One of the first things we did when we moved into our new home was divide up some of the yard to start an herb garden. We absolutely love cooking with fresh herbs straight from the garden so it made sense to get it going right away! Maintaining your herbs is relatively simple if you know a few tricks, but starting is the toughest part. But once you do, you’ll be delighted with herbs to spice up and garnish just about every meal under the sun.
How to Start an Herb Garden
1. Decide where you want your garden. You can grow herbs in pots right outside your door, cultivate an indoor herb garden, or designate a space right outside. This decision is based off of first of all how much space you have, but then how many different types you want to grow. In looking for a space, consider sunlight. Here in SoCal we have the problem of the plants possibly getting too much sun – if you have that issue, make sure they get shade some of the time.
2. Get your seedlings. Growing herbs from seedlings is a lot easier than starting from seeds, although you can do the latter. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, so start with basil and a few other herbs. Thyme, mint, oregano and parsley are great to begin with as well. You’ll also need garden soil that drains well. It’s also a good time to make use of organic material like coffee grounds or compost to help your plants thrive.
3. Give them enough space. Give each plant the space they require depending on which herb it is; some herbs require more space than others. Like I said, you also need to make sure they have proper drainage. Compost or organic material helps the water run through. Of course, there is a such thing as TOO much space, and herbs like mint and oregano can actually get carried away! Creating dividers ensures you won’t end up with a mint overload.
4. Water and trim. When they’re ready for use, never cut off more than 1/3 of the plant, and cut just above the leaves. Make sure not to cut too near the bottom of the plant too, so it can recover better. If you have a lot to trim, no worries – freeze them for use during times your herbs aren’t growing as fast!
Hope the introduction to herb gardens helped any of you just starting out! If you have any specific questions, let me know!