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Herbs have become indispensable in the kitchen. They give food the right flavor. Herb pots of different varieties are commercially available all year round. They are usually quite expensive and do not last very long on the windowsill. It is cheaper here to grow your own in a pot from seeds. It's very simple and the herbs in particular can withstand a lot. They can even be planted out later in the garden.

sow herbs

Having your own herbs from the garden or from the windowsill is a must for many. You can easily sow the herbs yourself. You can find out how to grow from seeds in a pot in the following instructions.


With every sowing, regardless of whether it is in the field or in a pot, the quality of the seed is always decisive for success. It is important that the seed still has a certain ability to germinate. A germination guarantee is given on the seed bags, i.e. the harvest year and until when the seed can be kept. The older it is, the worse it will germinate later.

Furthermore, it should be ensured that the seeds of the herbs are in a germ protection package. Here it is protected from air and moisture. At the same time, this ensures long germination.

tip: The seeds of the herbs can also be harvested by yourself. The seeds should be removed just before the infructescence opens. These are then dried and packaged airtight and lightproof. The following year it is ready for use.


Outdoors, i.e. in the garden, herbs should be sown from April to late summer, depending on the variety. The situation is different when growing young plants indoors. Here the seeds can be sown all year round. However, some hobby gardeners advise against sowing the herbs from November to January, on the grounds that growth is weaker during these months due to higher temperatures and a lack of sunlight. However, if you sow indoors, these factors could also be positively influenced during this time. However, the best time to sow herb seeds in the pot is from the end of February to the beginning of March. It is then important that the young plants get a place either on the windowsill or in the greenhouse.


The seeds should never be sown in normal potting soil. This contains too many nutrients and salts such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are detrimental to the development of the roots of the seedlings. Special growing soil should be used here. This is

  • very finely crumbly
  • dark in color
  • low in nutrients
  • largely weed-free
  • contains no coarse components
  • Due to the structure, it does not compact as much during casting

tip: Alternatively, so-called coconut swelling tablets can also be used for sowing herb seeds. These are not only very environmentally friendly, but also easy to use.

Light and dark germs

When sowing, it is always important to note whether the herbs are light or dark germinators. A note on this can always be found on the seed bag.

light germinator

  • savory
  • dill and
  • basil

dark germs

  • Parsely
  • chives and
  • borage

The only difference between the two is that

  • the seeds of light germs are only lightly pressed on the soil surface, not covered
  • Dark germs, on the other hand, receive a complete layer of soil as cover
  • The rule of thumb here is: at least as high as the seed is thick

tip: Hard-shelled seeds should be soaked in warm water at least one night before sowing. This will facilitate germination.

Sowing herbs: instructions

Cultivation can be done either in pots or in commercial small greenhouses for the windowsill. There is also the option of making your own “mini greenhouse”. A few more remarks on this later. Sowing is usually quite easy. The procedure is as follows:

  • Fill the planter with potting soil to the brim
  • then spread the soil evenly and press down lightly
  • Distribute seeds evenly at intervals (not too close together).
  • Press the light germinator only lightly to the surface of the earth
  • Cover dark germs thinly with soil
  • Press down lightly with the back of your hand or a wooden board
  • Gently moisten seeds
  • It is best to use a spray bottle
  • Avoid waterlogging (mold formation)
  • Cover the pot or other planter with a hood
  • foil or a plastic bag is suitable as a cover
  • however, regular ventilation is also required
  • to do this, always briefly remove the cover
  • Put the jars in a warm place
  • The optimal germination temperature is between 20 °C and 25 °C
  • do not place on the window sill above the heater
  • with heating air, seeds and later seedlings dry out quickly
  • Check soil moisture regularly

The first seedlings appear after 8 to 14 days. However, it should be noted that the germination time of the individual types of herbs can be quite different. Information on this can also be found on the seed packets. Furthermore, it should also be noted that the germination time also depends on the prevailing conditions. So it might be a little bit longer. The seedlings now need

  • more light
  • but no blazing sun
  • a place at the south window should therefore be avoided
  • The cover can now slowly be removed completely
  • Now is the time to pay more attention to moisture
  • but avoid waterlogging
  • rotate pots every two to three days for even growth

tip: Basil, rosemary, dill, cress, parsley, peppermint, chives and thyme can be cultivated particularly well on the windowsill from sowing to harvest.

pricking out the young plants

When the first leaves appear and the seedlings have reached a height of between 8 and 10 cm, it is time to separate the seedlings. The roots of the individual plants now need enough space for good development. This is the only way for the herbs to grow healthily. Pricking out the seedlings is not particularly difficult, but care must be taken:

  • now use normal potting soil as plant substrate
  • fill the appropriate number of pots with it
  • use a pricking tool as an aid
  • Carefully place pricking wood under the seedlings
  • raise everything by the root
  • place individually in prepared pots
  • Be careful not to damage roots
  • Seedlings will now develop proper root balls
  • Water well and check moisture regularly
  • Avoid waterlogging

From this point on, the small plants need regular nutrients in the form of fertilizer for optimal growth. Mainly nitrogen, phosphorus for root formation and potassium to strengthen the tissue and promote resistance are needed.

tip: Only healthy herbs also develop a full aroma.

Individually not necessary

The pricking out of young plants can be omitted if special seed containers are already used during sowing. Alternatively, it is also possible to use coir swelling tablets or peat pots. Thus, seedlings in “peat pots” can remain in them even when transplanted. The structure of these peat growing pots will degrade by itself over time. However, when using them, it should always be borne in mind that these are not exactly very environmentally friendly, since peat has to be mined for their production, which in turn leads to the draining of the remaining raised bogs over time. The result is the ongoing climate change.

A better alternative here is the sowing of herbal seeds in coconut swelling tablets. This is a purely organic product. This substrate consists of 100% renewable raw materials, namely coconut fibers from the coconut shell. Sowing the herbs is also quite easy here.

Sowing in coconut substrate: instructions

Coconut source tablets are commercially available. Their handling is very easy. When water is added, they double their volume and are then ready for sowing.

  • place several tablets in a seed pot
  • Tabs must be next to each other
  • then pour warm water over it
  • Allow tablets to swell for at least 5 to 10 minutes
  • pour excess water out of the pot
  • Tablets are surrounded by a fine mesh
  • just carefully cut it open at the top
  • Now press the seed lightly into the ground
  • also here attention whether light or dark germs
  • For dark germs spread some coconut substrate on top
  • Set up the growing pots in a bright place
  • Water regularly, don't let it dry out

If the seedlings have grown so well that the nursery pot is too small, repotting into a larger pot with regular potting soil is then necessary. Further care measures then as already described.

Make seed pots yourself

There are various ways to make your own seed pots. There are special devices for this on the market. Pots can then be formed from old newspaper. With these pots, the seedlings can then be repotted if they are of the appropriate size.

In addition, it has proven to be extremely practical when seed pots are divided into small compartments. In this way, a seed can be placed in each department. However, as a precaution, two to three should be sown. The weaker seedlings are then removed later, so that in the end only the strongest remain. This eliminates pricking.

You can easily make a small “mini greenhouse” yourself. For this are required

  • an egg wrapper and
  • cling film

The lid is then simply cut open and replaced with cling film. Then potting soil is filled in and the sowing of herbs can begin.

tip: Yoghurt pots, cut plastic bottles or milk cartons can also be used as growing pots.

Herbs grown in pots in this way can then either be transplanted into the garden or continue to be cared for on the windowsill. However, depending on the variety, they should then be given a bright to semi-shady place.

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