How To Grow A Herb Garden
How To Grow A Herb Garden
There is nothing quite like having fresh herbs to use in your favourite recipe. By following these simple tips from a garden designer, you can grow a tasty and attractive herb garden right outside your own kitchen door.
Here are some tips on how to plant and grow an herb garden. Herbs are so easy and cheap to grow, and freshly home-grown herbs are so much tastier than shop-bought ones. Creating an herb garden is simple and looks really pretty as well.
It will supply you with a source of herbs for cooking and also the bees really love the flowers on so many common herbs. I grow a mixture of culinary and medicinal herbs. Herbs are wild plants and will thrive in a garden situation where the soil is rich.
Many herbs require full sun like rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano. Others like basil, rocket and parsley prefer a little shade. Some herbs are perennials, like rosemary, sage and thyme, which means they will come back each season and are often also evergreens.
Others are annuals, such as basil, dill and coriander, which means you will have to regrow them from seed or buy new plants to replace them every year. You'll need to grow a mixture of annual and perennial herbs to get a supply of the more popular ones. You need to decide where the perennial herbs will go and give them enough space.
Rosemary and bay will grow quite large unless kept pruned. Leave some gaps for the annual herbs. Herbs require a free draining soil.
Improve soil before planting by digging in some organic matter such as well rotted manure or garden compost. If soil is very heavy, dig in some sharp sand to open up the soil structure and help with drainage. Add a general purpose fertiliser such as fish blood and bone meal.
Herbs can be fed during their growing season with a high nitrogen fertiliser which encourages leaf growth. Sulphate of ammonia or a seaweed-based feed both work very well. Don't overfeed, though, as this can impair the flavour of the herbs.
Add a mulch of compost or well-rotted manure around each plant and keep them very well watered. Herbs are easy to grow from seed. Germinate the seed in a heated propagator, pot on and move to a sunny window sill or heated greenhouse when they are large enough.
Move to an unheated greenhouse or cold frame when all risk of frost has passed. Gradually harden off the plants by moving them out of the greenhouse in the day and back in at night. Plant them out into your herb garden as soon as all risk of frost has passed.
Herbs are also well suited to growing in pots, so you can create a pot-based herb garden right outside your kitchen door exactly where you need it. When planting herbs in pots, use a soil-based compost as very few herbs will grow in peat. Make sure you add some sharp sand to the compost to help with drainage.
Herbs in pots will need feeding occasionally with a liquid feed. Pick the herbs regularly especially annual herbs like coriander, as they will "bolt" which means they will start to produce flower spikes if you don't pick them regularly. Once the plant has flowered, it will no longer produce leaves.
Keep perennial herbs like rosemary tidy by pruning it regularly. This keeps them at a manageable size and also ensures a regular supply of new shoots. If you have a glut of any particular herb, you can always harvest it and either freeze or air-dry the leaves for use at a later date.
So, those are my tips for planting and growing an herb garden. .