Garlic, Arnica, and Seedling Care
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: February 28, 2006

I’ve heard that one could start garlic by simply planting a clove (or the entire bulb); are there any specifics, like soil depth, moisture, etc.?

If the garlic has not been treated to delay or almost stop sprouting, this is true. Richters by the way offers untreated bulbs. As to culture, check our information sheet on garlic : http://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=InfoSheets/d2780.html

My other question is about Arnica. I live in the southern California desert, zone 8, I believe (the yearly low is usually around 20 degrees F with occasional snow in January and February, but in summer it can go up to 100 F and often a bit above that), and would like to grow Arnica montana and chamissonis. But as I live in a desert with widely ranging winter to summer temperatures (high winds are an issue here, too), would they have any problem surviving the heat? Could I perhaps keep them potted and move them into the shade of the patio or even indoors on the hot days?

If you check our catalogue, right opposite the latin name of the plant it gives you the range of zones the plants is usually able to survive. This information can also be found on our web-site: in the "News&Info" section, go to "Richters Info Centre", then to "Richters’ Herb Growing Infobase". In there type in the name of the plant you want to know various things about and then scoll down to the relevant part.

Both plants should do fine in zone 8, but shading them at least during the hottest part of the day is a good idea, especially for the European arnica. If you pot them make sure the pot is large and the soil kept moist, so that the roots do not get too hot.

My final question is on seedling care. Would it be safe to put my seedlings into direct sunlight immediately after they germinate (I have mostly culinary and basic medicinal seeds, such as chamomile, sweet basil, East Indian lemongrass, Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, and so on and also a few various ones like Ma Huang)? I have no trees in my yard, and my home is positioned so that there are no windows that have sunlight coming through them all day, only the kitchen window in the very early morning receives a nice amount of sun.

A drastic change has to be done gradually. Move them out of doors in the shade first and take two weeks to gradually move them to full sun.

Finally, after they germinate, do they need to be kept constantly moist as they did before they germinated, or can I taper it off and water them like I would a mature plant?

Again this change to mature plant care has to be done gradually and not before the plant has a good root system.

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