Grow an Herb Garden
Edited by Alma, Eng
An herb garden is a great way to bring flavor to your dishes and add some vibrancy to your kitchen or porch. Herbs are relatively easy to grow, require little space and the harvest they provide can save you money you would have spent on dried herbs at the shops. To get started growing your herb garden follow the steps below:
Steps to Grow an Herb Garden
- 1Choose a suitable spot - Pick a spot where your herbs will get plenty of sun and where there is good drainage. If possible you want to be planting your herbs in deep, fertile soil. If you want to be using your herbs regularly for cooking you might also want to pick a spot close to the kitchen! Many herbs grow well in pots so this is also an option - although some will prefer flower beds.Advertisement
- 2Prepare the soil - Most regular garden soil is not great quality, if you are planting into existing soil you should test the pH (you can test this yourself with a kit from the garden center) to determine how acidic or alkali your soil is. You typically want a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. If your pH is too low (too acidic) you can work in some ground dolomitic limestone, if it is too high (too alkaline) you can work in some ammonium sulfate. Getting the pH level right will make a big difference to your herbs in the long-run.Advertisement
- 3Choose your herbs and plan your garden - Before you start planting, carefully consider how you'd like your herb garden to look - will it be a formal, decorative herb garden with herbs placed in particular patterns or will it be a bit more natural? As many herbs are grown for their culinary uses a good place to start is to choose some of your favorite herbs to use on your dishes. Different herbs will thrive in different conditions - some, such as mint, need their own pot since they will spread to take up all the space around them. Herbs that are perennials will prefer to be planted in flower beds while others will be happy in pots.
- 4Planting time - Once you've chosen your herbs - get planting! You'll learn more by getting started as soon as possible, even if you do make a few mistakes along the way. Start by planting a few purchased plants rather than starting from seeds so you can quickly see some results.
- 5Keep your herbs healthy - For best results, keep your herbs moderately watered, they will probably need water every few days. To see if your plants need watering, check the top of the soil with your finger, if the top couple of centimeters is dry this is a sign they may need more water. Add some fertilizer about once a month as this will keep the phosphorus and potassium levels high, two elements your herbs will need to remain healthy. You don't want to over-fertilize though, as this will actually cause your herbs to have less of a taste as their foliage will be bigger.
- 6Harvest your herbs regularly - You can harvest as much as a third of the herbs from a plant at once without causing it any damage and you should get into the practice of harvesting often. By harvesting you will encourage the herbs to keep on growing and producing and to stay in this phase of their life cycle. While they may look pretty if you see any flowers you will want to clip them off as if the herb starts flowering it will stop producing the leaves you want to use in your cooking.
- 7Keep on learning - The best way to get a great herb garden is to keep on learning more about herbs, putting what you know into practice and gaining in expertise. Herb gardens are easy to get started, but you can improve your crop each year by learning how to care for them better and by continually working on improving your soil.
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Categories : Gardening
Recent edits by: Alma