HERB GROWING GUIDE AND TOP TIPS
Thank you for buying
our Terracotta Herbs Kit!
This is the beginning of a long term relationship...
As with every relationship, it needs patience and nurturing. We hope this kit is only the beginning of your herb growing journey. Give your herbs love and attention and they'll reward you with great beauty and flavour. The wonderful thing about growing herbs is that it's relatively easy, and once grown, they require very little maintenance. The three secrets to growing herbs successfully are light, warmth and water.
Light is key for your seeds to germinate and for your herbs to grow quickly and strongly. Place your pots where they are exposed to sunlight most of the day (south-facing window sills are ideal). Alternatively, if you don’t have a sunny corner or windowsill, you may wish to consider getting a set of herb growing lights. Most herb varieties require at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Seeds will germinate and grow best when their soil is within 18-22 °C (this is typical room temperature). Please be careful not to place them too close to very hot radiators, next to drafty windows or in places where temperatures drop considerably at night. The soil in the pots tends to be a bit cooler than the surrounding air temperature.
The seeds and herbs won’t grow unless they are watered. However, you don't want to flood and wash away the small seeds during their germinating and sprouting stages. Herbs need their soil to be moist, so regular watering using a small watering can or several squirts from a spray bottle should do the trick. Basil and Oregano thrive in slightly drier soil, so also bear this in mind.
You may have heard that seeds tend to grow best in early spring, as the sunlight gets stronger. But provided you give your pots enough light and keep them between 18-22 °C, you can in fact grow them all year round. Now, let us guide you step-by-step through unpacking your Terracotta Herbs Kit and growing your herbs.
1. PREPARING YOUR POTS
Getting the basics right
Unpack your kit and place the pots on the saucers. Pull the gravel pouch open (from the side) and divide the gravel evenly between the three pots. There is enough there for the three pots.
Inflate the coconut coir blocks to create compost, by placing them in a bowl or flat container and submerging them in 750ml of water (250ml per block). Leave the blocks to absorb all the water (it can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes), then break up the blocks by hand and mix in the fertiliser.
Now divide the compost in three equal parts and add it to the pots, reserving a small amount for later (to sprinkle on top of the seeds). Fill your pots with the compost and pat it slightly to create a level surface.
Top Tip: Note that the compost should be about 2 cms below the top of the pot and right by the inner rim of the pot. This is to prevent any water and soil from spilling out. There is sufficient compost in your kit if you fill the three pots up to that level.
2. SOWING YOUR SEEDS
Making tough decisions
Next it’s time to choose your seeds. Your kit comes with six types of herb seeds to choose from and we recommend sticking to one type per pot. So you'll need to choose three and will have another three spare for another time.
For more information on what herbs to choose, please check out this guide. We’ll show you which herbs grow easier and faster and give you more specific tips for each type of herb, but you should still read the rest of this generic guidance too.
Plant your seeds by gently pushing them into the compost, but do this very slightly. The seeds shouldn’t be deeper than a few millimetres (the only exception to this is with coriander seeds where you should push them further down to about 1cm below the surface). Also, when planting your seeds leave about 1.5cm (half an inch) between them, so their roots have space to grow later. Make the most of the surface area within the pot, as below.
Now, cover your seeds with a very fine layer of compost (that small amount you reserved earlier!) and moisten the newly planted seeds with a water spray (preferably an old rinsed-out cleaning bottle) or just pouring carefully from a glass. Be careful not to completely flood the soil, as this could wash away the seeds or overflow from the top of the pot.
Top Tip: To speed germination you can cover the pots with cling film or a glass dome that fits over the pot (this is not included in your kit). This helps to maintain the temperature and keep the seeds moist before they germinate. When you see the first signs of greenery, remove the cover. This usually takes 21-28 days.
3. WAITING FOR GERMINATION
And looking after your herbs
The most common reasons for trouble with growing herbs are: insufficient light, under/over-watering or an environment that is too cold. Remember, most herbs like it sunny and with the soil kept moist.
If using natural light only, rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from leaning into the light and to prevent some seeds or seedlings from always being in the shade.
Water your herbs with a small watering can or water spray every 2-3 days, enough to moisten the compost without water pouring over the top of the pots. The best time of day to water the herbs is either early morning or evening. And remember: bone dry soil or waterlogged soil can both be fatal to your herbs. So pay attention to the pots and be reasonable in your watering!
If flowers develop, remove them immediately – this will stop the plant from seeding and will ensure your herbs focus their energy on growing tasty new leaves.
Top Tip: Apart from being classy, elegant and beautiful, terracotta pots are porous and have the advantage of draining well and keeping the roots cool in summer. They also tend to absorb excess water in their walls, helping you to keep the right moisture levels in your soil.
CHOOSING WHAT HERBS TO GROW
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO HELP YOU
MAKE THE HARD DECISION