Taking Care of your New Herb Garden

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A well planned herb garden can be a beautiful sight. Starting your own doesn’t have to be hard. People do make mistakes and a seasoned gardener can often times spot the mistakes a newbie makes right away. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start!

Just try to do these things.

Choose the Right Plants

Did you go crazy last winter when the seed catalogs arrived in your mailbox? Did you buy so many that you were overwhelmed?

Did you wait until the local nursery had starter plants and buy up a bunch? Did you go from nursery to nursery looking for just the right ones?

Well, for most people, the seed starting is the cheapest way to go, that is unless you bought one of everything! The pre-grown seedlings can seem like they’re over priced, but a little goes a long way. Face it, you don’t need a whole row of basil.

Hopefully you purchased with a plan in mind. Buying seeds or plants of those herbs that you know you’ll use or ones you bought just to attract bees and butterflies.

Hopefully you bought seeds or plants that do well in your geographic area and with the kind of soil you have. (My own ‘natural’ dirt is poor, almost completely sand, and for the most part ‘at least for me’, the poorer the dirt the better the herb. (But that’s not always the case.))

basil
basil

Sticking All the Plants in One Bed

While most herbs like direct sunlight not all of them will do well. You see it’s much hotter in some locales than others. You might want your bed on the west side of the house, up against a brick wall, well, that’s really hot spot!

Some herbs do well inside, some like containers, some like shade (like parsley, thyme, chives) Some herbs, like rosemary, love dry spots.

Pay attention when purchasing. Your catalog will almost always tell you which herbs do well and where, and the little plant markers at the nursery tell you the same important information.

parsley
parsley

Taking Care
You can let some herbs just go wild however some herbs do best when trimmed regularly. Trimming them lets them sprout new growth. The new growth is often tend and those are the leaves you want to use in your cooking instead of old hard growth.

You can cut out dead pieces while trimming too. My own sage overwinters but not all of it survives. Some stems/branches need to be culled as they didn’t survive the winter. Trimming out the dead leaves more room for the new.

sage
sage

Bug Spray
Just don’t. You do not want to spray bug spray or insecticides on the herbs that you plan on using for cooking. You just don’t! Go natural.

By this time of year you’ve probably already harvested some herbs. I’ve made some dishes with sage… and dill… and basil.

What herbs have you used straight out of the garden this year?