Growing Herbs in Texas: Seed Preparation

| 1/7/2010 2:35:53 PM

C.MeredithCynthia Meredith has been gardening with herbs, reading about herbs, and discussing herb gardening in Texas for more than 20 years. She has owned The Herb Cottage ( ) for over 10 years, selling herb plants to people all over our state. 

Winter certainly has set in here in south-central Texas. The temperatures barely reach 55 or 60 degrees during the day and the lows have been in the high 30s to low 40s most mornings. However, the forecast is for much colder weather this week, so keep those sheets, old quilts and blankets handy to cover tender plants. Remember to water herbaceous herbs and vegetables if the temperatures drop to freezing or below freezing to help them cope with the cold.

Most of my plants, including potted herbs and vegetable seedlings I have for sale, are growing slowly during this cold and, sometimes, cloudy weather. There is root growth, however, taking place in all my pots and small plants in the garden beds. Roots grow during cold temperatures so long as the ground does not freeze or stay very cold for weeks on end. That is why we suggest planting hardy herbs, shrubs and trees in the fall. The roots get a chance to get good growth during the cool to cold weather and then have a much easier time coping with the extreme heat of our brutal summer and early fall seasons.

When it's too cold, windy and unpleasant outdoors, what do we do to satisfy our gardening urge? Why, we peruse seed catalogs and web sites looking for new and interesting plant varieties for our gardens. Or, we may look over last year's garden journal. Didn't keep a journal? Well, you could simply write down what you remember from the past year. Or, look for a notebook to start one now for 2010. Or, set up a little journal on the computer, if you prefer to keep notes that way. Any way you decide to do it, keeping a garden journal weekly, monthly or how ever often you decide to make an entry is fun. The experience causes you to distill what's been happening in the garden so you can write about it.

Here's a link to a garden journal you can download and print out. I found it at the website called