Winter Herbs For Children
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Dian Poitras
Posted on: November 02, 2004

I have a question or two. I teach a child with a Down Syndrome and she really enjoys growing herbs and other plants. We are successfully growing (so far) chives, garlic chives and mint in the school science lab. I would like to add some more herbs and possibly lettuce and maybe a tomato plant or two. Heck, if these are successful we would be willing to throw in a pepper. Do you think this is feasible? What herbs would you suggest and can we grow them from seeds or should I order seedlings? If so, from where? We can grow them in dirt or hydroponically. I live near Chicago, IL, USA so I need to be concerned about the weather where shipping is involved.

I have found that children love fast results and the results should be either fragrant or edible. Growing from seed would be best if you use annuals, since they grow fast. Your special student would probably love lettuce and maybe cherry tomatoes, but for the latter the flowers when they finally come would have to be fertilized with a paint brush, since you are not likely to have bees around indoors. Peppers take even longer to start to flower. Basil is nice as well and grows quickly if given enough heat and light. Other good herbs are cress, dill.

Seedlings and rooted cuttings are sold by Richters, but not during the coldest months of the year. Our shipping season runs from April to November, weather permitting. Our last ship date for 2004 is November 15. As we get closer to the end of our shipping season not all varieties normally carried by Richters are in stock; check online for what is still available. The best time to ship plants to you would be in the spring.

Order plants of such fragrant ot tasty herbs as peppermint scented geranium, apple scented geranium, lemon frensham scented geranium, pineapple sage, lemon thyme, garden sorrel, orange mint and peppermint. One of the alpine strawberries or an everbearing strawberry would be really appreciated.

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