When you choose to start an herb garden, questions arise as to when, where and how to set up the flower bed. The key to a setting up a successful herb garden is location. The soil must have good drainage, plenty of sunlight and should be close to the house for easy access. As the plants grow, even a gentle breeze will fill the air with the aromas of the herbs.
Prepare the herb garden bed by staking out the area to be planted. A garden hose laid on the ground is perfect for mapping out a curved or circular bed. Till the soil and remove unwanted debris. For the standard garden bed, add compost or peat moss to the existing soil to create a quality planting medium.
If you prefer, create a raised bed from 2x4s or other lumber. The raised garden allows you to start with quality soil and will keep the herbs contained. Fill the raised bed with one part peat moss to three parts top soil.
Section off the garden by installing wooden or plastic dividers. The dividers act as barriers for the herbs, ensuring that individual plants do not encroach on their neighbors. Separate sections provide the opportunity to care for the individual herbs as their needs arise.
Choose plants or seeds according to the specifications of the herb garden. For the beginning gardener, established plants sold at the garden center are easier to cultivate and grow. Certain herbs, such as lavender, grow slowly and generally do not flower the first year when started from seed.
Plant the seeds or plants according to the directions provided with the individual plants. Provide enough space for the herbs to expand in the garden. Mints, basil and oregano are prolific growers and will cover a small area in short time. Crowding the plants causes them to fight for water and nutrients. Leave about 8 inches or more between plants when first introducing the herbs into the garden.
Water the plants on a daily basis in the beginning to allow the plants to establish themselves. Once the plants have taken root and are thriving, you can decrease the watering schedule to once a week. During dry seasons, pay attention to the leaves of the plants. If they start to wilt, increase the watering schedule to twice a week.