How to Grow Herbs in Alabama

Overview

Herbs are seed plants that have been used in various cultures throughout history for seasoning foods as well as for medicinal, aromatic and ornamental purposes. Most herbs are easy to grow, can adapt to a wide range of growing conditions and add beauty and interest to almost any landscape. Hundreds of types of herbs are available to home gardeners, and many of those are suitable for growing in the warm climate of Alabama.

Selecting and Preparing the Garden Area

Step 1

Select a planting area with well-drained soil that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.

Step 2

Take a sample of soil to your local extension office for testing. Herbs grow best in soil with a pH neutral level of 6 to 7. Purchase any recommended nutrients, like lime, that may required to adjust the pH level of soil.

Step 3

Break up soil in the planting area with a garden tiller or hoe. After removing weeds and debris from the area with a rake, mix in organic compost and any required nutrients.

Growing Herbs from Packaged Seed

Step 1

Create furrows with a hoe and sow seed in directly into soil. Follow spacing and planting depth directions on the package; these vary depending on what type of herb you are planting.

Step 2

Cover seeds with a light application of soil and pat down.

Step 3

Apply a mist or fine spray of water, to avoid washing away newly planted seeds, until soil is evenly moist.

Step 4

Thin plants to approximately one to two inches apart after seedlings emerge to avoid overcrowding.

Growing Herbs from Purchased Transplants

Step 1

Dig holes approximately twice the size of plant rootballs. Space holes according to maturity size of plants. Remove plants from containers, center plants in holes then backfill with soil. Cover with soil only to the herbs' original planting depths.

Step 2

Spray plants lightly with water until soil is thoroughly moist several inches down.

Step 3

Add a one- to two-inch layer of organic mulch to the top of soil to help prevent weeds and allow herbs to retain moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Too much fertilizer can produce an abundance of poorly favored foliage on herb plants. Do not over fertilize. Herbs need adequate space to receive optimal light and air circulation. To prevent disease and spindly plants, do not space herbs too closely together.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller or hoe
  • Garden rake
  • Handheld spade or shovel
  • Organic mulch

References

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Growing Herbs
  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden

Who Can Help

  • Growing Herbs
Keywords: grow herbs Alabama, growing herbs Alabama, Alabama herbs

About this Author

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for GardenGuides.com and eHow, as well as online specialty courses for MyComputerBuddies.com. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Central Florida, and over 15 years experience in business development, sales, and marketing. An avid gardener, cook, and voracious reader, Barbara resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.