Starting an Herb Garden

Herbs can share in any landscaping theme, from the simplest planting at the kitchen doorstep, to elaborate formal designs. Their abundance of shapes, colors, and textures offer many possibilities as ground covers, borders and features. Integrated into a vegetable garden as insect-repelling companion plants, or a beneficial attractant, they will be close at hand to season the harvest. Even your patio or deck can be adorned with herbs growing in attractive containers.

Site selection and preparation

Any well-drained sunny site will please herbs. Most herbs grow best in full sun, although partially shaded sites will also produce a bountiful harvest. Plant tender herbs after the danger of frost has passed. For best results, harden off plants first before planting and plant on a cloudy day.

Caring for your herb garden

Frequent light spraying is not a good way to water herbs. It is better to water, either with a sprinkler or by hand, less frequently, but more thoroughly so that the water penetrates. The joy of growing your own herbs is having them fresh at your fingertips. Most herbs put out new growth at the branch tips, and this is where they should be snipped to encourage bushier growth. Some herbs, like chervil, chives, and parsley, grow from the base, so use older outside leaves first. Remember not to harvest too much until your herb has established good growth.

Pick and enjoy!

Note: Many herbs are perennials and depending on the severity of our winter will be back for you to enjoy the next year!