5 Herb Garden Planting Tips
There’s nothing like adding some flavor and color to your home cooking with fresh, home-grown herbs. If the thought of growing your own herbs sounds like an intimidating concept, don’t fret! Not only are herbs relatively easy to grow and maintain; they’re also suitable for small spaces, perfect for those who only have space for a cozy container garden.
Whether you want to grow your herbs in your yard or on a kitchen windowsill, read on for five expert tips for growing and maintaining your herb garden.
Tip #1: Do your research.
Every plant is different; the conditions and care that work for your thyme may not have the same effects on your basil.
Perhaps you’re picking your plants based on what you often use in your kitchen, or maybe you’re just looking for visual appeal. Either way, it’s good to know which herbs have similar requirements and can share containers, and which ones need to be kept separate. For example, rosemary needs dryer conditions than parsley, which does well with lots of moisture.
It’s also good to know which herbs are annuals, biennials, or perennials; if you’re growing from seeds, you’ll also want a general idea of the growth timeline.
Tip #2: Choose the right location.
Consider convenience, too. If you’re planning to use your herbs for cooking, you may want to set up your container garden right in your kitchen. If you’re planting them outside, try to find a spot with easy access (such as right outside your door).
Place your herbs somewhere you can see them on a regular basis and maintain regular upkeep—”out of sight, out of mind” is the last thing you want for your plants.
Tip #3: Use well-draining soil.
Whether you’ve got an indoor container garden or outdoor herb garden planted directly into the ground, your plants are going to need well-draining soil in order to survive and thrive. Assess the soil conditions, making sure it isn’t compacted or composed of too much clay.
Your herbs typically need an inch or so of water each week, but remember—the smaller the container, the less soil; the less soil, the less water it needs.
Tip #4: Don’t overdo it.
Less is more, especially if you’re just starting out with your home-grown herb garden. Focus on a few herbs at a time so you can give them the full attention they deserve. Two or three—ideally those with similar soil and sun requirements—is a good starting point.
As you focus on your favorite herbs, go easy on the fertilizer. Too much water and plant food can kill your plants or even alter their taste and smell, which isn’t exactly ideal when you’re using them for cooking!
Tip #5: Harvest frequently.
Some gardeners prefer not to intervene with their plants’ natural growth unless absolutely necessary. Herbs, however, tend to do best with frequent harvesting. In fact, regularly harvesting your herbs can help them to produce more foliage, giving you even more to harvest later.
That said, only take a little bit when you harvest your herbs—no more than a third of the plant at a time. At the end of the growing season, you can dry or freeze your harvested herbs for year-round usage.
Don’t forget to label your herbs after planting so you know exactly what you’re harvesting. Otherwise, you may end up with some odd-tasting meals.
Additional Planting Tips
Herbs are a great way to add textured greenery to your softscape. Once your herbs are growing and thriving, you may want to transplant them to your flower garden or surround them with potted pops of color for more aesthetic appeal.
Some of our favorite herbs to start with include:
Get Started on Your Garden Today
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