How to Grow Herbs & Vegetables

Overview

Fresh vegetables and herbs enhance many culinary dishes and recipes. The anticipation of flavorful, fresh produce may have you wanting to grow some herbs and vegetables in your own garden. Gardening allows you to play in the dirt, while enjoying nutritious ingredients in your meals and snacks. Although some gardeners choose to plant separate garden areas for vegetables and herbs, growing them together in one garden plot can save you some time and space.

Step 1

Select a sunny, bright site for your garden. Test your garden soil before planting your herbs and vegetables. Most varieties of culinary plants require well-drained, medium to rich soil compositions. Follow the test instructions for gathering and submitting your test sample. Purchase any recommended soil amendments that your test results suggest.

Step 2

Loosen the soil in your garden spot as soon as the spring temperatures allow. Use a garden tiller to break apart the topsoil and work under any existing vegetation. Rake out the loosened roots of previous plants and remove from your garden area. Apply your recommended soil amendments and spread about 3 inches of sterile compost over your cleared area. Go over the area a couple more times with your garden tiller to incorporate the soil amendments and create an even soil composition. Rake the surface of your garden to form a level area.

Step 3

Plant your herbs and vegetables in your garden after spring's final frost. Determine the correct placement of your plants by considering the amount of space each plant requires and its expected size at maturity. Place your tall plants, such as corn, near the back of your garden. Use a trellis near rows of climbing vegetables, such as peas and beans, to provide necessary support. Follow the container directions for planting depths of your herb and vegetable seeds.

Step 4

Water your herb and vegetable garden frequently while seeds begin to sprout and grow. Apply a fine mist several times each day to keep the surface of the soil slightly damp until seedlings reach about 2 inches high. Decrease the frequency of watering while increasing the amount of water to keep the soil near the roots of your young plants slightly moist. Depending on your climate, you may need to water every few days to keep the soil from drying out near the roots.

Step 5

Pull any weeds out of your garden bed before they grow to an unmanageable size. Check your garden soil at least once a week for the appearance of small weed seedlings. Pluck these seedlings out of the soil shortly after watering, while the soil is moist and workable.

Step 6

Feed your garden vegetables and herbs with a fertilizer listed for use on these varieties of plants. Follow the instructions on the container to determine the correct amount of fertilizer. Plant foods help your vegetables develop healthy produce prior to harvesting while boosting the nutrition of the soil near your herbs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use only sterile compost to avoid introducing weed seeds and diseases into your garden plot.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Garden tiller
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Water

References

  • Recipes 4 Us: Growing Herbs and Vegetables
  • Colorado State University: Planning Your Garden
  • "The Green World Horticulture"; Gail M. Lang, Ph.D.; 2007

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University: Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener
Keywords: herb garden, grow fresh vegetables, vegetable gardening

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.