Monday, June 21, 2010

Very Burpee Disappointed

I'm pretty disappointed with Burpee seeds. I've had a really hard time getting them to germinate. I tried to plant lavendar, and only 2 plants germinated from seed. From the rosemary, I got nada. From the cilantro, they sprouted and immediately withered away. I never realized that herbs were so frustrating! Or is it just the Burpee seeds. Does anyone have any recommendations for seed companies that germinate pretty successfully every time?
I bought 2 packages of spearmint, and as you can see in the 2nd green pot below, there is like maybe one seed that germinated. Out of 2 seed packets!!


  1. Perennial herbs are very slow to germinate, and the plants grow slower than annuals. I always buy plants. I buy as large of rosemary as I can reasonably afford, because it is slower to grow, here in Nebraska, anyway, than other perennial herbs. Basil and summer savory are a couple annuals that are easy to grow from seed.

    You asked about lemon balm on my blog. It is edible, but I forget to find recipes for it. What I do with it, is make tea. I pick a few stems, around 6 to 10 inches long, and put them in a gallon tea jar with a bag or 2 of plain decaf tea. I pour about a couple cups of water that was heated in my electric tea pot over them and let them steep around 20 to 30 minutes. Then, I fill up the jar with cold water, and take the herbs and tea bag(s) out, then put the jar in the refrigerator. It keeps about a week. I do this with mint and pineapple sage, too.

  2. I've had wonderful luck with Johnny's Selected Seeds and Seeds of Change (both have great websites) which is where I order about 95% of my seeds. And they are both family-owned companies who are dedicated to the preservation and expansion of heirloom seeds- a really important issue to me. Plus, they germinate like CRAZY.

  3. Starting from seed is harder than you might think... for instance, it was probably way too late in the season to grow cilantro where you are as cilantro is a cool season crop. It likely withered because it was too hot. Lots of seed need very specific conditions (including temperature - some don't sprout if it's too hot, some if it's too cold) in order to germinate (and they need to be kept moist all the time in order to germinate well). So if you were trying to germinated things outside in those pots, you may not have had good enough germination conditions. has a handy table on their website that shows the conditions needed for various herbs. Check it out!

  4. Like you, I've had difficult times growing those same herbs from seed, especially lavender. Lavender is a fickle plant, my bestie has said that lavender doesn't grow because it's planted, it grows because it chooses YOU to grow for, lol...sometimes I think she's right. Sometimes, it's just easier to get the established seedling 6 packs at Lowes or Home Depot when they first come out for a buck or two, you'll get just as much satisfaction of growing them...but since this happened, I saw that your herb garden that you got has just taken OFF! great! see? you CAN do it!!


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