Written by Paige Vandiver
Whether you are a novice or an expert gardener, growing your own herbs is fun, easy, and super rewarding! Designing and growing an herb garden is also a perfect project to keep you busy while you and your family are quarantining at home to stay safe and healthy while the coronavirus is still a concern. Whether you are planning to grow your herbs in containers, a raised bed, or in the ground, these tips will help ensure you get the most out of your garden.
Choose herbs you actually want to eat!
One of the most enjoyable parts of growing herbs is eating them! Only choosing herbs that you plan on using will ensure that you will take great care of your plants and reap all the benefits of your beautiful garden. Do you love tea? Try growing lavender, mint, chamomile, or lemon balm. Do you enjoy pasta? Use your basil for fresh, homemade pesto sauce. A good rule of thumb is to grow the herbs used for cooking close to the kitchen, so that they are easily accessible and convenient to grab when you are preparing your recipes.
Cooking with herbs is not the only activity where herbs come in handy. If you enjoy crafting, you can grow lovely, fragrant lavender that you can use to make oils, soaps, and sachets that you can give to friends and family as sweet gifts.
Make sure your herbs get enough sunlight and water.
This one might seem obvious… until you’re dealing with a wilting or dying plant! Balance is key.
Most herbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight to thrive, so whether you are planting in a container or in the ground, choose the location carefully. There are some herbs that will be happy with 4 hours of sun – such as mint or cilantro – so don’t despair if you have your heart set on a spot that is partially shady.
Make sure your herbs get plenty of water and that you have soil that drains well. Plants grown in containers can get especially dry, so keep an eye on those during hot summer days and only plant your herbs in containers with drainage holes. (No one likes soggy feet!)
Some herbs can be aggressive.
Don’t let a few pushy herbs bully the other plants! Herbs such as mint and lemon balm are very invasive and can take over your entire garden if you’re not careful. Plant them in their own containers, or in an area of the yard where you don’t mind a total takeover.
Don’t forget to prune and enjoy!
Pruning your herbs is a very important part of a successful herb garden. Frequently harvesting your plants will ensure that they focus on new and thicker growth. You’ll want to prune after every 3-4 inches of growth using garden shears and making an angular cut just above a leaf intersection. Make sure you don’t take more than ⅓ of the plant.
Fresh Herbs at Stockslagers Greenhouse near Dayton Ohio
Since summer has already begun, it’s a good idea to buy starter plants instead of growing from seed. We’ve still got a huge selection of herbs at Stockslagers and we’re happy to answer any of your questions about which ones are right for your space!