Plants hard grow from seed

bettyboop007May 13, 2011

Hi everyone,

I am a new gardener and I wanted to start with a lot of herbs and a few vegetables. One of the herbs I want to use is the Stevia plant (Crazy Sweet Stevia variety), but on Richter's they require you to order a minimum of 6 plants.

But I had inteded on growing everything else from seed.

So my question is are there some other herbs, plants, vegetables that are best grown from plants than from seed that I could order along with that?

This is a list on what I intend to grow, but I'm open to other suggestions:

basil- Mrs. Burns Lemon

garlic* Inchelium Red

stevia Crazy Sweet´┐Ż Stevia

carrots- purple haze

peppers- Chimayo chile pepper, jalepeno, poblano-Ancho 101

zucchini- costata romanesco

couple winter squash varieties



pink rosemary

roma cherry tomatoes.. tumbling tom? sweet treats (pink)






salad lettuce*

sweet potato

currants or gooseberries





Salvia guarantica

Thank you :)

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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I've heard mint is hard to start from seed, and that the flavor isn't always true.

I've tried Rosemary with no luck in the past.

And some herbs like oregano, are a very tiny seed and sometimes hard to start.

And a few of us here have not had much luck with avocado from seed. :-)
Did you know that from seed, or a young plant, it will take about 8 yrs to get fruit?

I tried currants this season, with no luck from seed.

Alot of what you have on your list is easy enough to direct sow this time of year.

I hope this helps some.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:30AM
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The only one I know for sure from off your list that you're better off purchasing as a plant is rosemary. Or get a cutting from somewhere.

Also, like JoJo mentioned, the avocado would take you a long while to grow.

Otherwise, that looks like a nice list for growing from seeds.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:05PM
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I've started Stevia from seed. The germination rate is VERY low, and it's really slow in the beginning, but it takes off once outside. One thing about starting from seed I didn't know the first year: a lot of plants (stevia, basil, etc but not peppers or tomatoes) need to have their growing tips snipped so they'll grow bushy. My stevia were kinda sad that first year - rangy.

If you're in zone 10, your growing season is longer than mine here in New Hampshire. But I did want to make sure you knew that many of the things you've mentioned are usually started already by now. I started my peppers weeks ago, for instance. And the parsely - sheesh - that you have to start in late winter here. Your local Cooperative Extension service should have something on the web or that they can mail to you with typical seed starting schedules for your area. It's all based on the average last frost date. Please don't despair about your garden dreams if you decide it's too late! This year you could buy some things already started and foucus on getting your soil built up, learn how to care for them once in the ground, etc.

Parsely makes me cranky, so I'm thinking of giving up after this year. Or I may just start more. It's a biennial, so the one grace is that last year's always comes up, too.

Chamomile I've also had some trouble with - it needs cold stratification. Looks like I have some seedlings coming up where last year's were, though - and they look better than last year's.

You can make sweet potato slips from sweet potatoes in the store, but many people order them, too. This is my first year for sweet potatoes, so I can't offer advice about which is best. I ordered slips so I could make sure I had ones for northern climates - it's pushing it to try to grow them here.

Rosemary's supposed to be very hard to germinate. I haven't tried, and I'll try hard stuff. Peppermint is sterile, and so peppermint seed isn't really peppermint seed. I've grown spearmint from seed, but the one I bought at my local garden store is yummier. Mint is something it's good to buy local. Mint is highly variable, and what's often suggested is that you crush and sample a leaf to make sure you are getting one that appeals to you. Stevia might be better this way, too - I'm not sure. Mine's ok from seed.

Don't buy lettuce started - seeds are cheap, and it starts easily. Basil, too. I usually have close to 100% germination with my basil - heat mats help. Root veggies like carrots and beets are usually started where they will be grown because they don't transplant well at all. Carrots needs to be kept moist to start.

It sounds to me like you're pretty interested in this. A good reference about veggies and basic herbs is The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Ed Smith. He has good info about starting them from seed. For flowers, this year I bought The A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom by Eileen Powell. It's also amazing, and helpful - good info about their requirements (temps, light or dark, etc) and how hard each is.

You might also think about adding marigolds to that list. They're easy to start from seed, and good companions for your veggies. The "Gem" marigolds, or tagetes tenuifolia are edible, too.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:43PM
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French Tarragon, though not on your list, is grown from cuttings rather than seed. The Tarragon seed that is sold is Russian Tarragon which I've heard has little flavor.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Also wanted to add, I'm in zone 10 as well and I'm still planting seeds. I don't think it's too late for our climate, it'll take a long while for my plants to reach maturity but that's okay with me! If you want crops within a reasonable time frame then yes, it's probably better to buy seedlings instead. I could do that too, but I love growing things from seeds much more. My flowers and veggie's will still do fine as late bloomers, and yours will too.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 10:14PM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Have you visited the Growing From Seed forum? You'll find help there.

As for plants that are typically thought of as difficult to grow from seed (rosemary, etc.), I've found that starting them inside with a sterile germination mix, covering at the correct depth with chicken grit or bird gravel rather than starting mix, and a vented (propped open) humidity cover until they break the surface, combined with patience goes a long way toward success. Also, I thoroughly wet the germination mix with boiling water, leave it to hydrate and cool overnight, and plant in it the next day. Spray/sprinkle after planting, but otherwise be frugal with watering until they sprout. YMMV, but it works for me. I have a flat of rosemary seedlings waiting to harden off right now.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 2:34PM
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ykerzner(9 TX)

Stevia does well in zone 10 and can survive light freezes. My plant is on its 4th year. As someone said above, it's too warm for peppers and tomatoes right now. Start them from seed in late summer and plant in September. In your zone most tomatoes will be done fruiting by mid-June at the latest. The plants will wait until October to begin producing again, if they are indeterminates (keep growing and setting fruit continuously).

It's also too late for cilantro, unless you're growing it for seeds (coriander). Same for dill.

Plants - rosemary, oregano, (avocado), aloe, mint, possibly tomatoes and peppers if you want to get a head start in the fall.

Chamomile, currants, gooseberries don't tolerate the heat well.

For the rest, seeds. Plant lettuce in the fall as well. French tarragon won't do well in your area. Buy Mexican mint marigold (sold as Texas tarragon) that is a great substitute for french tarragon and forms 2-3 foot bushes.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:21AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Gardening made easy: if you haven't seen Ruth Stout's garden, this is surely a video you will enjoy. Although not a container gardener, she has a lot to contribute.


Here is a link that might be useful: Ruth Stout's Garden 1 of 2

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:33AM
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