Most Productive Herb Garden Designs

If you plan to harvest your herbs for a purpose-crafting, culinary, medicine-you will need a garden designed to make this easier. Garden centers and libraries have dozens of books full of traditional and modern herb garden designs. Productive herb garden designs have several things in common.

Herb gardens are attractive even when scattered and disorganized, but for efficient harvesting of herbs, the productive herb garden needs a planned design. Walkways, compact-sized planting beds, and planned sun/shade exposure are three commonalities in herb garden designs.

The layout of your herb garden or multiple beds in your garden should take into account your need to harvest the herbs. Walkways or pathways between beds or within a larger garden plot will allow you to reach each herb. Paths can be grass, steppable groundcover plants, stone, gravel, wood-any flat surface wide enough to allow you to avoid damaging one plant to reach another.

Small planting beds make harvesting easier. Shapes such as circles, small squares and narrow rectangles are ideal designs for reaching all your herbs. Formal gardens often outline these shapes with shrubby herbs such as boxwood, lavender, marigold, or thyme. Productive designs allow you to reach every herb easily from your pathways.

Herb garden designs that place herbs with similar uses together make productive harvest much simpler. Designate one bed for medicinal herbs, another for culinary herbs, a third for aromatic herbs, or any division you want. Grouping or arranging herbs in pots in the same way will increase productivity in even the smallest herb garden.

Within your herb beds, you can further divide the herbs into how they are to be used. For example, marjoram, basil, lemon verbena, and peppermint area all medicinal herbs used for stomach upset. Group them together and you won’t need to reach far to get what you need. Creating an Italian dinner? If you’ve designed your culinary herb plot to group Italian spice herbs together, gathering the spices you need will be a snap.

Some herbs will need more sunlight than others. Ideal conditions often include 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. You can still plant your shade-loving herbs in a bed with sun-loving herbs if you arrange them so that taller, sun-loving herbs block the sunlight. Sunflowers are ideal for this-they love to hog the sunlight, and will protect more delicate leaves from the direct rays if planted on the southern side.

How will you be using your herbs? Large-scale productions such as commercial lavender farms need to simplify problems of harvest, weeding and pruning. Heavy landscaping cloth laid in rows, with small cut-outs for each plant, takes care of all three problems at once. Each plant is distanced from its neighbor to allow the farmer pathways between them. Planning and measuring before you plant, and knowing the needs of individual herbs, will increase your herb garden’s productivity no matter what herbs you grow.

To discover more about herb garden designs visit Successful Herb Gardening and register to receive a no cost 10 day herb gardening mini-course.

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