Growing herbs makes your garden look nice and gives you the advantage of spicing up your meals with fresh greens. Creating a herb garden requires only a small chunk of effort and, after investing a little bit of time as well, you will bear the fruits of your hard work soon enough. Even if growing herbs outdoors or indoors doesn’t require plenty of gardening knowledge on your side, you might still want to check our extensive guide on how to grow a herb garden.
MAIN HERB TYPES:
Most of the common herbs for cooking can be cultivated without a hitch in garden containers, raised beds, or in conventional vegetable or herb gardens. These herbs include well-known types, such as:
How to Grow a Herb Garden Outdoors
A famous horticulturist once said: “God didn’t make pots, and he didn’t make houses, either!”. Although people do grow herbs in containers, the main advantage of growing them in the ground is that they can easily get pretty big as their rooting system will have all the space it needs to grow.
*Growing conditions are UK based.
The most important thing you have to keep in mind when growing herbs is choosing the proper location. Most herbs prefer to be fully exposed to sunlight, as long as summer temperatures do not go over 32 degrees. Of course, there are those exceptions that require partial shade during the day. If your area is not stranger to hot summers, then you should make sure to plant at a spot that receives a lot of morning sunshine and afternoon shade, or at a place with partial shade, e.g. under a tree. Frequently check the area to see whether it’s lit for at least four hours a day.
Prepping the soil for planting herbs is crucial for the plant’s proper development. Over the years, any type of soil will become quite dense, so your first job will be to dig it out a bit with a garden fork or any other comfortable garden tool in order to loosen it. Doing so will allow water to drain very easily and the plant’s roots will have no trouble making their way to the mineral stashes within the soil. If you decide to skip or overlook this, your plants’ future will be under serious threat. Here, compost will be of big help. Properly made compost, layered about an inch over the soil and mixed together, will prevent any drainage issues and fertilise your planting area.
Growing fresh and abundant herbs requires proper water levels in their soil. Usually, herbs demand water when the soil feels dry to the touch a couple of inches deep. There are various ever shifting climate conditions that influence the water contents in the soil, such as air humidity or temperature, so make sure to check on the soil frequently.
How to Plant Out Herbs
Plant out herbs after they harden off. That is, after indoor or greenhouse plants get accustomed to lower humidity, temperature levels, and air breeze. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth process:
How to Harvest Herbs
In general, a herb is ready for harvest once it reaches 6-8” height. When that happens, cut off ⅓ of its branches. Cut smart – closer to leaf intersections – and you will have new scented leaves in no time. If the herb’s leaves grow from the centre, remove the older branches entirely.
How to Grow a Herb Garden in Pots
Even though herbs grow best in a traditional garden, there are a couple of advantages to container gardening. Firstly, herbs will be at a handy place so you don’t need to rush to the garden every time you want to dice a handful of leaves into the stew. Secondly, some herb plants are best to be grown in containers due to their invasive nature, such as mints. Thirdly, container gardening is not complicated – all you need is plenty of sunlight and a large enough container. You will also avoid the hurdles of having to dig out and prep the soil of your garden lot.
Still, you have to be aware that not all herbs grow well in containers. Oregano, lovage, chervil, and dill, amongst others, have deep rooting systems that spread out widely. What’s more, container gardening demands strict watering and feeding, but it definitely brings a fresh look on your porch, window sills, or front garden.
How to Prune Herbs
Pruning is a sure way of reaping copious amounts of herbs from your garden. When you prune herbs, you cut off some of their leaves and stems, which will stimulate them to grow more. Pruning provides control over how your garden looks like, both in terms of size and appearance.
Here are some hands-on tips on how to prune herbs:
Herb Garden Pests and Diseases
Even though herbs themselves are often used as insect and garden pest repellents, they can sometimes also fall victim to pesky bugs. And even though you may grow herbs that repel any crawling creepers, various plant diseases, such as bolt, mould, and mint rust are not to be joked with. So, how do you deal with herb garden pests and diseases?
Are you growing a herb garden? What are your best tips and tricks you want to share with our audience? Drop a comment below or give us a shout on social!