If you love to cook, there’s nothing like having fresh herbs to add to your meals. From homemade pasta sauce to roasted chicken, tacos and so much more, fresh herbs can liven up a variety of your favorite dishes. Best of all? Starting your own herb garden is simple and cost effective!
Here are the basics for bringing your herb garden to life:
Finding The Right Space
This is the first step in making sure your herb garden is successful. Whether you decide to grow herbs inside or outside, planting them in a spot that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight is ideal (a lanai or window box are great options for most Minto homeowners!).
Choose Your Herbs
With so many options, choosing the right herbs for your garden can be overwhelming, but your best bet is to keep it simple. Just plant the ones you use the most! Do you cook a lot of Italian food? Make basil, parsley and oregano the stars of your garden. Love a soothing herbal tea? Lavender, mint and chamomile are perfect additions. You can always expand your garden if there’s something new you’d like to add.
Different plants may have different needs so once you’ve selected your herbs, be sure to check the tags or seed packages for guidance. Whether you opt for an indoor garden, a potted outdoor garden or planting directly in your yard, you’re going to need well-draining soil. This is the most crucial element of a thriving herb garden.
For an indoor garden, always use potting soil, which allows for extra drainage. Outdoor soil is too compact and will not allow the potted plant’s roots enough room to breathe.
If you are planting your herbs in the ground, start by digging and breaking up the soil, then add some compost on top and mix it in before planting. This ensures a richer environment for your herbs to grow. Allow roughly 8” of space in diameter for each plant.
Caring For Your Herbs
Check the soil regularly to make sure it doesn’t dry out too much. Container herb gardens tend to dry out quicker than outdoor gardens, so check your countertop herbs daily. Water indoor herbs slowly so the soil has time to absorb the water before it drains out.
For an outdoor garden, water thoroughly whenever the top layer of soil feels dry.
Frequent harvesting is actually very beneficial for your herbs! This is why it’s important to choose your garden wisely. Once herbs reach about 6-8” high, use a pair of garden shears or kitchen scissors to snip only the top third of the plant. Doing this often enough will help the plant grow back thicker and fuller.
Do you already have an herb garden? Share your favorite tips and fresh herb recipes below!