Growing Herbs


Herbs are grown for culinary, medicinal as well as aromatic purposes. For those who enjoy the culinary arts, growing your own herbs is a must in order to maintain a steady fresh supply.

Some of the reasons for growing your own herbs are:

1. convenience- keep a pot close to the kitchen for easy access.
2. Save money-homegrown herbs are cheaper and fresher than store bought .

The hardest part about growing herbs is deciding which ones to grow! Surprisingly, many herbs grow with minimal care and in mediocre soil. Annuals and biennials such as;  basil, cilantro, chamomile, chervil, dill, fennel, mustard and parsley can be started from seed. They can either be sown directly into the garden or grown indoors in pots and then transplanted outdoors. Seed planting can also be done with easy perennials like chives, feverfew, lemon balm and mint. For more difficult perennials such as; bay laurel, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, sage, tarragon and thyme, buy small potted plants.
Be sure to plant each herb in its optimal growing environment to get the best results.

Some of the things to consider when planting herbs:

1. Herbs need full sun with minimum of 4-6 hrs.  Some herbs will tolerate partial shade.
2. Well-drained soil (very important) if you have poor drainage, add organic material to amend the soil or try a raised bed or container. They will thrive in poor soil but not soggy soil.
3. Fertilize less-herbs like average fertility with a ph of 5.5-7.0. Heavy applications can decrease the flavor and cut down on the concentration of essential oils. Add organic compost, fish emulsion or 5-10-10 fertilizer in the early spring when planting and/or when new growth starts and you should be set for most of the season.

Herbs can also be combined in containers, incorporated in flower beds or any spot in the garden. Grow your favorite culinary herbs in a container and keep it close to the kitchen door for convenient harvesting. When winter arives bring a pot of herbs indoors, place in a sunny area and enjoy!