Infuse more flavor into your homemade meals with a homegrown herb garden.
Growing your own herbs is an easy way to foster your green thumb, get healthier and reduce food and package waste.
We’ve gathered advice from horticultural and gardening experts to help you start your own herb garden.
Let in the light
Whether you’re dedicating a part of your garden bed or planning an indoor garden, make sure your herbs will grow where there is lots of light. Herbs need at least four to six hours of direct sunlight to flourish.
There’s a reason why most gardens stand by the classic terra cotta pot. Not only are terra cotta containers aesthetically pleasing, they dry out quickly to prevent soil from getting too damp, preventing root rot.
Ceramic pots can be fired in eye-catching colors and beautiful designs to fit any space and style. Ceramic also withstands cold temperatures during the winter.
Make sure containers have drainage holes to prevent water from sitting.
If you’re growing outdoors, till the soil to aerate and improve drainage. Add compost to further enrich the soil. When planting in a garden, avoid composted manure, which grows the herbs quickly but dulls their flavor.
Potted herbs specifically require potting mix that’s made for containers. Add used coffee grounds into the soil every once in a while to reintroduce nutrients that are lost from constant watering.
Whatever you choose, start with a container that is at least 8 inches in diameter to promote healthy growth. As your herbs continue to branch, or if you want to have room for multiple herbs in one space, consider a larger container.
Start with seedlings
Reap the benefits of your new project faster with seedlings. These are herbs that have already sprouted and have been nurtured for replanting.
Look for seedlings at local farmers markets, nurseries or local hardware stores.
When planting multiple seedlings, create large planting holes about 18 inches apart from each other, to allow herbs to grow and spread.
Be water wise
Seedlings need water immediately after planting. Then, water at least once a week until the soil is damp all the way through the container. Don’t drown the plant, though. If you’re unsure, check the soil about an inch from the surface. If it’s dry, then proceed to water.
Take your pick
Fast to grow and abundant in harvest, basil is one of the easiest starter herbs to start gardening. Basil is quick to tell novice gardeners if it’s been watered too little or too much.
Other easy and delicious herbs include chamomile, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, sage, parsley and thyme.
Encourage continuous growth by cutting from the top of the plants and take no more than a third of the plant’s height. With basil plants, trim any flowers before they bloom.