Grow Organic Herbs
image by Petr Kratochvil
Decide what herbs you want to grow and purchase seeds from your local nursery. Purchase organic seeds that have not been genetically enhanced. Read the packages of each seed to determine the pH (acidity) level the soil needs to be.
Test the pH level of the soil that you are going to be growing your herb garden. Soil test kits are available at most hardware stores and nurseries. Included with each manufacturer's kit is a set of instructions on its proper use.
Apply oyster shell lime to the soil if the pH level needs to be raised. To add lime spread a light coating over the garden plot using a cup and mix it into the soil by raking it. Read the back of the package for any additional recommendations.
Apply sulphur to the soil if the pH level needs to be lowered. Use a cup to spread the sulphur over the plot and rake it into the soil. There should also be an application chart on the package.
Layer the top of the garden with 2 inches of rich compost. Mix the compost into the soil with a tiller or turning it by hand with a shovel.
Mark off the rows for your specific herbs. Make sure to leave enough room for good growth and harvesting. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself 2 feet of working room between rows. The seed packets will have the information required for spacing and number of seeds to plant.
Dig the depth necessary for each particular seed you are planting. Sow the seeds according to the specific instructions printed on the back of the seed packets. Cover the seeds lightly with soil.
Water the freshly sown seeds using a spray bottle. By using a spray bottle instead of a hose you will not disturb or wash away the seed and soil. Water just enough to moisten the soil well.
Pull out weeds by hand throughout the season. This will help to keep nutrients going to your herbs and not the weeds.
Mix 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic and 1 cup of mineral oil in a plastic spray bottle. Lightly spray herbs that are having pest issues. This type of homemade insecticide can be used on all your herbs.
Apply a thin layer of compost once a month to your herb garden. Using compost will ensure that your herbs are getting the food that their roots require for healthy growth.
Water your organic herb garden once a week during the dry months. You can water more if necessary just be sure not to over-water, which will cause the roots to rot.