Kitchen Gardening 101: Part III, Planting

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Sorry to leave you hanging… After two late March posts meant to amp you up about planting a window box for your kitchen (Part I: Planning Your Windowbox and Part II: Supplies), we’ve been radio silent on the subject of gardening.

But right about now is a great time to actually plant your box. Nurseries and farmers’ markets are beginning to stock all the plants you might want (some might not have basil yet, just be patient!) and the evening temps are warming.

In the post about Part II: Supplies we got you situated with everything you need to plant: containers, soil, seeds and seedlings. What you need to know about planting is easy:

Spacing Small seedlings (2″‘ pots) should have about 3″ in between them. As they grow, they will definitely spread into each other’s domain, but of course, you’ll be trimming often, so things will stay tidy and no one will steal light from anyone else. Seeds can be planted a little closer since you don’t know if all will come up and the emerging seedlings can be thinned at a later date.

Depth: Seedlings should be planted a shade deeper that they are planted in whatever container they came in. In other words, dig a hole, and make sure the existing soil level is buried, slightly, by the new soil level, without any mounding. Make sure seedlings are moist and the roots are loosened with your fingers before planting. Seeds should be planted at the depths suggested on the seed packet. The bigger the seed, the deeper the hole. For herbs, mostly this means very shallow (1/4″) planting. Seeds need light to germinate, so in general, the closer to the surface, the better.

After planting WATER. But don’t over-water. If it looks like mud, it’s too wet. If it looks like sand, it’s too dry.

Remember that much of gardening is learned by doing, not just reading. So go plunge your hands into the dirt, and if you have questions we haven’t answered yet, just ask. Happy spring!