Herb Gardening 101

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Herb Gardening Tips

I love my herb garden.  If you don't have a lot of space or time to dedicate to a vegetable garden, or you are new to gardening, planting an herb garden is a great starting point to jump in and begin.  

The best place for herbs is actually directly into the ground, but make no mistake, you can have a very healthy and beautiful garden full of fragrant herbs in individual pots or planter boxes; really anything that holds soil and has proper drainage will work.  I started with planter boxes that I had on my deck railings and when I decided I wanted more, chose a small, sunny place in my yard and went to work on upgrading and expanding.   If you don't have a deck railing to place a few  planter boxes or want to start with one or two herb plants, there is a wide variety of containers you can choose from and get creative with! 

Some start up tips:

 If your going with containers, be sure they are big enough to hold soil for your plants to reach their full growth potential.

Clean your containers before you get started - 10% bleach solution will help to kill any pests and if your using terra cotta, soak them first; this seasons them and gets them ready for planting. 

Choose a sunny location for your pots or for digging right into the ground. You want your plants to have at least 4-6 hours of sun; most herbs do better in full sun, but some will thrive anywhere; like mint for example. (always be sure to check the planting recommendations first)

Any old dirt will not do for herb gardening. You must select a soil mixture that drains well but also keeps plants from drying out between waterings. I use Miracle-Gro or Vigoro garden soil and have great results. You can pick these up at any Home Depot or Lowes. I ALWAYS wait for their annual Spring sale for the good deals :) 

After you select your herbs, it’s time to plant! First decide how the plants will be arranged – it doesn’t hurt to make a little sketch to go by. Always remove plants from the container they have been growing in before planting them in your garden. Cover the drainage hole in the container, using pieces of broken pottery or some mesh screen to prevent the soil mix from clogging the hole. Fill the container about three-fourths full with soil mix. Moisten the soil mixture thoroughly. Allow the mix to settle, and then add more soil mix to again fill the container to about three-fourths full.

My absolute favorites are my perennial herbs because I can count on these each year - Rosemary, Thyme, Mint and Sage will greet you each Spring with proper care. 

Herb gardens are a great way to ease into gardening and get your hands dirty. Whether you do it inside or outside, the result will be fresh seasoning for your food, beautiful foliage and even lower blood pressure.

For some tips and ideas on creating and maintaining your herb garden check out my Pinterest Board - Gardens on https://www.pinterest.com/cbjenbundock/.