Grow Your Own Kitchen Herb Garden
Growing your own Kitchen Herbs can be one of the easiest things to grow for the budding gardener. Gardening can be fun and rewarding. Nothing beats cooking with fresh herbs from your very own garden.
If you are new to gardening or growing herbs it is best to start out with a type of plant that is easy to grow and will guarantee success. Herbs are easy to grow from seeds and there are literally hundreds of different herbs that the home gardener can grow.
Most of my gardening experience comes from helping my mom with a garden when I was younger. As I grew older and eventually claimed land of my own (with my hubby) I started experimenting with growing my own herbs.many success. I like to say that I experiment a lot. I had plenty of failures, but I also had great success with plants that weren’t even suppose to grow here in Upstate New York. Who knew? And I am a proud mama of a thriving Avocado Plant.
I honestly think it must have been pure dumb luck because the longer I gardened the more I learned and started to get figure out which herbs grow well and which do not.
Herb gardening is different than growing a flower or vegetable garden. Most grow quickly from seed. Others will reseed themselves and will give you fresh new plants that will continue to grow over years to come.
Here are few simple steps can get you started with your very own herb garden.
1. Gather Your Materials Needed
A raised bed approximately 3 foot square, a garden bed 3 ft square, window boxes, containers etc
Topsoil, soil mix & grit
A Trowel or Small Shovel
Plant food (optional). I buy a package of plant food spikes for about $1.50 to help keep my herbs nourished.
2. Choose Your Herb Garden Location
It is nice to have your Kitchen herb garden just outside the kitchen but, ideally, you should have your herb garden in a spot where it gets some sun and some shade throughout the day – this will give you the conditions to grow a wide variety of herbs. If you do not have a raised bed or a large are to plant a herb garden, you can use containers, window boxes, even gaps between paving stones – there’s no rule that says they should all be in a square bed!
3. Prepping The Soil For Your Herb Garden
Place a layer of grit in the bottom of the bed approximately 3 inches deep. Cover this with 6 inches of soil mix and fill to the top with topsoil. If you are digging a bed in the garden, dig down approximately 12 inches and turn the soil thoroughly, making sure it is weed free. If you use containers place a little grit or some small stones in he bottom for drainage and fill with soil mix.
4. Decide What Herbs You Want To Plant
When choosing which Kitchen herbs you want to grow, think about what you will be more likely to use and how much space you have. Plant herb staples such as sage, parsley & thyme, but don’t forget to throw in some more unusual herbs such as lovage & fennel. Just to experiment with. HEY!! You never know.
Purchase a mixture of annual & perennial herbs and start your planting in mid spring, after the last frost. Sowing / planting times are as follows:
Rosemary – perennial
Lovage – Tall perennial
Sweet cicely – perennial
Bronze Fennel – perennial
Thyme – perennial
Purple Sage – Evergreen shrub
Cilantro – annual
Starflower – annual
Purple basil – annual
As you get to the end of the summer you can plant mustard greens and arugula in the gaps left by the annuals. In the late fall plant garlic cloves which can be picked as leafy spikes in the spring and as bulbs in the summer.
5. Planting Your Herb Garden
Ease your herbs gently from the pots you have purchased them in. Dig a hole so that the plant will sit no deeper than it was in it’s original container. To help them establish, gently loosen their root balls before planting. Take care to plant the herbs that will grow tall at the back of the bed and space the herbs about 3 inches from the next one to ensure adequate growing space.
6. General Care Tips & Tricks
Trim your herbs on a regular basis if you don’t trim them to use in the kitchen. This will prevent them flowering early.
Remove dead or fading leaves.
Keep the bed free of weeds.
Check for pests such as slugs and snails regularly.
Keep the well watered.
Provide support for tall growing herbs.
Following these simple steps and you will have a flourishing herb garden and be enjoying the taste of fresh herbs in no time. Now aren’t you excited to get started? What herbs do you plan on growing this year? Did you decide on planting a few experimental herbs?