 20 days for Winter Savory at 70ºF
Plant Spacing: 8-12"
Days to Maturity: 65-75
Full Sun
Moderate Water
Both Savories appreciate full sun and good drainage, the plants thrive in lean soil, however Summer Savory likes somewhat richer soil then Winter Savory.

Germinating basil seeds

  • Fill flats with equal parts perlite, vermiculite, and peat
  • Press soil slightly to eliminate air pockets
  • Dampen soil
  • Drop one to two seeds into each container.
  • Cover lightly with soil
  • Cover containers with clear plastic kitchen wrap and leave in a sunny window
  • Remove plastic wrap when plants emerge
  • Water lightly twice daily.
  • Once two sets of leaves have formed, basil can be planted into the garden or permanent containers
  • Basil does not tolerate frost
  • It's best to put basil somewhere where it will get a good deal of sunshine

  • To plant into the garden, pinch off the bottom two leaves
  • Turn container upside down and gently squeeze container until plant falls out into your cupped hand
  • Bury roots and stem to just cover spot where leaves were pinched off
  • Pat down soil around the plant to eliminate air pockets
  • As the plant matures, pinch off the top two pairs of leaves once a stalk reaches a reasonable height
  • If you look closely, at the base of every leaf are two tiny little leaves that will grow outwards if the stem growing between them is cut off. Cut close to those tiny leaves, but be sure not to damage them.
  • When you see flower buds, pinch them and two pairs of leaves under them off. Flowers blooming create a hormone change which dramatically reduces the flavor of the leaves, as well as reducing the amount of foliage which grows. This is called "bolting" and is more likely to happen when there's extra sunshine. You'll notice that if you leave the flowers, the plant will become lanky and the leaves won't be as full or tasty

Germinating cauliflower seeds

Sowing the seeds

  • You need to have clean flats that are either new or washed and sterilized before you use them
  • Then next as always get your germination mix out and fill your flat half full of soil
  • soak the entire flat and put them on the greenhouse bench or propagating mat and let set and drain for over night
  • The next day take your seed flat and get your seed packet and start to sow your Cauliflower seeds. After you sow the seeds you can cover them with about a 1/4 of an inch of germinating mix.
  • Then take your Flat and mist the entire flat and either set it on the greenhouse bench or on the propagating mat and grow light above the flat
  • It usually takes about 10 to 14 days For the seed to germinate.

From Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole B. Turner

  • Cauliflower will cross with other brassicas. Seperate them.
  • Plan plantings so that the plants will mature in fall just before the last frost -- if they mature in the heat, they will not be very good.
  • Protect them from cutworms by placing a paper collar around the plants.
  • Cauliflower is a biennial.
Seed Facts
  • Optimum soil temperature for germination: 45 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Germinating time at optimum soil temp: 8 - 14 days
  • Spacing/thinning: 2"; thin to 18 - 24"
  • Row spacing: 2 - 3'
  • Planting depth: 1/4 - 1/2"
  • Seed storage requirements: sealed container in a cool, dry area
  • Seed viability: About 5 years

Indoor sowing

Start early crops indoors in flats, 5 - 7 weeks before transplanting into the garden. When seedlings have four or five true leaves, transplant into individual containers. Harden off before planting outdoors, no earlier than two or three weeks before last frost date. Water transplants daily, and keep shaded.

Harvesting the Seeds

  1. Dig up cauliflower plants in early fall of the first year and store them over the winter in a cool place, roots up
  2. Set out plants 2 - 3' apart at last from in spring. They will produce a tall stalk of yellow flowers, followed by seedpods
  3. Cut down stalks when the seedpods turn brown in fall, and lay out on a sheet to continue drying. Some seeds will spill out; thresh out the rest by placing seedpods in a bag and beating with your hands. Pass seeds through a screen to clean out and remove the chaff, or they can be winnowed

Germinating kale seeds

Sow your kale seeds directly into the garden as soon as the soil is dry and can be worked, or about four to six weeks prior to the last expected frost date. They'll germinate best if the soil has reached temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant them 1/2 inch deep and 3 inches apart, with about 18 to 24 inches between rows. Your kale seeds will germinate in five to 10 days, and you can expect to harvest your crop in 50 to 75 days.

From: The Germination for Kale Seeds |

Growing lettuce seeds

  • sow several seeds per cell
  • provide light for germination
  • keep moist but not wet
  • cover with a light sprinkling of seed mix
  • keep in a cool place
    • Once the seedlings reach about 2 inches in height, thin out and discard any that look weak.
    • From Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole B. Turner

      Since lettuce is self-pollinating, it will nearly always "come true" from seed, making it a good choice for seed saving. You can feel comfortable planting different varieties side by side, although to be absolutely sure no crossing occurs, it's best to plant another crop between the rows of lettuce. (72)

      Lettuce is a cool-weather crop, and it tends to bolt (go to seed) when the weather is hot. You'll know lettuce is beginning to bolt if you seed a stalk rising from the center of the plant and the leaves begin to taste bitter. Since early bolting is an undesirable quality, save seed only from heat-tolerant, slow-to-bolt varieties. If you're growing head lettuce, you may have to encourage bolting by cutting an X into the top of the head, about 1" deep; this helps the stalk push up from the tightly packed leaves. (72)

Germinating celery seeds
  • I do know they, like parsley, take a long time to germinate, up to a month
  • sterilizing the mixture (cooked in the oven @ 200 degrees F. for 1 hour)
  • cool conditions and moist potting mix—kept damp with a spray bottle
  • seem to sprout quicker with little or no light too until a week after planting
  • soak seeds overnight before planting
  • Seed should be sown on the surface of the soil and not covered. Water and wait, no heat required.
  • Transplant as soon as first true leaves are visible.

Garden planning


9 weeks before last frost

new Moon

  • Plant above-ground crops with outside seeds; flowering annuals

March 28th, Moon in Gemini

  • Gather herbs and roots
  1. inventory gardening tools
  2. Prepare seedling grow-space

1st quarter

  • Plant above-ground crops with inside seeds

March 30th, Moon in Cancer

  • Plant leafy crops bearing fruit above ground
  • Prune to encourage growth.
  1. Plant celery
  2. Plant lettuce
  3. Plant kale
  4. Plant cauliflower
  5. Plant cabbage
  6. Plant basil
  7. Plant summer savory
  8. Plant amaranth

April 1st, Moon in Leo

April 3rd, Moon in Virgo

8 weeks before last frost

April 5th, Moon in Libra

  • Plant vines
  1. Plant peas
  2. Plant eggplant
  3. Plant strawberries
April 6th
  • Plant flowers

Full Moon (Seed Moon)

  • Plant root crops, bulbs, biennials, perennials

April 7th, Moon in Scorpio

  1. Cultivate soil
  2. test soil pH
  3. Check bluebird boxes
  4. Construct a cold frame
  5. Construct raised beds

April 9th, Moon in Sagittarius

  • Plant for good germination and swift growth
  1. Plant onions
  2. Plant carrots
  3. Plant beets

7 weeks before last frost

April 12th, Moon in Capricorn

  • Till the soil
  • Growth of roots, rhizomes, bulbs, tubers, and stocks is boosted
  • Prune to promote strong branches

Last Quarter

  • Do not plant

April 14th, Moon in Aquarius

  • Cultivate
  • Gather roots and herbs for quick use
  • Destroy weeds and pests
  • April 16th, Moon in Pisces

    6 weeks before last frost

    April 18, Moon in Aries

    • Cultivate
    • Weed
    • Prune to lessen growth
    • Gather roots and herbs for storage

Seed inventory
Amaranth (red and green)
Black beans
Green beans
Casaba Melon
Anise hyssop
Sheep's Sorrel
Summer Savory
White horehound
Sunflower (two types)


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