Herb gardens are an exciting way to spice up (pun intended) your garden or even a kitchen window sill. These aromatic little plants require very little space and are pretty effortless to grow. Although, there are some plants that are less work and harder to kill than others. In fact, often times, herb gardens end up being so abundant, gardeners are left with a plethora of herbs. Basically, if you can provide water and sunlight, the plants will do the rest. Easy enough, right?
Herb Growing Basics
I will be honest. Starting an abundant herb from seed is a little tough. However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying it on your own. You never know, some people are gifted with a green thumb. Don’t give up after one attempt. Try, and try again until you succeed. Another option is to buy the herb plants at pretty much any grocery or hardware store or even a nursery. It isn’t a terrible thing to buy starters and is really not all that expensive.
In fact, even if you buy plants, you are still saving tons of money. If you are a fresh herb lover, you are probably familiar with the outrageous prices for a wee little bit in the grocery store. Imagine growing your own, which is on hand whenever you want it, for a fraction of the cost.
Tips to Growing Fresh Herbs
Start with only one or two of your very favorite herb varieties. Don’t’ try to grow all of the herbs at one time especially if you are new to growing any type of plants. Once you are comfortable with a few herb plants, then add other varieties.
- If you are buying herb starters, remove that biodegradable material around the top edge of the root. The material tends to pull the water down into your container, which is not ideal.
- Tear off the bottom half of the biodegradable pot as well. You want all those little roots free to spread out and take off.
- You can plant herbs directly into your garden or grow them in containers. Pots need plenty of drainage. A little hole in the bottom may not be adequate and can easily be jammed up with soil. Placing a rock over the hole ensures there is plenty of drainage and will help your plant thrive.
- With proper care and sunlight, you can grow fresh herbs all year round on your window sill. Choose a sunny location and appropriate sized pots and you will have edible, beautiful and practical houseplants.
- Move indoor herb plants outdoors when warm weather comes. The adult plants that were you winter houseplants will flourish outdoors in your garden or yard in the spring and summer months.
Even outdoors, there are a couple herbs you may actually want to keep contained in a pot. Things like oregano and mint can spread like a pesky weed. These are aggressive plants. You can only use so much of the fragrant herbs. Containment is best, unless you like fields of mint. However you can dig up these plants and generously gift them to many people.
Get your kids involved too. Introduce young children to the various pungent smells of the herbs and make a game to help them to remember the name of the herb just by the smell. Let them feel the herbs, rosemary feels very different than mint. Older children can “adopt” several plants as their personal project grow their favorite herbs. Let your artistic kids, paint flower pots for their herbs or make a rock garden complete with various type of herbs.