Growing Guide: Herbs
Herbs are a fragrant and tasty addition to any garden.
- Before planting anything, be sure to choose a space that has six or more hours of sunlight a day.
- Most herbs prefer a soil that is loose and well drained. Break up any soil that has become compacted and get rid of large clumps.
- Use an inch or so of compost on the top of the soil to help with drainage. If you don’t have compost, use peat moss and coarse sand as a substitute.
- Herbs are plants grown for fragrance, medicine, and cooking! Depending on your uses choose herbs that are most fitting for your needs. The most common herbs to grow include: basil, chives, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, parsley, sage, and thyme.
Growing an herb garden
- Herbs typically need 2 inches of water every week.
- If you want to keep herbs separate, consider a container herb garden
- Containers can go on a patio, steps, or even a classroom windowsill.
- Containers should be large enough for the herb’s root system and have holes that can properly drain water.
- Potting soil is recommended for containers because it is light, less likely to clump, and has plenty of organic matter.
- Don’t be afraid to harvest herbs! Regular picks actually encourage new foliage to grow.
- You can begin harvesting from plants a soon as they appear to be healthy and mature.
- Choose tools that will make sharp cuts to avoid mangled edges. Be sure wipe the blades off each time, with rubbing alcohol, to avoid potential diseases.
- Only cut off about ⅓ of the branches when the plant reaches maturity — plants will regrow very quickly.
- Harvesting herbs after it has bloomed typically has less flavor so try to enjoy the plants during their peak.
- Preserve herbs for cooking by laying the stalks in a single layer on a towel and allow them to air-dry for 6-8 days. Once the leaves are dry store them away from light. Fluff the stalks each day during the drying period.
- Herbs can be enjoyed all year round by drying or freezing their plant parts.
- Simply use herbs for their beauty and fragrance in the garden.
- Herbs such as garlic, have proven to be a natural resistance to insects and pests.