Gardening is one of the best ways to maximize a vacant space in your yard, balcony or patio. Besides being economical and practical, it is also therapeutic and useful, especially for older people and those suffering from anxiety.
You truly can save money by growing your herbs because you use them almost every day in cooking, making tea, mixing with oil essentials for aromatherapy, and other medicinal use. Growing herbs is relatively easy, but no matter how easy it may seem, still, there are pitfalls to consider.
Here are some common mistakes made when growing herbs and ways to avoid them.
GROWING AT THE WRONG PLACE
The right environment is crucial to herbs’ growth and survival. Know the varieties you are growing if they are sun-loving or shade-loving herbs. Some herbs are best planted outdoors receiving full sun about 6 – 8 hours every day for better growth. If you plant them indoors, they won’t thrive and will eventually die.
GROWING AT THE WRONG SEASON
Time is another essential factor to be mindful about. Plants grow in different Season. Most herbs are summer plants, so you will only waste time, effort, and money to make them live and grow if you grow them during winter. It doesn’t mean that if groceries carry herbs year-roundyou can also grow them any time.
For example, cilantro likes cool weather, so better plant them in spring or fall, not in summer. During summer, cilantro blooms flower and goes to seed (coriander), and you cannot harvest any tender leaves. Basil grows best in warm weather and will die under cold temperatures. Meanwhile, parsley is very cold-hardy and can grow to thrive during winter. Growing your herbs in the right Season is a key to success herb gardening.
Do not plant many herbs in just one container, dish or pot. Know which herbs can live together and require almost the same needs. One of the common mistakes-people buy more herbs than cannot fit on their growing area. Pay close attention to the packets that come with your plant, as they provide instructions on how much room you should expect them to take up, and other growing requirements. It is better to plant less than you need than to plant more than you can grow.
USING THE WRONG CONTAINERS
Containers come in different sizes, depth, and the materials used. Herbs have a different root system. And growing them inside a container is tricky and must be carefully given attention. If your container is small and you are growing herbs with deep roots, it will delimit your herbs from growing to its full potential and reduce what you can harvest from it.
Another factor is the materials being used in pots. It is a metal, plastic, resin, terra cotta or cachepots? It affects the drainage and the holding of water for the plants. A plant that needs a wide or deep pot for its roots to flourish must have adequate space for growth; otherwise, it will have stunted growth. Moreover, your container must be adequate for draining excess water to prevent damaging root rot.
Do not forget to water your herbs but be sure you are watering them appropriately. Herbs need watering early in the morning if possible as the water will soak further into the soil and not quickly evaporate. Do not water the leaves because it promotes mildew and disease, water the soil around the herbs instead.
Some herbs need constant moisture, therefore, provide them with a good mulch to keep the moisture in the soil and to extend the time between watering. Do not mulch right next to an herb’s stem as you may be attracting some insects and other invaders to make their homes.
NOT PICKING OFTEN
Sometimes because of too much love and care for your herbs, you are hesitant to pick or cut a portion from them. But you must harvest from your herb because the more you harvest, the more they produce. Don’t be afraid to prune them from time to time as you encourage better growth and healthier herbs. However, ensure that you also know the right way of picking from a particular herb.
Basil grows bushier when you trim, ideally above a leaf node, where a leaf attaches to a stem.
Herbs like lemongrass and parsley with leaves growing directly from the ground, cut it at their base but try not to harvest more than one-third of the plant at a time.
Feeding your herbs is done by applying fertilizer to the soil, especially to herbs grown in containers. Potted herbs are only dependent on the nutrients you will provide them because as you water the plants, some nutrients are washed away. Just give fertilizer every after 6 weeks. However, do not apply fertilizer to herbs in pots or containers during winter.