With the recent growth and popularity of organic eating, many people have started deciding to grow their own gardens instead of buying from a store. Not only are they growing vegetables and fruits in their gardens, but they have also started to grow herbs as well. Herbs are a wonderful way to spice up cooking all year round. Herb gardens are often easier to cultivate because they are leafier than vegetable and fruit gardens. All they really require is lots of light and frequent watering. You also have a choice between having an outdoor herb garden in the ground or planting your herbs in pots and having an herb garden all year long. Here are some important elements to remember as you are learning how to grow an herb garden.
Outdoor Herb Garden
Herbs do not require as much space and room as vegetables and fruits, so often you can get away with a very small plot of land, perhaps a space as small as 4 feet x 4 feet. The plot of hearth should, however, be in full sun without shade if possible. If you only have a place that gets partial sun, your plants will not flourish the way they are supposed to. Herbs also tend not to mind growing close to one another because they are leafy plants. When starting the garden, till up the soil and perhaps add some nutrient rich compost or growth soil to the mix. Your best bet for growing herbs will be to start the seeds in small receptacles in order to allow them to germinate. Make sure that they get plenty of sunlight and you water them gently. When the seeds have sprouted, plant them in the ground and make sure to give them plenty of water in those first days so that they can establish their root systems.
Indoor Herb Garden
If you want to have an herb garden that you can move indoors when it gets cold outside, you can instead plant your herbs in pots to move inside eventually. Start them out the same way, in small receptacles with plenty of sunlight and water, and when they are ready transfer them to the pots. Make sure to place the pots in full sunlight so that they can flourish. When you are cultivating potted herbs, make sure to trim them so that they will grow into a bush rather than a long stemmed plant. This will ensure that you will get plenty of leaves rather than flowering. Before the first frost, move your pots inside into a window that gets sun for most of the day. If you find that your plants are yellowing or not looking like they are getting enough sunlight, you can invest in artificial lights that will give them the nutrients they need.
Choose Your Herbs
As far as the types of herbs for your indoor or outdoor garden, most herbs are fairly simple to grow and will not require much care beyond the sun and watering. The most popular herbs to cultivate are basil, cilantro, rosemary, parsley and chives. Some of them, like certain varieties of parsley and chives, will come back year after year and they will be a little stronger every year. Other types of plants you will have to replant every year unless you keep them going in an indoor garden.
Use Your Herbs
Remember that whatever herbs you are unable to use fresh can easily be dried and saved for a later date. Most importantly, make sure you are using your herbs as they grow so that they can remain healthy and vital instead of becoming overgrown.