Most herbs may be readily propagated by means of seeds. Some, however,
such as tarragon, which does not produce seed, and several other
perennial kinds, are propagated by division, layers, or cuttings. In
general, propagation by means of seed is considered most satisfactory.
Since the seeds in many instances are small or are slow to germinate,
they are usually sown in shallow boxes or seed pans. When the seedlings
arge enough to be handled they are transplanted to small pots or
somewhat deeper flats or boxes, a couple of inches being allowed between
the plants. When conditions are favorable in the garden; that is, when
the soil is moist and warm and the season has become settled, the
plantlets may be removed to permanent quarters.
If the seed be sown out of doors, it is a good practice to sow a few
radish seeds in the same row with the herb seeds, particularly if these
latter take a long time to germinate or are very small, as marjoram,
savory and thyme. The variety of radish chosen should be a turnip-rooted
sort of exceedingly rapid growth, and with few and small leaves. The
radishes serve to mark the rows and thus enable cultivation to commence
much earlier than if the herbs were sown alone. They should be pulled
early--the earlier the better after the herb plantlets appear. Never
should the radishes be allowed to crowd the herbs.
By the narration of a little incident, I may illustrate the necessity of
sowing these radish seeds thinly. Having explained to some juvenile
gardeners that the radish seeds should be dropped so far apart among the
other seeds that they would look lonesome in the bottoms of the
rows--not more than six seeds to the foot--and having illustrated my
meaning by sowing a row myself, I let each one take his turn at sowing.
While I watched them all went well. But, alas, for precept and example!
To judge by the general result after the plants were up, the seedsman
might justifiably have guaranteed the seed to germinate about 500 per
cent, because each boy declared that he sowed his rows thinly.
Nevertheless, there was a stand of radishes that would have gladdened
the heart of a lawn maker! The rows looked like regiments drawn up in
close order and not, as was desired, merely lines of scattered
skirmishers. In many places there were more than 100 to the foot!
Fortunately the variety was a quick-maturing kind and the crop, for such
it became, was harvested before any damage was done the slow-appearing
seedlings, whose positions the radishes were intended to indicate.