Hello, again!

In the past, I never appreciated how much fresh herbs add to our dining experience. My food gardens have always been mostly fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes (way too many) and peppers - hot, mild, sweet, and at least one of every var iety we sell at the store. I plant eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and squash too. I’m not a big sweet corn or green bean grower as I prefer plants that have a longer production season.

Most of my vegetables are grown across the street from the store at Marty’s Acre. I even have some perennial asparagus and dwarf pie cherries planted. In order to have my favorites like jalapeños and tomatoes at arms-reach and ready to harvest at mealtime, I will plant a few plants on my patio and in my landscape beds.

Last year at the store, we had mixed combination planters with a patio tomato, basil and parsley in them. As the planter grew, I was amazed how well the herb plants performed. With more basil and parsley than I could use, I grabbed my dehydrator, watched a YouTube video, and I was on my way to drying herbs. What I found was the flavor added to marinara sauce like nothing I had experienced before. I found myself up at the greenhouse “trimming” all sorts of herbs to use and dry. Cilantro in particular is an amazing herb for all Mexican dishes.

Culinary herbs are easy-to-start plants that you can start yourself at home. We have a good selection of herb seeds and plants to get you going. I like to use a NanoDome Mini Greenhouse Kit on my counter.

The Sunblaster NanoDome Mini Greenhouse Kit is everything you need for seed starting and cutting propagation. You can even use this ingenious greenhouse to grow fresh herbs indoors! The high dome incorporates LED light tracks for optimal light placement. These light tracks receive all T5HO lamps with NanoTech T5 Reflectors. This combo kit includes 7" vented dome, 18" T5HO 6400K combo light and reflector, and sturdy 1020 tray.

I use ferti-lome Seed & Cutting Starter as a media to get the seedlings started growing. I’ll fertilize the young plants with ferti-lome Blooming & Rooting Plant Food at half rate to keep the plants growing. For more tips to get started, attend our free Veggies & Herbs Seed Starting Seminar. We'll hold it at both stores Saturday, January 30 at 1pm. Be sure to register online or in stores ahead of time so we have plenty of safe open space for everyone who attends.

Stop by the stores for all of your seed starting needs from a NanoDome to pots, heat mats to seeds and get something growing indoors this winter!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Centers