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Starting an Herb Garden

Posted January 02, 2019

Herbs are so easy to grow they are great for beginning gardeners.  They enhance everyday living, from delighting the senses with uses like fragrant potpourris to comforting therapeutic applications.  They grow in a variety of climates and will grow in just about any soil condition.  Herbs attract beneficial insects to your garden as well as offer a habitat.   

Herbs need at least 6 hours of sunshine, with protection from wind and cold.  Good drainage is important. Add organic material like compost to your herb beds.  Herbs grow best in neutral to slightly alkaline soils.

If you don’t have much space, herbs grow well in pots, window boxes, or wooden tubs.  Fill container with a good potting soil such as happy frog potting soil, plant herb same depth as original pot. Keep watered. Provide food with a liquid fertilizer such as kelp, once a week.  

Making an herb design can be fun. Try an old tub, or sink for planting herbs in.  Water troughs that have rusted on the bottom make great herb gardens. Plant in a wagon wheel. Lay down and plant different herbs in the spoked area. Plant perennial herbs on the ends of your raised vegetable garden beds so not to disturb them. Thyme is excellent hanging over the edge of your beds. 

There are so many herbs to choose from.  Pick herbs for your particular growing area.

Creeping Herbs:

Thyme, Chamomile, pennyroyal, sweet woodruff, and mint.

Tall growing herbs:

Angelica, clary sage, dill, evening primrose, fennel, lovage, marshmallow, tansy, Joe pye weed, and valerian.

Drought tolerant herbs:

Borage, Chamomile, chives, fennel, feverfew, lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, santolina, savory, and thyme.

Moist soil tolerant herbs:

Angelica, calendula, horsetail, lady’s mantle, lovage, sorrel, sweet woodruff, valerian and violet.

Culinary herbs:

Basil, chervil, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, Greek oregano, lemon balm, lemon thyme, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme.

Shade tolerant herbs:

Angelica, bee balm, borage, chervil, chives, French tarragon, lemon balm, mint, parsley, sweet cicely, and sweet woodruff.

Scented herbs:

Chamomile, creeping santolina, dill, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, peppermint, pineapple sage, rosemary, scented geranium, thyme, sweet violet.

Herbs for indoor gardens:

Basil, chives, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, scented geranium, savory, tarragon and thyme. 


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