Planting Herbs and growing your very own little herb garden can be very rewarding.
I love everything about fresh herbs and therefore I love planting herbs.
- Added to a meal, fresh herbs can really turn a bland dish into a fabulous meal.
- And most herbs can very effectively be used medicinally and on the long run also help reduce your medical costs.
Growing a Herb Garden
Before planting herbs,
- choose a sunny spot with fertile, well drained soil for your herb garden.
- mix plenty of compost into the soil and level the ground.
Most herbs grow well from cuttings, so whenever I can use cuttings over planting seeds, I will.
I am not a very confident gardener - although I love pottering around, so I will always try the easiest way of doing things.
all grow well from cuttings.
GROWING YOUR HERBS FROM CUTTINGS
New tips make the best cuttings. Cut just below the leaf bud and keep your cuttings between layers of wet newspaper until you are ready to plant them.
- Prepare your seed boxes by filling them with river sand and thoroughly wetting the sand. Take a stick and punch holes into the soil. You are now ready to plant your cuttings.
- Remove all the lower leaves from your cuttings and dip the tips in hormone powder. Place each individual cutting into the prepared holes.
- Water them again and place your cuttings in a warm, shady spot. It can take up to 7 weeks for your cuttings to develop strong roots. During this time, make sure you keep them well watered.
- Before transplanting them, give them a few hours of good sun time.
- Plant your new herb plants in very well composted soil, press down firmly and water. Cover your top soil with mulch and water the young plants regularly. Once the plants are established, only water them once or twice a week.
Here's an idea: Label your herbs for quick identification.
If you don't like the idea of a separate herb garden then you can always add herbs to your existing garden.
You can create beautiful and fragrant low hedges with a Rosemary plant and Lavender or use Thyme and Violets as groundcover in your garden.
Did you know?
The scent of certain herbs actually keeps certain insects away.
For example coriander, anise and mustard planted between rows of vegetables like spinach and cherry tomatoes would not only protect them but also assist them to grow better.
This is also referred to as companion planting.
Harvesting your herbs is all about timing. Only harvest herb roots when the plant has reached maturity toward the end of summer.
Harvest herb leaves when the plant starts flowering - at this stage in the plant's lifecycle, the herb's distinctive fragrance is most concentrated.
Kitchen herbs can be harvested more frequently. The best picking time is early morning after the evening's dew has evaporated.
Some points to remember when growing herbs in pots:
- you use proper soil
- your herbs get the correct amount of sun and water
- the pot is large enough - in other words make sure there is enough room for the herb's root system to grow
- there are proper and enough drainage holes in the pot
Hanging baskets are good for creepers like Thyme and creeping Rosemary. Chives also look very attractive in a hanging basket. The only problem is that baskets dry out very quickly and therefore need regular thorough watering.
When planting herbs in your window box, try herbs like
, a small
and/or a little creeping
Make sure your box gets at least 8 hours of good sun and water your herbs regularly.
Plant kitchen herbs such as
in hollow concrete blocks or in large pots near the kitchen door.
Correct Potting Soil
7 parts garden soil
3 parts peat
3 parts compost
1 part sand
Watering your potted herbs
Water evaporates far quicker from pots than from soil.
This is why it is so important to water your potted herbs at least once a day and in hot temperatures, even twice daily.
The pot must never dry completely.
Here's a good idea:
Stand your herb container in a dish of water, so that the water is absorbed from the bottom but make sure the roots don't get water logged.
Caring for your potted herbs
Cut of any flower heads as they appear. This increases the lifespan of herb and stop it from producing seed.
Add natural organic plant food to your potted herbs every two weeks for optimum plant health and growth.
Good to know:
The difference between Perennial , Annual and Biennial Herbs
Some herbs can last for a number of years and develop deep roots. These are called perennials. Examples of perennial herbs include
Other herbs only last for a season and germinate, flower, make seeds and die in one year. These are called annuals. Examples of annual herbs include Mustard, Linseed,
Biennials have a life cycle spread over 2 years. The first year they grow and stock food reserves in their roots and the following year they flower and make seeds.
Examples of biennial herbs include Evening Primrose and
Don't you just LOVE your Frugal lifestyle? I certainly do!
All this - growing your own vegetable garden, planting herbs,
(all while you're also helping to save the planet!) and so much more is possible through this simple but fascinating lifestyle!
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