The Healthy Hobby of Growing an Herb Garden

The Healthy Hobby of Growing an Herb Garden


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Home Page > Home Improvement > Gardening > The Healthy Hobby of Growing an Herb Garden

The Healthy Hobby of Growing an Herb Garden

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Posted: Sep 24, 2009 |Comments: 0
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The history of herbs goes back to the ancient days of the Egyptians and the Chinese. Also, references to herbs are made in documents from medieval times, as well as in the Bible that give evidence that they were familiar and used in most homes. Growing herbs has many benefits to gardeners in quite a few varying purposes. There uses range from flavoring food, potpourri uses, in making tea, as well as medicinal uses or even as a pest control agent in the garden. Some herb garden designs specialize in just one specific category of herbs. Other designs plant an assortment of herbs from different usage categories.

Herbs make great companion plants in your vegetable garden or even in your landscaping. They also can be grown indoors in pots or containers. You can also create a nice windowsill garden with these plants. Or if you need to produce a little more, enough herbs can be grown in just a small area, about 24 square feet, to provide for a small family.

Culinary herbs are great for cooking, but are also popular because of their sweet-smelling foliage and many are grown for their beautiful flowers. There are many uses for these herbs, both fresh and dried. Some herbs are great for enhancing the flavor of recipes and others simply but elegantly garnish salads and serving dishes.

Herbs grow as annual or perennial plants, as well as trees and shrubs. Using well-drained soil is a key to success when planting herbs. Adding organic matter will help lighten soil that is compacted or heavy. Another benefit of growing herbs is that using fertilizers is unnecessary. Most herbs have a sunny disposition and prefer to soak up lots of rays but there are a few that prefer very little sun. A lot of herb types do well with morning sun and shade in the afternoon. Remarkably, there are not many bugs or diseases that attack herbal plants. During hot and dry weather you might find red spider mites on plants that grow low to the ground. You also may find aphids attached to such herbs as caraway, fennel, dill, or anise. The popular herb, mint, can also be affected by rust.

Herbs can be started from seeds or plants can be purchased from your local nursery and planted directly into your garden. Either way is quite enjoyable but it is especially rewarding to plant a single seed and nurture it into a beautiful herb plant. The entire process of growing a herb from seed is a very satisfying experience since there are so many used for them. And nearly all herb plants can be grown from a seed. To grow herbs from seed, place the seeds in a box or shallow pot toward the end of winter. Sow your seeds into light, well drained soil. Don’t cover the seeds with too much soil because their root base does not grow very deep. In other words, you’ll want to plant the herb seeds shallow. Here’s a good rule to remember: the finer the seed, the shallower it should be sown. Upon the arrival of the spring season, start introducing your seedlings to the outdoors for transplanting. As mentioned earlier, you can grow most herbs from seeds, but there are herb plants that don’t like to be transplanted. Some herbs like Coriander, dill, anise, and fennel should be planted straight into your garden.

Raising your own herbs is very easy and very satisfying but there is quite a bit to know and understand to be successful with herbs. This brief article has been a quick overview of just a few of the aspects of herb gardening. I hope it has stimulated your interest enough to see the many benefits of herb gardening and that you’ll continue your journey with your own rewarding and enjoyable herb garden.

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Carl Olsen
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Carl Olsen is a teacher and herb enthusiast. For more great information on growing a herb garden, visit http://www.theherbgardenguide.com.

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Carl Olsen is a teacher and herb enthusiast. For more great information on growing a herb garden, visit http://www.theherbgardenguide.com.

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