First Harvest of the Year With My Indoor Garden/seed Starting Setup

Who doesn't love fresh herbs? I just picked my first batch of Basil today from some plants I have been growing under lights since February. They were delicious!
Italian large leaf basil-just picked:-)
The winter seemed extremely long here in Iowa (Zone 5), so I decided to start some seeds just for kicks. I planted most of the basics: Thyme, Dill, Oregano, Marjoram, 4 types of Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Sage, Parsley, and Tarragon. All of the plants have done well and I have harvested not only Basil but also Thyme, Parsley and Oregano so far.
My seed starting setup
The key (I think) is I reflect as much light on the plants as possible by using aluminum cookie sheets and the mylar blanket. This also keeps the plants warm which most herbs need to grow. The lights are shoplights with 2 T8 bulbs (1 warm/1cool)-no need for special plant lights!
I keep the cookie sheets up to reflect the light. I only remove them when I water (bottom water only). I also run a fan-I place it on the left side and run it to keep air circulating.
Trimmed Basil
Basil after it's trim. Still plenty of large leaves left if I need them. Notice the sand on the surface of the pots? I do that to help prevent damping off and fungus gnats.
Oregano

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Rhonda B

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4 of 8 comments
  • Basil is one herb I have in my pots

    • Rhonda B
      Rhonda B
      on Aug 6, 2014

      @The Garden Frog with C Renee Herbs are great for containers!

  • Virginia Thornton
    Virginia Thornton
    on Feb 6, 2015

    I love this. Such a wonderful project. I live in California and haven't had much luck with herbs from seed. You have given me a lot of insight. Thanks

    • Rhonda B
      Rhonda B
      on Feb 6, 2015

      @Virginia Thornton I think herbs are easier than other plants-I think it might be because most can take a little more neglect. I hope you give herbs another try and wish you good luck! Thanks!

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