Growing Herbs Guide

Growing Herbs

Tips for planting and growing herbs

Growing Herbs

Growing herbs is a great way to learn about gardening, grow something that can be used in your favorite cooking dishes and save you money. Kids also get a kick out of seeing something grow and change.

 

There are so many different herbs that you can grow and generally if you have good soil, sunlight and water, most herbs will thrive. You can grow herbs indoors, on windowsills, on patios and in outdoor gardens

 

Growing herbs is the perfect addition to any household!

Growing Herbs
different types of herbs

Types of Herbs

Mediterranean Climate Herbs

Mediterranean climate herbs include (in alphabetical order): Catmint, Chamomile, Curry Bush (Grey Leaf), French Tarragon, Germander, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Marjoram, Nasturtium, Oregano, Pineapple Sage, Pyrethrum, Rosemary, Rue, Sage, Santolina, Savories, scented Geraniums (Pelargoniums), Thyme, Wormwood, Yarrow.

These herbs enjoy extremely well drained soil and don’t like being too wet. So don’t over water. If you have poorly-drained soil, like clay, add compost or gypsum to breakup the soil, then raise the beds 20 cm.

As plants in this group are mainly natives of limey soil, they enjoy an application of lime or dolomite once a year.

Vegetable Culture Herbs

Vegetable culture herbs include (in alphabetical order): Anise, Basil, Caraway, Capsicums (Sweet Peppers and Chillies), Catnip, Chervil, Chicory, Chives, Cumin, Coriander, Dill, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Horseradish, Land Cress, Lovage, Parsley, Rocket, Salad Burnet, Shallots.

 

These herbs enjoy a good watering, especially in summer. 

 

It is also wise to use a fertilizer that is recommended for vegetables, an organic or complete fertilizer with high nitrogen content.

Summer Herbs

Summer herbs include (in alphabetical order): Angelica, Baytree, Bergamot, Cardamon, Comfrey, Elderberry, Five-in-one, Heartsease, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lovage, Mints, Sorrel, Water Cress.

Like the vegetable culture herbs, these herbs enjoy a good watering, especially in summer. Don’t let them dry out.

It is also wise to use a fertilizer that is recommended for vegetables, an organic or complete fertilizer with high nitrogen content.

Preparing Your Herb Garden

When you’ve decided to grow herbs, you need to decide a few things. Where will you grow your herbs and what type of conditions are available. Also, you need to get good quality soil and make sure it is prepared.

Location

Whether it is on a windowsill, patio or backyard, decide on where you want to grow your herb garden. Take note on how many hours a day of sun that spot gets. Look at the size of the pot or patch of garden you have available. As some herbs can take over, like mint, you want to make sure it is contained. 


If you are planning on using the herbs for cooking, there is nothing better than having a few herbs growing in the kitchen for easy access.

Soil

Whether you are planting your herbs in the garden or in a pot, herbs grow best with good quality soil or potting mix.

 

If planting in the garden, turn the soil over with a garden fork and blend through a quality compost or well-composted manure before planting any herbs. Also, adding the recommended quantity of controlled-release fertiliser is a good idea too.

 

When planting in pots and planters use a premium-quality potting mix that’s suitable for edibles, like a vegetable potting mix. You might want to select an organically certified mix, or a specialised herb and veggie blend.

preparing your herb garden
planting herbs

Planting Herbs

Using Herb Seeds or Cuttings

Annual herbs can’t be grown successfully from cuttings because the time taken to get them rooting can mean they are already heading towards the end of their seasonal cycle. Hence, they are usually grown from seed. However, you can let the herbs run to seed, collect them and grow them next year. 

Perennial herbs can be grown from cuttings.  As an example, mint will grow from root cuttings. 

When planting seeds or cuttings, make sure you place them well into the soil and give them a good water after planting.

Using Herb Seedlings

When planting herbs from a seedling that you bought at a nursery, make sure you dig a hole in the garden bed or a make a hole in the pot, a little bigger than the base of the seedling. Remove the container the seedling came in, careful not to damage any roots. Place the seedling in the hole, cover around the base of the seedling with the displaced soil and give it a good water.

Herb Garden Maintenance

Once your herbs are planted, you do need to do some simple maintenance to ensure you have beautiful, plentiful herbs. See below for the basics:

Watering

Most herbs will perform best with regular watering. For example basil, parsley, chives and mint are thirsty and will perform poorly if too dry sending them to seed quicker. Whereas, rosemary, lavender, marjoram and oregano are dry-tolerant.

Some herbs, such as oregano or marjoram, develop stronger flavours if grown a little dry. 

Feeding

Feeding and when depends on the herb variety. For annual herbs, regular liquid feeding may help them stay thick, leafy and productive. For biennial and perennial herbs, liquid feed and apply a herb suitable controlled-release fertiliser once a year. 

 

If using a liquid fertilizer, make sure you thoroughly wash the herbs before eating.

Pruning

For most herbs a little pruning will be required, as most herbs will be kept healthy and bushy with regular trimming by cutting sprigs for the kitchen. 

 

Pests and Diseases

Due to their natural aromatic elements, pests are usually repelled by this which makes herbs great and mostly pest-free. However, you may have some issues with aphids, white fly, snails or, on plants like bay trees, scale.

 

If you need to treat pests, have a look for a product that is suitable for food plants from your local nursery, remember to check the instructions as to when you can spray and when you can eat. 

Herb growing maintenance

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Recommended Herb Growing Accessories

OurWarm Windowsill Herb Planter Box Indoor Set of 3

Through two absorbent cotton ropes, the self watering pots provide water to the soil and keep the soil moist through the principle of osmosis, without having to water the plants regularly.

Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix

ALL-NATURAL MIX: Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix is formulated with plant food & coconut coir to promote seed & root growth and healthy flower, vegetable & herb plants. OMRI Listed for organic use. This premium mix releases essential nutrients immediately.

 

Original Huge 8 Layers Herb Drying Rack

Each layer is 8 inches tall, with a 24-inch diameter giving you the functional freedom to lay those herbs on thick. Wide-area, breathable, polyester mesh layers provide the perfect ventilation for quick drying.