Home gardening can be rewarding and fulfilling for even the most novice of gardeners. Without even a hint of a green thumb, almost anyone can successfully grow and harvest an herb garden. Whether you have a large plot of earth to dedicate to your herb garden, or just a few small pots on a sunny windowsill, herb gardening is a snap with a clear roadmap of how to create, care for, and harvest your green, aromatic plants known as herbs. Let’s look at how you can successfully grow your own herbs otudoor or indoor.
Plan a garden
Just like when buying real estate, the location of an herb garden is the first consideration to make when thinking about planting your own fresh herbs. Most herbs require a sunny location, but partial sun and shady areas can work as well if they also receive some direct sunlight as well.
If you have an open garden area where other plants are already located, choosing to co-plant your herbs near other vegetables can be an ideal option. Many herbs not only have useful purposes in the kitchen and home, but they also provide a lovely scent and delicate blooms or appealing leaves, adding interest and convenience to an already established garden.
What if you don’t have outside soil you could dedicate to a garden?
Simple pots kept in a sunny location are a perfect herb garden solution. Some herbs need a larger space to grow into, so either plan ahead with a larger container or watch your herb’s growth and transfer it to an appropriately sized pot when the root ball is more than 1/3 the size of the container.
Although herbs do love sunshine, they do not thrive in overly hot conditions. So, if your summer months soar well above 90 degrees regularly, make sure that your herb planting location has some relief-giving shade at least part of every day.
Not sure where to place your new plants?
Plant your herbs in pots and reposition them until you find just the right combination of sun and shade.
What Herbs Should I Plant?
There is an herb for every flavor and scent profile, so pick one that you will not only enjoy nurturing but also one that you can use either in the kitchen or in your home in some way. Let’s look at a few popular herb choices.
- Rosemary – strongly scented; very hardy; may grow up to 3-4 feet tall
- Mints – many varieties with unique scents from chocolate to lemon to peppermint; many wilder varieties spread easily; may grow up to 3-4 feet tall but will likely spread out and create new seedling plants if not contained
- Cilantro- excellent fresh or dried; best flavor just before the flowers bloom out; may grow up to 1 foot tall
- Basil - very sensitive to cold; harvest leaves often to produce a lusher plant; may grow to 1-2 feet tall
- Dill - very hardy plant; seeds and leaves are both edible; may grow up to 1 foot tall
- Chives - beautiful purple blooms are also edible as well as the leaves; may grow up to 1 foot tall
Planting with Herb Garden Kits
One option when starting an herb garden is to use an herb garden kit. These kits, like the one from SeedSheets, are pre-seeded garden sheets that you simply roll out and water. Using a pre-seeded herb garden takes the guesswork out of how far apart to plant your herbs from each other to make sure they will germinate to create a growing garden.
If you're interested to learn more about these types of garden kits you can check out our SeedSheet reviews.
Additionally, seed mats are super convenient because they can be used in container gardens as well as in open, ground planted garden spaces. Order them to fit your size space as well as choose the herbs you want to grow, and they arrive ready to be rolled out and watered when placed on top of a prepared soil base. The seed pouches dissolve with watering, leaving your baby seedling herbs behind with a strong start to producing healthy, fragrant herbs for you to enjoy as they grow.
Customizable roll-out garden.
Dissolvable pods, like laundry pods, contain a buffer of soil and organic non-GMO seeds. The pods are optimally arranged with ideal spacing and embedded within a weed-blocking fabric. That means no herbicides, no pesticides, and no weeding!
Design your perfect garden with over 80 plant types to choose from and they'll ship it to your door.
Transplanting plants from ground to ground
Another option for planting an herb garden is to replant baby herb plants into your garden space or container garden. These plants, while visibly already grown from the seedling stage, can be fragile or root bound from living in a small gardening container for too long.
Be sure to get fresh herbs from a reputable source, checking the root ball of each plant by gently lifting up the plant to see if the roots look healthy or are overgrown and tightly wound up inside their small container.
When ready to plant, be sure to gently remove the herbs from their homes, carefully loosening the soil from the roots before placing them into the prepared garden soil. Cover them with some of the fresh soil, careful not to plant them too high, leaving their tender root system exposed above the dirt level.
How Many Herbs Should I Plant: Herb Growing Guide?
This is a common question many people ask when planning their first herb garden. The answer really lies in the combination of the size of your gardening space and the types of herbs you wish to cultivate.
If you have a large outdoor plot, your garden size may only be limited by how much energy you have with which to tend it! However, most new gardeners only have limited space, utilizing containers placed in slivers of sunlit areas to produce a fresh herb crop.
One good rule of thumb, however, is to plant every herb with at least a 12-inch buffer from its neighbor.
Some herbs will grow to be larger, like rosemary, so those should have an even larger area built in for future growth. As long as the full-grown herbs will get their share of sunshine, planting as many herbs as you can in a smaller space can still produce healthy plants if the future size of each plant is taken into consideration.
When thinking about choosing the types and number of herbs to plant in your garden, you can base your choices on how you will use the herbs.
It can be enjoyable to plant a theme-based garden, like an “Italian herb garden,” calling for basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. If you like to incorporate herbs into your tea flavors, choosing a few varieties of mint and marjoram may complete your first herb garden selection.
Choosing a theme or picking plants based on your own cooking or personal use is a great way to not only pick the perfect herbs and quantity of those herbs to plant but to also know that you will enjoy their benefits as well.
How to take care of herbs?
Once your herb plants are secured in your garden and have begun to sprout up, it is time to think about how you can best care for your new plants.
- Put out on sunlight
First and foremost, make sure that your plants are receiving at least 4 hours of sun a day. For proper growth, sunshine is required, so move the pots around to a sunny spot if needed to ensure a healthy herb.
- Water the herbs
Second, water your herbs only when they get dry. Rather than a constant soaking, most herbs need to be watered only when the soil 1 inch deep is dry. Give them a good drink of water directly into the soil, being careful to protect the tender new leaves and stems as they grow.
- Prune dead leaves
Third, just like most other plants, prune away dead or dying leaves and stems to encourage healthy growth in the plant. Not the same thing as harvesting, this cutting back of the yellowed or browning areas of your herb is actually helping it to concentrate its growth efforts on its more vigorous parts rather than sending valuable nutrients and energy to leaves and stems that area already doomed.
- Weed your garden
Fourth, Weeding your herb garden is important, especially when the herbs are young and can be overtaken easily by aggressive weeds. Small weeds are the easiest to extract, so consistently check for tiny weed stem growth for removal from your tender herb plantings.
- Feed your garden
Fifth, feed your herb garden. Choose a natural, organic fertilizer to nourish your new herb plants one or two times during their growing season to foster healthy plants.
By the same token, dead-heading leggy top parts of your herbs as they begin to grow tall will also encourage leafier growth, producing a stronger, more robust herb as well.
How To Harvest Herbs?
Once your herbs have begun to grow, you can look forward to harvesting them for their gorgeous flavors and unmistakable scents. But don’t harvest too early. Allow the plant to take root and grow until it reaches at least 6-8 inches tall.
In order to preserve the plant for future harvests, never take more than 1/3 of the plant’s leaves and stems at one time. Between harvesting, allow it to continue to grow and replace the cultivated stems and leaves before taking more.
Additionally, for herbs like mint that produce masses of leaves, regularly harvest the top, smaller leaves. Doing so will encourage the herb to continue to produce even more leaves in its growing season, giving you a bounty crop for your small encouragement in the harvesting process.
While you can simply snap off tender leaves, grab a pair of garden shears to neatly snip off stems from your herbs. This will protect their tender, growing forms and keep them growing strong for future harvesting. When herbs flower, if they are left to bloom and turn to seed, you can hold on to those for future cultivation next season.
Otherwise, snip off the blooms when you notice them to encourage a longer growing season for your herb.
As the herbs run their seasonal course, remember that perennials like rosemary, lavender, oregano, and thyme are all herbs that you can plant once but will return year after year.
Note if your herbs are annuals, which die back and need to be replanted yearly, or perennials. With herbs that come back yearly you can hone your cultivating skills on these while you try out new annuals each season in your garden space.
Herb Gardens Add Spice to Your Life
No matter how large or small your herb garden, there is no doubt that these diminutive, delicate, and useful herbs add more than just flavor to your food. With their gorgeous aromas, interesting leaves, and for some, spectacular blooms, herbs are a perfect plant to add to your life.
Whether your herb garden contains multiple rows of herb varieties or simply a few pots in a sunny windowsill, planting a successful herb garden is attainable for almost everyone. You might choose to plant already grown herbs or even use a conveniently pre-seeded mat to get started. Planting an herb garden is as easy as it is enjoyable, and it is guaranteed to add flavor and spice to your life!
Why SeedSheet as the best herb garden kit?
The SeedSheet is a worthwhile product that allows you to grow your very own herbs. They are fresh, safe, and can save you money down the road. If you are health conscious and want to save some money cooking homemade food, this is one of the best ways to go.
With the continual development and increase in technology, gadgets, and gizmos, Amar never has a dull day researching new gadgets. Being an enthusiastic gamer, traveler, soccer lover, and avid car driver means that he always looks for the next cool thing to try out.