Herbs are a wonderful way for a new gardener to get started. If you haven't put a seed in a pot since the fourth grade, start with small plants first. If are more experienced, you may want to start your plants from seed. Either way, your herbs will require good, well-drained soil, adequate water, and plenty of sunlight. If you have friends with whom you can trade, cuttings are also a good way to add to your collection of herb plants.
Because most of us tend to have a few herbs that we like to useover and over again, the simplest approach is usually the best. Start with herbs that will be used frequently like; parsley, thyme, bay leaf, basil, and oregano.
Those who use a lot of herbs for seasoning and appreciate having a supply of fresh product can put in a basic herb garden to grow the ones used the most. Most of the most common herbs used as spices in cooking can be successfully grown in average soil but some do request rich soil, such as oregano.
Additionally, some herbs in a basic herb garden such as parsley are biennial plants. This means the first year they are grown they will not be useful for seasoning. It is during the second year that the crop can be used. Ideally, with parsley, during the second year, plant a new crop of seeds so that in a couple of years they will overlap, providing u sable seasoning every year.
Most of the herbs grown in a basic herb garden such as, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil are tolerant of direct sun, but will require a minimum amount of water to survive. However, thyme is a very forgiving plant and if it dries out will likely come back when an appropriate amount of water is given. Since some have different soil requirements and can grow under slightly different conditions, having them separated by variety can help get them started and keep them growing throughout their life.
In most cases it will be easier on you to plant the basic herb garden close to your kitchen for easy harvesting of the fresh crop. Because the ideal world and the real world rarely intersect, this might not be possible. If that's the case, create your herb garden as close as practical, which will make using and caring for it much easier.
Some people plant herb gardens in .large containers within easy reach of the kitchen. Container herb gardens (either in a single large container or several different sizes clustered for effect) are practical for a number of reasons. It's easy to contain herbs, especially invasive types like mint, which can take over an entire yard. Each plant having its own container contributes to an appealing combination of color, texture, and size. Or plant a couple herbs or an herb and edible flower combination in the same pot. Container planting makes it easily portable. So when the first bit of winter is in the air, just move plants inside or a protected location.
Remember, the entire growth does have to be cut and used at once. With the right care, the spices will continue to grow and be usable during the entire season. Drying the extra cuttings at the end of the season can possibly supply the spice throughout the winter, often lasting until the next crop produces the following year.
When planting a basic herb garden would take more room than available, certain herbs can be planted among other plants, especially tomatoes. Parsley can play well with other plants specifically tomatoes, asparagus and among roses. Broccoli and cauliflower also welcome rosemary in their midst.
The biggest downfall to planting herbs among other vegetable plants or flowers is the chance of inadvertent damage from some critters walking through the garden and stepping on them. It is unlikely many rabbits or other animals will eat the herbs straight from the garden, but consequential damage can ruin a crop.
Some herbs, like mint, can be planted in the ground in areas where you may not be able to give it diligent attention. Take advantage of microclimates: a mediterranean planter in a sunny corner of your patio or deck might contain such plants as bay laurel, rosemary, thyme, and basil.
Herbs can be planted anywhere in your yard or garden that gives you pleasure or takes advantage of your garden's peculiarities. Lavender, for instance, is a wonderful landscape plant in addition to its other virtues.
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