Planting An Herb Garden

Herbs of all kinds have been cultivated and used for thousands of years. They have been used for cooking, tea and medicinal purposes. Herb gardens easy to grow and require little maintenance. The following article covers the basics of starting an herb garden.


Plan your garden before planting it. Consider the herbs you want to plant and what you’ll use them for. Herbs grow in various ways; some herbs, such as thyme, are low growing and spreading while others, such as parsley, grow in clumps. Mint is a taller, vigorously growing herb which often needs to be contained. Herbs are considered either annuals or perennials and many will bloom just like more traditional flowers.


List or draw your garden on paper first. If you know the size of your garden you’ll easily be able to choose the appropriate plants. Likewise, if you have certain herbs in mind you’ll able to plan the right size garden. Plant the annuals and the perennials in different locations in the garden. When fall arrives and you have to pull out the annuals, you won’t disturb the perennials. Perennials can be planted on the edge of your garden so when it is time to till your garden they won’t be in danger of being dug up.


Research the growth habit of the herbs you plant in the garden. As a general garden design rule, plan your garden with the tall herbs at the back and the short ones in front. Also, give your plants with enough space to grow; many of the spreading herbs require quite a bit of space. In fact, some can be quite invasive and require frequent pruning.


If you lack the adequate space for a garden, plant your herbs in containers. Be sure to use a high quality planting mix. A good planting mix will feed your plants throughout the entire growing season.


Designing your garden depends on the plants you choose as well as your own preferences. Square beds can be divided into four by two paths crossing at mid point. You can border it with stone or brick. A more rustic idea is to create a wagon wheel bed. Plant your herbs within the wagon wheel’s wedges. Locate the garden where they’ll be easiest to access; especially if you plan on using them in your cooking. An herb garden adjacent to a patio usually works well. Kitchen window boxes are also a great place to plant herbs.


Though different herbs have different needs, a sunny location is almost always necessary. Add lime to your garden since many herbs also prefer alkaline soil. Become familiar with the herbs you’ll be planting and design and prepare your garden accordingly. Though perennial herbs can be planted anytime during the growing season, annuals should be planted in the spring, after there is no longer a chance of frost. You can also start herbs from seed, just be sure to follow the directions on the packet for soil, watering and temperature.


Herbs are simple to grow and, once established, easy to maintain. If you provide them with adequate drainage, a sunny spot, water and nutrient rich, organic soil, your herb garden with thrive for years.

Tim Birch is the publisher of GardenListings.com, a Garden Resource site for the gardening enthusiast.

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