Planning and Planting Your Herb Garden
Planning an herb garden is not much different from planning any other type of garden.
However, there are several things you should keep in mind.
- Locate your herb garden near the house and close to the kitchen if you can! Keeping herbs nearby will make it easier to pop out and pick a few sprigs of this and that for supper. If you can't keep the herb garden nearby, plant a few basil or parsley plants in window boxes or large pots on the deck.
- Plant what you like! If you love pesto, plant basil. If you like herb teas, plant mint and chamomile. If you eat a lot of fish, include some lemon balm or lemon verbena in your plans. And don't hesitate to include a few flowers, just because you like them!
Here are some hints for choosing your first herbs.
- As with any new garden experience, start small. You can always make your herb garden bigger next year!
- Most herbs like well drained soil. Several herbs, such as lavender are less apt to winterkill in our climate if their roots are dry during the winter. One method for insuring good drainage is to construct your herb garden with raised beds.
- Most herbs enjoy full sun, although many will do well with half a day or more. Herbs of Mediterranean origins, like lavender, oregano and rosemary appreciate all the sun you can give them!
- Enrich the soil in your herb garden with compost prior to planting. Herbs are not big feeders and this should be all the fertilizer you'll need for this year. Don't forget to top dress with more compost next spring, though!