How To Start An Herb Garden

Fresh herbs can greatly improve the taste of just about any meal, but many individuals are too intimidated to start growing them on their own. While the benefits of starting your own garden are both bountiful and easy to obtain, it can be difficult to know where to start. At Perry Homes, we have some tips to help you learn how to start an herb garden.

Find The Perfect Location

There are two vital resources that any and all growing herbs need to thrive — full sun coverage for five to six hours of the day and well-drained soil. Take a look around your property to try and find a space that provides these two necessities. A healthy balance is key. The area that you choose should not flood during heavy rain and not dry out during hot days. These are both absolutely essential when you live in Texas!

Make sure you also take into account the level of activity in your outdoor space and where it takes place. Where does the dog like to run? Do you have a designated area where the kids play? Your garden should be in a somewhat isolated area that is not being utilized for other purposes in order to avoid any potential for the herbs to be harmed or uprooted.

If you are short on free outdoor space but still wish to enjoy the benefits of having fresh herbs, consider planting herbs in pots.These pots can be placed either indoors by a window or outdoors to enhance the look and feel of a patio. Be aware that potted herbs require more water than those planted in the ground, and they may need to be moved to a bigger pot when the plants grow larger.

Prepare The Soil

Before you start planting, make sure that your soil is prepped and ready to support your garden. With a large garden fork, generously dig several inches into the ground in order to loosen the soil. This allows water to drain and creates space for the plant roots to reach down and grow. Once the garden soil is loosened, add about an inch of compost to the top and mix it into the soil. The compost will help prevent drainage problems while adding much-needed fertilizer to the garden.

If you have opted to have your herbs planted in a pot, following the instructions above will lead you to success, but there are also numerous potting soils on the market that will allow your herbs to grow fantastically. If you decide to buy a bag of pre-mixed potting soil, pack it into your pot and water the soil until you can feel that the top few inches of soil are damp. Finish by digging a hole for each new plant to prepare for planting.

Choose Which Herbs You Want To Plant

Now comes the fun part: picking which herbs you wish to place in your garden. The key here is choosing herbs that you find tasty and will use in your dishes that are also durable and easily maintained. Listed below are some common, easy to grow herbs that are both tasty and versatile:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Dill

Purchasing Your Plants

There are several different routes to take when beginning the process of planting your herb garden. For most beginners, the easiest way to success involves purchasing toddler plants, or plants that a professional gardener has already started planting, rather than seed packets. While it is rewarding to see seeds begin to sprout, plants that have already begun the process of growing roots are much more likely to survive, especially in the hands of a new gardener. Check out gardening supply stores and farmers markets to find the toddler herbs.

Maintaining Your Garden

Once you have planted your herbs, it is important that you stay vigilant about keeping them healthy and growing. While each plant may vary slightly on how many inches of water they need, a general rule of thumb is to make sure the soil is damp several inches below the surface. If you have opted to plant herbs in pots rather than directly into the ground, they will require more frequent watering. Check on the water levels of your plants several times every week.

While new gardeners may feel nervous about cutting their plants prematurely, herbs actually grow better with regular trimmings. Herbs grow very quickly, so frequent trims will encourage new leaf growth and therefore more for you to enjoy. Cut from the top down, as the leaves at the bottom of the plant work as big solar panels to soak up all the sun and help your plant continue growing.

At Perry Homes, we want to help you enjoy all that homeownership has to offer. With these tips, you will have tasty herbs to enjoy on your meals all year long. If you would like to plant vegetables as well as herbs, check out one of our previous blog posts about starting your own backyard vegetable garden. Happy planting!