Herb gardening has become a popular gardening project for the beginning and experienced gardener, the gourmet cook and those who love crafts since there are so many uses for herbs. From natural insect repellents, flavoring for teas, scents for soaps and many culinary uses, growing herbs is a rewarding projects that keeps giving back.
Building Your Garden
Prepare the area where you will plant your herbs. If the ground has not been previously used for gardening, you will need to use a spade or gardening fork to dig into the soil at least 8 inches deep, removing all clumps of weeds or grass and rocks. Break up the soil as much as possible and add the composted gardening soil, mixing in well.
You may wish to create a border with stones, bricks or wood, but it is not necessary to do so.
Research herbs to determine what you want to plant. Basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, dill, rosemary and tarragon are typically culinary herbs that work well for a kitchen garden and are all annual herbs, meaning they do not winter over. Some herbs can be quite invasive and are better grown in pots, such as chives, oregano and mint. Certain herbs, like lavender, bee balm, echinacea and calendula have medicinal uses as well as natural insect repellents.
Care for your herb bed isn't difficult so long as you provide adequate water and drainage. Since you planted the herbs in composted soil, adding extra fertilizer is not necessary. As the herbs grow, you should trim off buds on some of the herbs to keep them from going to seed. For instance, if you allow basil to go to flower, the leaves will get tougher and more bitter. If you let cilantro blossom, when the seeds arrive, they are coriander--a whole different spice. Do your research to know what to let go to flower and what not to.