Grow Fresh Garden Herbs
These guidelines can be used to help you select the most suitable, and begin growing herbs at home.
Guide to growing herbs at home:
- Select Herbs that you like and will use
Purchase herbs according to the type of cooking that you do
- Vietnamese Mint
- Choose a sunny location close to the house to plant your herbs
- The closer to the kitchen the better, and the more likely you are to use what you have planted.
- Prepare the soil for planting
- Use a good quality potting mix if planting herbs in a pot, or ensure your soil is rich in nutrients. I add Blood and Bone fertiliser to my soil prior to planting
- Plant your seedlings as per the label instructions for spacing between plants
- Understand how tall the plants grow and how wide they spread and plant accordingly – eg: plant lemongrass and tall herbs at the back of a patch, not at the front. Plant spreading plants alone, in a pot is best (eg: Mint, Oregano)
- Plant herbs with similar requirements together – those with high water requirements (in the heat) such as Vietnamese mint
- Plant less robust herbs under taller ones – Coriander will quickly go to seed in very hot weather. I have managed to keep one of my plants thriving by tucking it under my Rosemary so that it is sheltered from the direct summer sun.
- Water the seedlings once they are planted and then water at least every second day, more frequently if the weather is hot
- Cover with a net if birds are a problem in your area. They tend to demolish new seedlings quickly. Leave the net on for a couple of weeks until the plants get established
- Prior to planting your new seedlings save your egg shells until they are dry and crush them around the new seedlings to deter snails
- Fertilise new plants with Ecoseaweed or a similar seaweed-based product within a week of planting
- Mulch with pea straw, or similar, to retain moisture in summer
- Monitor the progress of your plants often
- Trim back with scissors if you notice a large growth spurt that occurs in a couple of days to avoid the plant going to seed
- Keep track of what you have planted and when as well as how it grows and make appropriate adjustments as required.
If a plant goes to seed, leave it for a couple of weeks (if you have the space) and shake the seeds free prior to removing it. You should get some new plants next season.
If you have limited space or want to test how you go growing herbs – my “must have” herbs to plant are: Basil, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley. They will each grow equally well in pots as they do in a garden bed.
In my Herb Patch I have planted: thyme (2 varieties), rosemary, parsley (2 varieties), lemongrass, sage, tarragon, chilli, coriander, basil (2 varieties, 3 plants), chives, and oregano, and some little pretty flowers hidden at the back of the patch. I also have a couple of pots with spearmint, mint and vietnamese mint and a few more basil plants in my vegie patch near the tomatoes.This guide is based on the steps I completed when I set up my own herb patch.
The guide is based on what I have planted in the lead up to Summer in Melbourne Australia. There may be different care requirements in different weather zones.
I would love to hear what herbs you are growing in your garden.
If you have any questions about your herb garden feel free to ask me by using the comments below.
I will do my best to answer the question, or find out the answer if I don’t know it.
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