Good King Henry
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: A Kern
Posted on: September 8, 1999

I received the Good King Henry seeds I had ordered. However, I have some questions:

What is ?weight? sterilized soil mix?

How long does it take to grow so that we can eat it? And what height will it be?

I don’t have inside pots, and for direct sowing outside your packet says: When frosts are [ gone ?] sow thinly..... etc. Does this mean I have to wait till next spring now?

I did mention in my first query: "if it’s not too late to plant" So, if I have to wait til next year, will these seed packets keep?

You are reading from the seed packet which is written for what most of our customers plan to do with the seeds. By far most of our customers are planting the seeds in spring. Although the language seems to suggest that they are only sown in the spring, in fact that is not the case. In our catalogue, we do indicate that good king henry can be sown in the late summer or fall also.

The word before the "sterilized soil" is a misprint. It should read "lightweight". Sowing in a "lightweight sterilized soil" refers to indirect sowing in flats or pots, with the plan to tranplant later to the garden. When starting in flats or pots, sow 6-8 weeks before the intended planting in the garden, whether that is in spring or in late summer or autumn.

As you prefer to sow directly in the garden, you can still do this now (Sept.). Prepare an outdoor seed bed by raking to a smooth surface, breaking any soil clods and removing any debris, stones and roots. Sow in rows 15 centimetre (6 inches) apart, 2-3 seeds per centimetre (5-7 seeds per inch). Cover with soil no more than 2-3 millimetres (1/8 inch) and press. Keep well-weeded.

As winter sets in and before the first lasting snow arrives, mulch with straw or leaves. Next spring, before the seedlings appear remove the mulch. When the seedlings are well-established at about the 5-7 leaf stage, thin seedlings to about 10-15 centimtres (4-6 inches) apart.

Good king henry can be harvested anytime up till flowering. In the full season next year you can start gathering leaves in the summer.

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