Creating your herb garden!
Herbs have also been recognized for their health benefits as they are rich in antioxidants and nutrients and have been used for medicinal and even beauty purposes.
With all these benefits, it would undoubtedly be useful to cultivate your own herb garden so you always have fresh herbs at the ready.
This will not only help you save some money, as herbs can be expensive, but you can ensure that your herbs are grown naturally, without dangerous chemicals or fertilizers.
Not to mention, gardening can provide you with a relaxing activity you can do alone or with your family.
Admittedly, gardening can be a daunting task but luckily, herbs are very easy to grow and you do not require a lot of space.
If you have yard space, you can dedicate a section for your herb garden, but if you live in an apartment or a home without any yard space, you can grow your herbs in pots on your patio or even in a window box in your kitchen.
Unlike vegetables and fruits that you may have to wait months or years to harvest, herbs grow quickly and you can harvest them regularly. In fact, some herbs can grow year-round, providing you with a permanent fresh supply once you properly care for your garden. Here are some tips to help you successfully grow your own herbs.
Choose a good location
As stated earlier you can grow herbs anywhere, no matter the size of your home. But make sure that the location you choose has access to sunlight as all plants need sunlight to grow. It is recommended that herbs get at least six hours of sunlight each day. You may also want to have your herb garden as close as possible to your kitchen to make it easy for you to harvest what you need while cooking. You can choose to have a dedicated area specifically for growing herbs or you can plant them among your other plants and flowers. Some flowering herbs like lavender will fit right in among your flower garden. If you are growing indoors, make sure your pots are at least 12 inches deep to give the roots enough space to grow and ensure the pots are wide enough for the plant to spread. Tiny, windowsill pots can be used if you don't plan on harvesting often.
Once you have made up your mind where your herb garden is going to be set up, the first important choice you will have to make is the soil you will use. Herbs will grow quite easily in various types of soil but if the soil is too sandy or clay heavy, it is best to add compost. Even if you feel like your yard soil is good quality, adding compost will provide extra nutrients to the soil which will be absorbed by the herbs as they grow. Avoid using manures in your herb garden as these typically have a high nitrogen content. They may make your herbs grow faster, but it will reduce their flavor.
Types of herbs
The types of herbs you choose to grow are entirely up to you. Grow the ones you love to use. Popular herbs include dill, oregano, chives, sage, mint, rosemary, basil and thyme. Herbal tea plants like chamomile can also be planted in your herb garden for fresh, natural herbal tea. You can choose to purchase seeds at a plant shop and begin from scratch. Most plant shops will however have seedlings or small plants for sale and you can transplant these to your garden. You may want to separate your herbs by type. Most people will have a series of beds in their garden which each bed being used for a different herb. If you are growing indoors, separate pots for different herbs can be used.
Caring for your herb garden
It goes without saying that plants need water to grow. Do not over saturate the soil with water but ensure that the plants get at least two inches of water every week. Water the soil around the herb and do not pour water directly on the plant. Try to water your plants early in the morning. If your garden is outdoors, there should be proper drainage in the event of rainfall. You do not want water settling in your garden for an extended period of time. Make sure you monitor your garden for weeds and remove them quickly. Choose natural composts of over chemical fertilizer and monitor your garden for insects and pests.
Harvesting your herbs
After you've invested time and energy into your herb garden, it is time to reap the benefits. Some people worry that over-harvesting their herbs will cause damage to the plant. Actually, the opposite is true. Herbs self-seed and tend to spread quickly so the more you harvest, the more the plant will produce. Be sure to harvest often. Harvest even if you do not immediately need herbs for use. Any excess you harvest can be dried or frozen for future use or can be ground up and bottled. Freshly bottled seasoning can make great gifts for your friends and family.
Once you follow these tips, your herb garden will be blooming in no time and provide you with fresh, flavorful herbs for your cooking and medicinal needs. Contact us at TriniHelper if you need assistance getting your garden started.