A Complete Guide to Herb Gardening

If you plan to do gardening, whether on the ground or with pots and containers, most gardeners would recommend that you must not miss growing herbs.

Herbs have many uses not only in the kitchen when we cook, but they are also best aromatherapy, valued for medicinal benefits, as seasonings and flavorings in foods and beverages, and salads. Many herbs are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, valuable nutrients, fat-free flavor, and more. Herbs, both fresh and dried, can also be used in teas. Indeed, herbs have various uses that you must not miss growing.

And if you are planning to grow herbs, here are some tips on how to grow.

Start by preparing all the gardening essentials

  • Good location
  • Quality potting mix or a good ground soil
  • Know what herbs to plant in your garden
  • Know how to care for your herbs properly

Before digging some holes for your herbs, identify first which part of your yard receives most of the sunlight in a day. Although there are shade-loving plants, most herbs are sun-loving as long as normal summer temperatures don’t rise above 90 degrees. If you have hot summers, then consider planting in a spot that gets the morning sun and an afternoon shade or in a place that receives filtered light, just like under a tree. Try to check the site several times when you wish to grow your plants and time if it gets at least four sun hours.

different herbs and spices on a black wood

Prepare the Soil

You will need some gardening tools in your soil preparation, which includes digging and pounding the soil, cleaning the area by removing the weeds and grass so that there will be no competitors for the nutrients for your herbs, and good drainage when watering. Add compost about an inch or so to your garden soil to help prevent drainage issues and adds fertilizer to the garden. If you are growing herbs in a container, ensure that you pick the appropriate container size for the specific herbs you will be planting. Although most herbs thrive in typical garden soil, it’s best just to use quality potting soil and not garden soil when gardening with containers or pots.

Take note that there are herbs best planted indoors, and there are some that grow best when they stay outdoors. Herbs that are native to the Mediterranean, such as bay, lavender, and rosemary, prefer gritty and sharply drained soil because their roots will likely rot in moist soil. However, if your garden soil is heavy, but you really want to grow these herbs, you can create raised beds or planters.

Know what herbs to plant in your garden

You can grow almost all the herbs that you like, but the question is, “Will you be able to use them?” or “Do you use or need all of them?” If not, then just know the top herbs that you can grow in your garden because you cannot only waste time, effort, and resources just merely looking at your plants and not using them at all. Herbs are not just for display, and you can maximize their benefits, whether health and economic value.

Once you know your location, you can also identify what herbs will grow best according to your location, given the weather you experience, the soil temperature, salinity, sunlight, etc. Herbs that thrive in shady spots include parsley, mint, ginger, lemon balm, chives, Angelica, etc. These types of herbs grow bushier and taller as they reach for the sun. You can encourage better growth by pinching back their foliage or pruning their lower branches or trees to allow sunlight to peek through. Shade herbs typically require less watering, but they like moist, humus-rich soil.

Taking Care of Herbs

Regular harvest can help your herbs grow healthier. Trim them often but know how to do it properly. That’s right—the more you cut, the more they’ll grow! Know when to apply fertilizer to your soil to ensure your herbs get the proper nourishment. When herbs are planted in containers, frequently apply liquid fertilizer to the soil as the nutrients are washed away when you water the plants. When flowers grow, remove them because your plants will stop focusing their energy on tasty growth, and you’ll have to pull them.