Growing an herb garden is one of the most satisfying parts of gardening. Herbs can be used in your daily meals and provide instant gratification while eating knowing that you grew them. If this is your first time growing an herb garden, don’t get overwhelmed! Herb gardens are fairly easy to plant and maintain. Here is how to grow an herb garden in a few simple steps.
Herbs grow well in any location that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day. This means that you can plant your herb garden in the ground, in a raised garden bed or in pots inside your home. One thing to keep in mind when choosing your location is the proximity to your kitchen. You’ll want to make sure that your herbs are accessible while you're cooking if you need to run out and snip something real quick for a meal!
Once your location is decided, it’s time to assess your soil. Herbs need soil that is rich and will drain easily to help avoid over watering. If your soil is sandy or clay heavy, you can add compost to the soil to help bring in nutrients. Make sure, if you’re using compost, to not use manure compost as it’s heavy in nitrogen and can dilute the flavor of your herbs.
Of course there are different types of potting soil that can be purchased whether you are using a raised garden or planting your herbs in pots.
Choose your plants
Now comes the fun part! What herbs are you going to grow in your herb garden? This is completely up to you and your herb needs. Common herbs are basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary and lavender. I would suggest assessing your cooking habits and needs to determine which herbs you reach to often.
When planting your herbs, check the tag to see how far apart each herb needs to be spaced and if there are any specific instructions. For example, when planting any herb in the mint family, you’ll want to plant those in their own containers to help prevent them from taking over your herb garden.
Make sure to water your herbs thoroughly after planting and ensure they get at least 2 inches of water each week.
Herbs love to be harvested and will actually grow thicker and bushier with frequent snippings. When harvesting, make sure to use garden shears or kitchen scissors and never remove more than ⅓ of the plant. Cut the plant above a set of leaves to help promote new growth. If your herbs are planted outside, they can be frozen or dried at the end of the season so that you can enjoy them all year long.
What herbs are you planting this year?