How to Grow Herbs in the Sunlight

Overview

Herbs fulfill a variety of purposes in the home garden. Some herbs possess medicinal or therapeutic qualities, while others enhance the flavor and aroma of culinary dishes. Cosmetic herbs provide ingredients for bath products, lotions and other preparations. Many types of herb plants enhance your yard with their attractive blossoms and foliage. Although the light requirements for herbs vary, most prefer bright sunlight. Enjoy an abundance of fresh herbs by growing some of these useful plants in your own, sunny landscape.

Step 1

Choose a flat location with good drainage for your herb garden. Find an area that does not retain moisture or experience floods. Choose an area that provides some protection from strong winds. Although these herbs usually flourish in bright sunshine, excessive winds may damage growth and cause the soil to dry out quickly. Use a pruning saw to trim away overhead tree limbs that may block the sunlight from reaching your herbs.

Step 2

Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 to 10 inches. Use a garden shovel to turn the soil, breaking up large clumps. Remove any uprooted weeds or other vegetation. Mix some sphagnum peat into your existing soil to create a light, loose medium for your herb plants. Turn the peat and soil with your shovel, mixing well.

Step 3

Plant the herb plants after the last frost in your region. Follow each plant's label to determine the correct spacing and depth for your selected varieties. Make the holes at least twice the width of your herbs' root balls and an equal depth, to ensure placement level with the surrounding soil. Do not plant your herbs in depressions or allow them to sit deeper than their former depth.

Step 4

Water your herb plants evenly, soaking the soil surrounding their root systems. Allow the surface of your soil to dry slightly before watering again. Consult the plant label that came with each of your plants to determine the correct amount of water to apply. Most herbs require 1 or 2 inches of water every week to produce healthy, new growth.

Step 5

Place a 1-inch layer of clean mulch over the surface of the soil surrounding your herb plants. This will help the soil stay moist and cool in your sunny location. Keep the mulch about 2 inches away from the stems to discourage the growth of mildew and diseases.

Step 6

Harvest your herb plants regularly during the growing season to keep them producing new growth and keep them looking their best.

Tips and Warnings

  • Refrain from fertilizing your herb plants unless you notice slow, stunted growth. Unnecessary applications with plant food can cause herbs to grow excessive foliage and develop an unpleasant flavor.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Shovel
  • Sphagnum peat
  • Mulch

References

  • Purdue University Extension: Growing Herbs
  • West Virginia University: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • "Creating Your Eco-Friendly Garden"; Mary Horsfall; 2008

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University Extension: Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener
Keywords: sunny herb garden, grow herbs, plant herb garden

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.