How to Plant An Herb Garden
Admit it, you've all wanted to have your own herb garden at some point or another in your life, but were maybe just too intimidated or didn't know where to start.
Well, I am here to share with you 6 simple steps to finally planting your own and keeping it alive all season long for your culinary needs.
How to Plant An Herb Garden
1. Choose Your Desired Herbs
Use this as an opportunity to get to know more about the plants and more about your climate and region. It is really important to look at the time of year you are planting in, for example, if it is the fall, you will be planting herbs that thrive in the cooler months to come - but, if it is spring, it will benefit you to choose plants that can survive the summer heat.
This brings me to my next point of choosing plants that will thrive in the region you live in. For more info on this, check out your growing zone finder.
2. Know your soil & prepare it well
Using appropriate soil for the herbs you choose to grow is crucial to the survival of your plants through their life-cycle. Culinary herbs, for the most part will do very well in a typical garden soil with good drainage. It is good to note that woodier herbs such as rosemary, thyme, lavender and bay will do better in a grittier soil that drains very well in order to avoid root rotting. Be sure to till and fertilize your soil in the days leading up to planting your seeds. To till soil, take a garden fork or shovel and diagonally penetrate the soil and slightly lift up - this will loosen the soil and prepare it for all the good microbes and healthy bacteria that come with fertilization and healthy soil.
3. Location, Location, location
Choose a space that gets plenty of sunshine - your herbs will love basking in at least 6 hours of direct sun light each and every day. If temperatures reach higher than 90°F, the plants will appreciate more hours in indirect sun light and only a couple in direct sun light - so, it will be beneficial to place them in an area where they get good morning light, but the rest of the day they are shaded. Keep your garden in a sheltered area - culinary herbs tend to be somewhat fragile and will do better if they are guarded from strong winds, rain, or any other potentially detrimental weather patterns
4. Sowing the seeds or using starts
Once you've selected the herbs you wish to grow in your garden, lay out where in your garden you will plant them. You can choose to plant them in rows or sporadically - that is up to you, just be sure to leave 1 foot or more of space between one plant and the next, depending on the specific plant. We recommend reading the seed packet and following those guidelines.
Using starts is a great idea as well, and don't think you are any less of a gardener for using them. They are a great way to get your garden growing quickly and strongly. I recommend going to a local nursery or farmer's market and check out their selection of starts - don't be afraid to ask the seller any questions about the plants you choose to grow and how to help them thrive!
5. Water & Fertilize
After planting your seeds, water (douse) your garden daily until the seeds begin to sprout. It is important to keep the seeds wet until they sprout, so if you live in a very hot climate, you may even need to water more than once daily. Once your seeds begin to sprout, keep the soil slightly damp - this could mean watering every other day, once daily, or even more than that, again it will all depend on your climate, so do some research and use your intuition.
Keep your plants super nourished by fertilizing them with an organic fertilizer of your choice - I use the liquid from my compost bin, but a store-bought fertilizer works just as great! One tablespoon of the homegrown compost juice to a gallon of water once a week should do the trick. For store-bought fertilizers, follow the directions on the bottle for best results.
If you started growing your plants from seed, when they are about 2 inches high, go in and thin them out so you can get the most out of your garden. Thinning them will help the remaining plants grow stronger and more established as the season progresses.
6. harvest & enjoy
Once your herbs have grown into established plants, they are ready for you to harvest and enjoy. A tip for harvesting in a friendly way is to cut or pinch the plant right above a leaf pair - this is better than leaving a stub of stem as it leaves room for new growth and another harvest in a few short weeks!
Where to find organic seeds
- Back to the Roots
- Johnny's Selected Seeds
- High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Seeds of Change
- Annie's Heirloom Seeds
Will you plant your own herb garden?
Let us know in the comments below!