When it comes to blooming your garden, there is nothing as useful as to grow herbs outdoors. It allows the herbs to grow in their natural environment and give a healthy and green outlook to the garden.
Growing herbs outdoors is also useful once the season ends. You can dry, preserve, and use the herbs for culinary use. It makes a great seasoning to top off soups, stews, pasta, and braise.
To get the best out of an outdoor herb, you must know how to grow it well. Wondering about the process and the best herbs to grow outside? Here’s a quick guide:
How to Setup a Herb Garden Outdoors?
Like any other plant, a herb needs a proper area of planting, soil, water, and sunlight to grow well. Try out these steps to set up a herb garden outdoors:
Choose a Location: First, you must choose a location that gets direct sunlight for about 6 hours. Sunlight plays a major role in a herb’s growth. So, make sure you expose the plant with the necessary amount of sunlight. You should also select an area that’s easy to monitor from your room or home. That way, you could keep an eye on its progress.
Preparing the area: Next, prepare the planting area as per how you want to grow the herbs. If you are planting the herbs right in the ground, loosen up the soil a bit before starting. For planter boxes or containers, ensure that the area has good drainage. You can make holes on its bottom for the same.
Add Plants: Now, you can add the plants or herbs you want for the garden. If you are starting from bedding plants, make sure to dig the planting holes wider. There should be enough space for the herbs to grow properly.
Water them well: After planting the herbs, water them regularly. It’s important for the herbs to get at least an inch of water weekly during the growing season. So, try maintaining the same.
What Soil is Best to Grow Herbs Outdoors?
The soil type for a herb depends on its type. But, in most cases, herbs need moist, rich, and well-drained soil that is moderately fertile. It’s important to test the pH of the soil and keep the soil healthy. The ideal pH level for soil should be somewhere between 6 and 7.
Herbs are grown best in loose soils. For even better growth, you can add liquid micronutrient fertilizer to maintain the balance of minerals.
You must also prepare the soil with the essentials. For example, you might have to add compost to the soil that seems sandy or clay heavy. This is also applicable if the soil is in good condition. Adding a little compost to the herb offers the essential nutrients for its good growth.
It’s best not to use composted manures when growing herbs. That’s because the high nitrogen content can hamper the herb flavor, although it could boost growth.
What are the Best Herbs to Grow Outside?
Now that you know about how to grow herbs outdoors, let’s check out some of the best herbs to grow in your beautiful herb garden. You can grow any herb you want, but here are our top 5 picks:
Basil is a star ingredient in Italian cooking. It gives a delicious taste to several other cuisines like Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. Also, you can’t get enough of it in pestos and pasta sauces.
Besides being a phenomenal herb, it’s easy to grow basil. You would need well-drained, moist soil with neutral pH. Try not to plant the seeds too deep as it requires light to germinate. Basil is best grown outside, but you can also grow it indoors if you want.
The herb is ideal for fighting inflammation in the body. So, its properties are useful for heart diseases, arthritis, and bowel problems.
Whether it’s for lemonades or salads, mint is an outstanding herb for culinary use. It adds a refreshing taste to the food and helps in better digestion.
To grow mint, you would need moist, well-drained soil with partial shade. Also, make sure to choose a spacious area that lets the root spread all over.
Note that the mint likes fertile soil enriched with compost. So, providing that would be an added benefit. They are super easy to propagate and can re-root themselves readily.
Chives are a must-have herb in soups, mashed potatoes, and seafood. Its mild flavor is close to two of its relatives, i.e., onion and garlic. As it contains both choline and folate, chives are ideal for improving memory functions.
Chives require adequate sun and well-drained soil with adequate organic matter. Make sure to plant its rooted clump in spring (once the frost is over). The soil for chives should be moist and fertile for the best growth.
Dill is an annual herb that’s commonly used as garnishes for soups and roasted vegetables. Its grassy yet anise-like licorice flavors are adequate enough to improve the taste of several dishes. Dill is also filled with necessary flavonoids that keep ailments like heart disease and stroke at bay.
Dill grows in full sun, but it should be kept away from strong winds. If it’s exposed to strong winds, the tall foliage of the herb could be blown over easily. Make sure that soil is well-drained and packed with rich organic matter.
5. Cilantro / Coriander
Whether it’s for Egyptian cuisine or Thai curries, cilantro is an essential ingredient in many dishes. It’s ideal for spicing up the flavor without affecting the texture.
Coriander also acts as a diuretic that eliminates additional sodium from the body and maintains healthy blood pressure levels.
Like any other herb, coriander requires full sun, well-drained soil, with some shade for growth. As it is slow to germinate, you can crush its seed to speed up its growth.
That’s about it. If you follow the above-mentioned steps/process, it will be easier to grow herbs outdoors in a flawless manner. We hope now you know about all the essentials for growing herbs outdoors.