Whether you are growing herbs indoors or out, you will love having these culinary and medicinal ingredients at your fingertips. However, to successfully grow a sustainable herb garden, make sure that you have plenty of information on how to grow herbs starting out. The best way to grow herbs successfully is to provide the right kinds of tender, loving care for your plants from the very beginning.
There is a common misconception that herbs like poor-quality soil. In reality, however, they like a 1 to 1 to 1 mixture of potting soil, coarse sand and mushroom compost indoors, and well-drained soil outdoors. If you are growing herbs indoors, a weekly feeding of fish emulsion will help keep them strong and happy.
Herbs need at least four hours of natural, direct sunlight a day. They also should not be placed in north-facing windows. Supplement this light with fluorescent shop lights, but you should not rely solely on artificial light when you are growing herbs. If you do, even if they survive they will be prone to disease and be far less flavorful than herbs that have received natural light.
Herbs should get a good soaking twice a week. Make sure that the soil is saturated, but not muddy or runny. In the interim, do not water them or you can create a moist condition in which mildew, mold and other fungi can grow, killing or stunting your herbs and rendering them inedible.
Herbs are great for beginners. Popular, hardy herbs include chives, mint, basil and rosemary. Herbs can also be classified by their looks or their uses. Ornamentals have flowers, while aromatic herbs are often used to create essential oils and pleasant-smelling distillations. The term "medicinal herbs" encompasses any herb used for home remedies or medicinal purposes, such as chamomile for an upset stomach. Do not use medicinal herbs without consulting your physician first.
Care and Pruning
Herb gardens tend to get plenty of pruning as you use their members. However, it does pay to regularly snip off exterior growth from thriving herb plants if you have not used the plant in a while. Always snip from the outside, leaving a hearty, hardy interior to continue growing in your herb garden.
Herbs can be grown from seeds in pots or transplanted later. They need pots about 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide for a single plant, and multiple plants should be spaced about 6 inches apart. If you are growing herbs from seeds, once the seedlings are thriving you may need to transplant some of them to give every plant enough room to grow.
Herbs are largely edible, but some kinds, like chives and garlic, can cause anemia in pets if consumed in large quantities. Keep your herb garden away from pets who might destroy the garden and harm themselves in the process.