Kansas’ rich soil and mild climate make it an ideal location for growing annual herbs. The majority of Kansas soil is a loam that farmers have used to grow grain crops for years. Kansas also lies in between USDA Hardiness Zones 5 and 6, meaning the lowest temperatures Kansas receives are -20 F. Because of this, some herbs may grow well as perennials, but others must be planted yearly as annuals.
Select a location for your herb garden that includes full sun and well-drained soil.
Test your soil to determine if it is the proper pH. Kansas State University maintains a non-profit soil testing laboratory as a part of its community and continuing educational program. Contact your local county agent of the KSU Extension service for instructions on how to take a soil sample and where to send it.
Purchase soil amendments based on the results of the test. Common soil amendments include compost to improve the nutrient structure of your soil, sulfur to lower the soil pH or lime to increase the pH.
Break up your garden soil to a depth of 12 inches with a rototiller and spread the soil amendments over the top.
Select herbs that grow well together. For example, never plant dill and fennel together because they will cross-pollinate and produce an inedible offspring. Plants that grow well together include rosemary and lavender or basil and oregano.
Choose to grow invasive herbs such as mint in containers. You can sink container plants into the ground to make them blend attractively with the surrounding landscape. Container gardens of tender herbs such as mint also can be brought indoors for overwintering.
Plant tender herbs such as basil yearly; they will die each winter. Hearty herbs such as rosemary or lavender will remain for years and grow into large shrub-like shapes where you plant them.
Interplant herbs with vegetables in your garden to create natural pest-repellent areas. Mosquitoes are frequently repelled by garlic, while tomatoes planted near basil and marigolds have few problems with cutworms or Japanese beetles.