It’s that time of year when I take the herbs I’ve been keeping over the winter out of the windowsill and start fresh cuttings to add to the kitchen garden outside for spring. During the winter If the herbs aren’t getting used in cooking as fast as I like I make sure and trim the plant back every now and again. A good rule is to trim it back by 1/3 to keep the plant producing and health.
Just last week I did my cuttings for spring. What I do is cut back a healthy stem, so I have 3-4″ of cutting, place the cutting into a container (I used an old glass spice bottle) filled with water and wait for it to root. I do change out the water every day so it’s fresh, but just be patient it may take up to two weeks to see tiny white hair like roots start to appear.
Once the cutting has a nice amount of root system (I like them to be at least 2-3″ long) they can be transplanted into a pot filled with soil. Use whatever soil is recommended for your area. I actually go out into my garden and dig up what I need for the transplants. You can either use an off the shelf rooting hormone to assure the plant will take root or use an organic alternative whichever works for you. Either way you’ll dip the roots into the compound before placing them into the dirt. I like to make a whole where the plant will be with a pencil, this keeps the tender roots in tact. Add the tiny plant to the soil and water as need be. (I also do more plants than I’m needing, that way if one dies I have a backup already rooting).
Once I know the plant has a nice root system established on warm, cloudy days I start taking them outside so they can become accustomed to the light and wind. I find placing them on my covered porch works best in the beginning and as they become stronger I leave them out longer and introduce them to sunlight and stronger winds.
Before you know it, it will be planting time and they can be moved to their new home in the garden. I’m going to put mine in a big galvanized wash tub on my porch where they’ll be easy to access when I’m cooking.
I’m getting excited for spring. I don’t have much gardening planned this year but I will find time to plant my cut flower garden.