Growing Rate Information Needed for Annual Fundraiser
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Julie Barcroft
Posted on: August 26, 2003

I teach organic gardening, landscaping & animal care at Willow River Farms. We are a non profit residential faculty for developmentally disabled adults. Recently we started looking into herbs for a project. I was referred to you company and requested a catalog which I just received.

The catalog doesn’t state the estimated growing time in the seed descriptions. We are wanting to grow some to sell at our annual fund raiser which will be Nov. 8. The selection we made was "Cultivate Your Cooking", as well as purple basil, variegated peppermint and spearmint. If we placed an order within the next week would the plants be big enough for 6 pk or 4" pots? If not what would you recommend? I would appreciate any help you could give us.

Estimated growing times can be found in the "ProGrower Info" section of our website. Under the heading "Culture" you will find specific information for the various products that can be produced from herbs, such as dried herbs, fresh-cut herbs, and potted herbs. Marked by the potted herb symbol, you will find sowing rates per 1000 plants, time to produce plugs, and time for plus to produce saleable plants.

Basil, for example, requires 3-4 grams of seeds to produce a thousand plants. It takes 8 weeks to produce good plugs, and when these plugs are transplanted to pots it takes an additional 5 weeks to produce good looking plants ready to sell – a total of 13 weeks from seed to finished pots, or 8 weeks to produce finished 6-packs. If you sow direct in 4-inch pots you can cut the time by perhaps 1-2 weeks, but the quality of the plants may not be as good because of overcrowding.

These numbers generally apply to spring time conditions with full sun. In the autumn the days are getting shorter, cooler and darker, and many herbs may need an extra week or two to mature.

You mention peppermint and spearmint: these cannot be grown from seeds. You need to purchase plugs if you wish to grow these for the fundraiser. Plug trays come with 120 plugs per tray.

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