Why buy herbs when you can grow them yourself at home? The warm weather is good for growing all types of herbs and laying out the garden properly allows each herb to have its own space. This prevents less-dominant herbs from being overpowered by the fast growers. It’s fun and educational, inexpensive, and soon, you will have appetizing herbs to enjoy many wonderful meals.
You will need:
Step 1: Select a location for the herb garden. The space should measure at least 4 x 4 feet and be located in full sun. (In a desert climate, partial shade spots are also acceptable.) Placing the garden near the kitchen door allows easy access.
Step 2: Create a list of the herbs that will be included. Thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, dill, oregano, parsley, and marjoram are several popular culinary herbs. Include these or any other herb you frequently use when cooking.
Step 3: Use the pencil and sketch paper to create a layout of the garden. If the spot is linear or square, make a grid and provide each herb with an individual section. A circular garden can be depicted by a large circle with equal sized wedges, one for each herb.
Step 4: Draw paver or gravel paths to follow the lines drawn on the sketch. Incorporating garden edging or wood planks into each section helps to control herb growth.
Step 5: On the sketch, assign each plant a location. Lavender, rosemary, and other tall herbs should be located in the back of a square garden. This prevents them from keeping sunlight from reaching shorter herbs.
Step 6: Remove the grass and weeds from the location for the garden. Dig down about 4 to 6 inches within the entire designated area, adding compost and turning it into the soil with the shovel. Use the rake to smooth the surface of the soil.
Step 7: Lay out the design using the string and stakes. Insert the wood planks or garden edging and then the garden paths. An irrigation system such as a drip system should be installed and tested before the herbs are planted.
Step 8: Plant the herbs in their designated areas. Place some mulch around each seedling to keep the soil moist. Regularly water the garden, being careful not to get the soil too wet.
Step 9: Once herbs begin growing, clip their ends to encourage additional growth. Do this frequently because they flourish with regular pruning. Herbs that are not used right away can be dried by being hung upside down in a paper bag or laid out on screening. Once they have dried, they should be stored in an airtight container.
Step 10: Just prior to the weather becoming cold, cut the perennial herbs to the ground and then cover them with about 2 or 3 inches of mulch. This will protect them so they can return the following spring.