Herb Garden Tips

Most herbs are easy to grow and do not need a large space. Herbs are ideal for container gardens, or interplant them in your flower or vegetable garden. Pots of culinary herbs make a good addition to kitchen décor, and there is nothing quite like freshly snipped herbs to add just the right touch to your favorite dish. Gardeners also grow herbs for medicinal purposes, to make soothing teas or to use in soap-making and other aromatic uses.

Purpose

Know the purpose for the herbs you grow. Plan your herb garden so you have a variety of plants to suit your purpose. Herb plants can be very ornamental. Whether you're interested in growing aromatic herbs for potpourri, or culinary herbs for your kitchen, select plants that will provide color and texture to your overall herb garden design.

Location

Locate a culinary herb garden near your kitchen. It's easy to use fresh herbs in your cooking when they are handy, just outside the kitchen door. Many gardeners plant aromatic herbs close to open windows, porches or patios so the scents can be enjoyed in the living spaces of the home.

Your Garden Space

Herbs can pack a big punch in a small space. One or two plants of rosemary or sage will be plenty for the average family's cooking needs. Try different varieties of an herb to fit different spaces. Some basil varieties are very small, ideal for pots or small gardens. The large basil used in pesto can grow to 3 feet tall. Herbs can be used to fill areas in a traditional garden. Tuck herb plants like lavender or Echinacea into the flower garden, or grow spreading mints along the edge of the vegetable garden where they can ramble.

Plant Spacing

Allow plenty of space between individual herb plants so there's good air circulation. It's easy to crowd too many plants into a small garden space. Crowding can lead to slow drying time after rain, which promotes plant diseases. A small start of a perennial herb can grow to a large mound in two or three years, when it will need to be divided. Plan ahead at planting time, and problems from overcrowding can be eliminated.

Proper Watering

Group together the herbs that have similar water needs. Mints, basil and parsley like more moisture than sage, oregano and thyme. Check the soil around your herb plants to tell when they need watering. Don't wait until your plants wilt to water them. When they show signs of wilting, they are already too dry.

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About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.