Herbs are one of the most beloved plants to grow in your garden. They are not too demanding and they can also be added to your meals to make them tastier, besides looking lovely in the garden. If you want to try growing them on your own for the first time, this is what you should do.
Decide on the herbs and location
Once you've decided which herbs exactly you want to grow, it's important to find the right place for them in your garden. While fruits and vegetables usually enjoy at least 5 hours of direct sun, herbs will be perfectly ok with a spot in partial shade. However, they also won't mind the abundance of sunlight.
If your garden is positioned towards the south, the herbs will get the afternoon sun, but take special care for them if the garden is on the north. Ideally, the herbs should have an east- or west-facing position in the garden. Also, bear in mind how you will be able to reach the herbs for watering and tending so that each one of them can be tended properly. The soil should drain well.
Preparation of the site
To prepare the chosen location for the herbs, clear the area and then level it. Next, prepare the ground for the herbs - dig some 20cm into the ground and add compost to it. Lastly, rake the ground and leave it overnight - it will give the ground enough time to settle.
Planting the herbs appropriately
When planting the herbs, the important thing is to have in mind the room they'll need when they start to spread, so make sure each one of them has an empty space around to be able to grow. While you're arranging the herbs, pay attention to how much each one of them will be tall. The type and size of beds are also important. Even though raised beds are lovely to look at, they are also tougher to tend because they dry out more quickly. Sunken beds are better for dry areas because they are better at holding the water they get. When deciding on the arrangement of beds, it's nicer to arrange them in blocks rather than simple single rows.
The process of planting
Before you plant the herbs, make sure you water them well and also loosen the root balls. That will help the roots keep on growing once they are in the new soil. You should also use good, sharpened gardening shears to snip the rips of the herbs to help them get bushier. Put some organic fertilizer like fishmeal in each hole. Lastly, when you place the herb in the hole, gently firm the soil and then water it once again.
Use quality gardening tools
For every type of work around the herbs, you need to use appropriate tools and not something you first get your hands on. The basic equipment includes scuffle and garden hoes, dirt and leaf rakes, a garden shovel and hand tools. Try to avoid plastic tools and opt for durable quality tools such as those from Hoselink, making sure they fit the size of your hands.
Organic matter is a must
be prepared to regularly add organic matter to feed the soil. It's good to add different organic matters each year. Compost and mulch are the basic ones for every beginner, so start with them. Later on, you can experiment a bit by using rock powder or weed tea as methods to improve fertility and also try out microbial inoculants.
Choose the right herbs in the nursery
If you think planting seedlings would be too much for a beginner, visit a nursery and choose some potted herbs. It's important to choose the right ones, so here are couple of tips:
- pay attention to the size of the pot - if the plant is bigger than the pot, it means the plant is probably root bound. It will experience transplant shock once you plant it in your garden, so look for pots that are the same size as the plants in them.
- if you notice yellow leaves or damage made by insects, avoid those herbs. It's probably because the herbs are sold on the parking lot, where can get really hot for the plant.
- ask the shop assistant if the herbs were treated by pesticides that can be harmful to the pollinators in your garden.
If you follow the instructions carefully, there is no need to think your herbs won't thrive. As long as you tend them regularly and properly, you will enjoy their beauty and taste.