Herb Garden Information for Personal Home Use

Herb Garden Information for Personal Home Use


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Home Page > Home Improvement > Gardening > Herb Garden Information for Personal Home Use

Herb Garden Information for Personal Home Use

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Posted: Nov 19, 2009 |Comments: 0
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Since ancient times, people have grown herb gardens. Peoples of ancient China and Egypt left written records of their use of herbs. Medieval documents and references within the Bible show people used herbs for perfumes, cloth dyes and medicine as well as cooking. Today, herb gardens are useful for supplying people with herbs for cooking, tea, medicines, potpourri and for controlling pests.

Herb gardens can be specialized for the plants’ use, culinary here, medicinal there, or mixed for aesthetic reasons. Herbs can be planted directly in existing landscape with flowers or vegetables, or contained in pots or a raised-bed garden. A four foot by six foot garden plot is all the space a small family needs for an herb garden. Many herbs can be grown together with other species in the same container. Herbs can be grown indoors or outdoors.

Gardeners new to herbs usually gravitate toward familiar herbs used in cooking, but many herbs are grown for the appearance of their foliage and flowers or for their aromatic properties. Culinary herbs, used in cooking, can be used as flavor-additives or as garnish, and may be used either fresh or dried. The portion of the herb plant used may be the leaves, stems, roots or seeds, depending on the herb and the intended use.

As with other garden and landscape plants, herbs vary from small shrubs to trees, and can be annuals, perennials or biennials. Plant herbs in well-drained soil. Heavy or clay soils will need to have organic mulch mixed in to break up clumps and allow water passage for the herb garden’s roots. Fertilizer is not needed for most herbs. Perennial varieties may appreciate fish fertilizer every other year or a dose of Osmocote.

Full or partial sun is required for most herbs, although some herbs prefer full shade. Group herbs by their sun and water requirements for ease of care. Insect pests and diseases rarely trouble herbs, but aphids can attack herbs such as anise, caraway, dill and fennel. Mint can get rust, and red spider mites can attack low-growing branches of herbs in hot, dry weather. Grow your herb garden from starts purchased at a nursery, or grow your herbs from seed.

Watching an herb plant develop from a single tiny seed can be an empowering experience. While it lives, an annual herb provides your family with taste, smell, sight, texture and emotional experience as well as adding nutrients to your diet. How many garden plants can do all that? Herb seeds need a shallow container of light, well-drained soil. Plant seeds in the late winter indoors. Bury the seed no deeper than three times its width and keep the soil moist but not saturated until germination. Virtually all herbs can be purchased as seeds and started in this way.

Transplanting seedlings is risky, and some herbs are not suited to this practice. Anise, fennel, dill and coriander prefer to be directly sown where they will grow. Some herbs may be considered noxious weeds and will be listed with the local extension office, so check listings prior to planting medicinal herbs. Your local nursery may have information on this as well.

Herb gardens are easy, fun and rewarding. From a single small pot on the kitchen windowsill to a full herb garden with perennial shrubs regularly harvested, your discovery of herb gardening has just sprouted. You have much to learn and understand about herb gardens before you get started, read on!

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Sandi Stewart
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Before you plant an herb garden, sign up for Sandi Stewart’s free herb gardening mini-course found at successfulHerbGardeningSecrets.com. You will receive lots of excellent herb garden information.

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Before you plant an herb garden, sign up for Sandi Stewart’s free herb gardening mini-course found at successfulHerbGardeningSecrets.com. You will receive lots of excellent herb garden information.

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