Grow Your Own Herbs

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Create Your Very Own Beautiful Herb Garden

Herbs are easy to grow plants when given the right location.  Many healing plants can be grown in your own garden, creating a backyard as beautiful as it is useful.  Most herbs do need sun as many of them are originally Mediterranean plants adapted to warm, sunny weather.  Annual herbs are grown new every year such as basil, dill and cilantro.  Woody perennial plants such as rosemary, sage, and thyme live through the winter to grow the next season.

You’ll need to give herbs at least 4 to 6 hours per day of direct sunlight.  For many herb plants, more sun is even better.  If you are growing in pots, bigger is better as these are vigorous plants that can easily over grow smaller pots.  Use quality potting soil for proper drainage.  Mint is best grown in a large pot to control it.  If planted in the ground, mint will easily take over the whole yard.  If you are looking for a fragrant and medicinal ground cover,  then mint of any kind could do it for you.

When planting in the ground, many woody herbs do best in well drained soil that is not too rich with compost.  Overly rich soil can result in herbs without the strong aromas and flavors we want.  A woody mulch or bark mulch will improve the soil and save watering without being overly rich.  Rosemary, sage, oregano, lavender, yarrow, echinacea, clary sage and thyme would make a nice drier herb garden in a sunny part of the garden.  Parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, chives, calendula, nasturtium, borage and other tender herbs can be grown in richer soil with more water along with flowers or vegetables.

If you have shade conditions, there are a few medicinal herbs that can do well there:  catnip, comfrey, pennyroyal, primrose, sweet violet and many others grow with partial sun and moister conditions.  With some compost and regular watering to get them started, and these plants will take care of themselves and spread on their own.

The best known herbs and the majority of healing herbs do grow best in full sun.  The annual and tender herbs are best grown under more normal garden conditions with enriched soils or good potting soils and regular watering. The perennial, woody herbs that grow year after year, often grow well in less improved soils and don’t need constant watering to keep on growing once they have become established.  The woody herbs can turn into small shrubs or will die back in winter and then return each spring.

Herbs are generally easy to grow plants with the ability to thrive in a small, unused, sunny corner or in an out-of-the-way, shady spot, where many other plants would droop and die.  Herbs can be picked fresh for use in foods or to be made into teas or extracts, or easily hung up to dry for use in winter.

For more in depth knowledge on designing and planting a medicinal herb garden, and then harvesting and using the medicinal herbs, Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs is an excellent place to begin.


Head on to Page 2 for some easy to grow and useful herbs for the home garden!

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