Garden Republic's Guide to Growing Culinary Herbs from Seed

Garden Republic's Guide to Growing Culinary Herbs from Seed

We know that starting plants from seed can be quite challenging at times, especially if you are new to the hobby. In order to get your seeds heading in the right direction in their growing adventure, we've put together this guide for the basics of culinary herb sowing and sprout care. 

If you have 4-variety Herbs in the 'Burbs you will need:

  • Sunlight/Grow Light
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Paper towel
  • low-dose plant food ( such as Superthrive)
  • Water Can and/or spray bottle


 If you have our 10-variety Culinary Herb Seed Set you will need: 

  • Seed starting Specific soil (not garden soil, potting soil, etc)
  • 3" starter pots
  • Sunlight/Grow Light
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Paper towel
  • low-dose plant food ( such as Superthrive)
  • Water Can and/or spray bottle

Know Your Seeds Needs:
Hold your horses! We know you're excited to start planting your seeds, but before you begin to do so, take a peek at each seed variety below, as they have important seed-specific recommendations for better germination and sprout growth! 


Did you know, that the seed you see is actually Coriander? The coriander seed holds two cilantro seeds inside!

  • To help the cilantro seeds burst free from the coriander casing, soak the seeds in water for about 24 hours before planting.
  • After the soak, gently give the coriander seed a gentle squish to help crack the casing, but don’t be too rough. 
  • Plant them at a depth of approximately 1/4”. Don't plant them any deeper.
  • As soon as the seeds sprout, make sure there is a reliable source of light for them to grow towards so they can grow strong stalks.
  • Cilantro likes lots of support buddies! As soon as the sprouts are 2" tall, you want to plant another round of seeds with the sprouts to help give them support and have a nice full plant
  • Cilantro likes a cool and moist, but not soggy environment. Misting the soil often can help. 
  • Keep them at a cool 60F during their two-week germination time. If it gets much warmer than this, they may not germinate, or kill off the young sprouts.

Basil :

  • Ensure you soak the seeds a full 24 hours before soaking and 
  • ONLY plant about three per pot, and space them 1/2" apart. ( based on a 3" pot). They dislike over-watering
  • Be extra careful not to plant too deep. 
  • Keep them at a constant temperature of 70-75F. 
  • They can take up to 30 days to sprout, but sometimes will in less than a week!
  • Provide ample sunshine and water once they sprout.


  • Their seed casing contains a chemical that acts as a pre-emergent, making them hard to sprout! It's necessary to soak them at least 24 hours, even up to 48 hours before sowing them. 
  • They are small seeds, so using tweezers to remove them from the water and plant them may be helpful. 
  • Don't cover them with or plant them in soil any deeper the 1/8th".
  • Don't plant more the 3 seeds per 3' pot, they hate being overcrowded.
  • Make sure you give them a good misting every day and check the overall soil hydration every 2-3 days. Parsley develops a water-loving seeding tap root right away, so make sure the soil stays wet throughout the pot for the taproot to grow towards!
  • They can take 30 days to sprout and need to stay at 75F during that time. If you live in a dry location, place a Ziploc bag or plastic wrap over the pot to help keep in moisture. 


  • Soak the seeds in cool water for 12 hours. 
  • Thyme can be picky, it doesn’t like to be too damp, and it doesn’t want to be too dry. Make sure hydration stays constant!
  • Don't cover them with or plant them in soil any deeper the 1/8th".
  • Keep them at a constant 70F during their 30 day (sometimes longer!) germination period.

*To view our how-to and planting guide video for the Herbs in the 'Burbs Starter Kit, which contains the above 4 varieties, click here! 


  • Soak them in warm water for 12 hours before planting.
  • Don't sow the seeds deeper than 1/4". The deeper they are planted, the harder it will be for their incredibly delicate sprouts to emerge toward sunlight.
  • They look alot like grass when they first sprout, don't worry, that will change as they mature. 
  • Keep seeds at 70F for the whole 60 day germination period.


  • These are one of the few seeds types that don't need a soak!
  • Start with your pots filled about 80% to the top with loose soil and then wet the soil down to the point of being very damp.
  • Sprinkle 3-5 seeds over the surface of the soil, then cover up with a light layer of soil, no more than 1/8". Afterward, give the soil a good misting. 
  • Once the seeds sprout, you can water slightly less.
  • They need to be kept at a cool 60F for up to 60 days.


  • Give them a super quick soak of 10 minutes before sowing
  • Don't plant deeper or cover with soil more than 1/8" deep.
  • Germinate them in a nice sunny location with a constant temperature ( around 65F). A seed heating mat can help alot. 
  • They can take 60 days to germinate but can take longer if they don't stay at a constant temperature.


  • Give them a quick soak for 15 minutes in cool water before sowing.
  • Don't plant any deeper than 1/8".
  • Keep the soil slightly dry and warm!
  • They need 65-70F and about 3 weeks to germinate.
  • Since they love low-PH soil, mixing in a little sand with the soil before planting will help germination. 


  • Give them a super quick soak of 10 minutes before sowing
  • Don't plant deeper or cover with soil more than 1/8" deep.
  • Give the soil a light misting daily.
  • Keep them at a constant 70F during their two-week germinate period.


  • Soak your peppermint in cool water for 12 hours before planting. Pro tip: pour the water through a coffee filter afterward, for easier access to the tiny seeds.
  • Keep your seedlings close to the surface, since peppermint has a minimal root system. A teaspoon of soil is all they need to cover them. 
  • These guys need moisture — mist a few times a day. Still dry? Place your plant pot in a Ziploc bag under direct sunlight for a couple of days. The miniature boggy eco-system will encourage sprouts.
  • Mint prefers temperatures between 55°F and 70°F (13-21ºC). If growing indoors, move them off the windowsill at night. 
  • You’ll see sprouts in 14 days. Make sure to keep them damp and happy so that they continue to grow!


My seeds have sprouted!

As soon as your seeds have sprouted, they will need lots of light to continue to grow past the cotyledon stage! If you're using an LED grow light, you'll need to make sure that it runs for at least 10 hours a day. If you're using a conventional "bulb-type" grow light, you can run it from 8-10 hours. Failure to supply your sprouts with enough sunshine will deprive them of their primary source of energy. If you're relying on the light of the sun to get your sprouts to thrive, be prepared for temperamental little plant babies on cloudy days. 


If you are using a windowsill/natural sunlight to grow your sprouts, rotate the pots daily to help them grow straight and not leaning to one side!


Monitor the average hydration of the soil, and make sure it stays damp but not soaking. Soaking wet soil can lead to rotten seeds, mold, and other undesirable soil conditions. All soils are different, so never rely on watering every day or on certain days. The water requirements for sprouts can vary from day to day, depending on their growth rate!

If you live in a dry location, place a Ziploc bag or plastic wrap over the pot to help keep in moisture. Just make sure you "burbs" the pots during the day to prevent mold.


Keep the seeds at the temperature listed on the backs of each packet. Too much cooler or warmer can make germination take longer, or prevent it entirely. Avoid drafty windows and doors, and moving the pots around, it's best to keep them in one location.


Plant food
Once your sprouts have developed their second set of leaves, they'll be getting hungry. It's time for plant food! A water-based, low-dose organic plant food is the best route to go, as this will reach the roots the easiest. 

Thinning out your sprouts:
For the strongest, healthiest sprouts, you'll want just one seedling per pot or cell.  Thinning is challenging for many gardeners; who wants to destroy sprouts you've worked so hard to grow?! But it has to be done. Select the strongest, healthiest seedling and use a pair of scissors to snip off the others at the soil line. You can try to transplant the extras into different pots, but you risk disturbing the roots too much and killing them all!

Replanting/Transplanting your sprouts
Although it can be super tempting, give your sprouts time to grow before putting them in a larger pot or in the ground. Replanting too soon can disturb the tender roots and kill your sprout. You can read our guide on when and how to transplant here. 

When the sprouts have developed into a filled-out plant and more bushy-form, you can start harvesting your herbs. Never take more than 25% of the overall foliage off at once


You've created life from almost nothing, and this takes time, care...and lots of patience!
If you have questions at any point about the sowing, growing, and caring process, don't hesitate to reach out! We are here to help and love to help new and avid  gardeners alike achieve optimum success with our seeds! We care! Our email is You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram

Happy Herb Growing!



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