Starting a herb garden is a great approach to start (or advance) your gardening skills. You’ll be able to enjoy the beauty and flavor of nutrient-rich herbs for years to come once you learn how to grow them. So what are the fundamentals of growing herbs for beginners?
Basics are the greatest place to start. With a little background knowledge and a few simple planning procedures, you can start this growing season off right by making a lovely and practical herb garden!
Step 1: SELECT A LOCATION
If you’re planting outside, choose a sunny spot with porous soil, such a raised bed. Find your sunniest window and start an indoor herb garden there.
The majority of herbs grow well in unobstructed south-facing windows. Mint, parsley, and thyme are examples of herbs that flourish well in west-facing windows since they don’t need as much sun. They enjoy a similar range of temperatures to humans, including the drop in temperature that comes from being near a window at night.
Step 2: SELECT YOUR HERBS AND BEGIN YOUR SETUP
Which herbs ought to be grown? whichever you please! Just be honest about what you use to cook the majority of the time. Seriously, there is no point in growing marjoram if you don’t intend to use it.
The best approach is to use starter plants, although you can also start from seed. Just be aware that it could take two to four weeks.
Step 3: USE THE RIGHT SOIL
Because your herb needs high-quality soil to flourish, we advise you to do some research. If you are starting your garden from seeds, loose soil or seed pods are necessary to aid in the germination process. Research is advised since good potting soil is crucial for seeds.
Step 4: WATER APPROPRIATELY
Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and trust your innate plant instincts. Under the sink, a drizzle or a little watering can should work. Watch out for dry or discolored leaves as a sign that your herbs have been overwatered or underwatered.
Step 5: PRUNE
Regular pruning will promote new growth and will take place organically as you incorporate herbs into your diet. Simply cut the stems off at the node or use kitchen shears.
What month should you start a herb garden?
Although you can have a fall herb garden in some regions, April is usually the ideal season to plant herbs.
The sort of herbs you are growing and whether you are beginning from seed or transplanting will largely determine when to plant them.
What are good beginner herbs?
Growing a herb garden is a fun, affordable activity that makes a fantastic introduction for beginner gardeners. These four herbs are good for beginners.
Thyme is an evergreen perennial that tolerates dryness and requires full light. It can grow outside in pots or in your garden, where pollinators will be drawn by its aroma, or indoors close to a window that gets plenty of sunlight. Thyme is simple to cultivate from cuttings as well as from seeds.
Basil is a delicate annual that prefers full light. Although it thrives on a sunny windowsill or in a container, it is sensitive to the cold in the early spring. After being moved into your garden, it will flourish and expand swiftly. Water the soil once a week to keep it moist but not soggy. For a rounded plant, clip frequently. Harvest before the plant flowers (or pinch off the bud) for the best flavor.
They may grow anywhere, including indoors under a sunny window, in containers, or in your backyard, but they need regular watering and like full sun. Deadhead after blooming to prevent the flowers from spreading seeds and taking over your garden.
A biennial, parsley grows well in outdoor planters or on a sunny windowsill. Although it may survive in dry environments, it likes damp soil. The first year, just the outside stems should be harvested; the inside stalks should be left unharvested.
How do you set up a herb garden?
Herb growing is a simple and delicious way to get into gardening. To find out how to set up a herb garden in your yard, keep reading.
- Pick a location. Decide where to put your herb garden. The best site would be next to your kitchen, but any area that receives around six hours of sun each day is suitable. Plant the herbs in little containers for an indoor garden if there is room in front of a kitchen window.
- Prepare the area for planting. In order to be ready for planting, loosen the soil. Add some compost, peat moss, or coarse sand to the soil to promote drainage if it is compacted or made up mostly of heavy clay. Before you plant, work the material into the top foot of soil. To avoid transplants withering in the midday light, plant early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Dig planting holes. You will need to make bigger planting holes because you are beginning your herbs from bedding plants rather than seeds. Each hole should be dug to a width that is roughly twice that of the new plant’s root ball.
- Add plants to soil. To give the bedding plants room to stretch out and thrive, place them approximately 18 inches apart. Advice: Position parsley and cilantro in the front of the garden, and taller herbs like sage, rosemary, and marjoram in the rear.
- Label herbs. Not necessarily but adding labels to each of your freshly planted herbs helps to make them easy to identify when cooking.
- Water regularly. Water the new plants often. Make sure your herbs receive an inch of water each week during the growth season once they are established.
What is the easiest herb to grow?
In addition to the four previously listed herbs, these plants are regarded as some of the easiest herbs to grow because of their adaptable nature.
Indoors or outdoors, plants can thrive as long as they get 6 to 8 hours per day of direct sunlight. If necessary, supplement fluorescent grow lights when growing inside.
It functions as a perennial plant when planted outside, returning each spring. It prefers little to no fertilizer, light, well-drained soil, and time to dry out in between waterings. The plants gain from regular harvesting.
The optimal temperature range for dill plants to grow in is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Dill can be grown indoors or outdoors in the cooler months of spring and fall.
In most climates, cilantro doesn’t thrive during the hottest part of the summer. However, you can plant seeds in the early spring and again in the early fall for many harvests. As young plants mature, pinch back stems for fuller foliage.
What herbs should I grow as a beginner?
Whether you want to build a small herb garden outside or an indoor herb garden, herb gardens are simple to start. Herbs are simple to grow and have a great flavor. Beginner gardeners can get into growing their own products by starting a herb garden. The best herbs for beginners are listed below.
Plant basil after temperatures are consistently over 60 degrees during the day and in the 40s to 50 degrees at night. If you pinch the tops of the plants, they won’t flower and will continue to produce leaves for months. Pick complete side branches where they meet the main stem instead of removing individual leaves, which will result in larger leaves all summer.
Sage is a versatile herb that is very simple to grow. The only thing it doesn’t like is damp dirt, so plant it in a sunny place with good, well-drained soil. There are many different sage kinds available, including some with colored leaves. Harvest the leaves regularly to foster new growth. Because sage is an evergreen, the leaves can be harvested at any time to add to your recipes, although you can protect the plant with horticultural fleece for winter protection.
Chives are a close relative of onions, with slender, pointed leaves. They also produce beautiful pink or purple fuzzy globe blooms. In March and April, sow seed directly into the ground. Chives thrive in a sunny position with rich, moist soil, so water them frequently.
This biennial herb has a plethora of culinary applications! To give seeds a head start, sow them inside on a sunny windowsill. Alternatively, as the earth warms up, sow straight in the ground. Soak parsley seeds in water overnight before planting, as they may take a long time to germinate. Choose a location with rich, somewhat wet soil in full sun or partial shade. To harvest, cut single leaves or bunches low on the stem and utilize them immediately.
Mint can be grown from seed, but the results are typically inconsistent with the parent plant, so purchase young plants from the garden center instead. Mint spreads fast, so plant it in pots to keep the roots contained and prevent it from taking over. Pinch out any flower buds to stimulate greater leaf growth and keep it in full sun or light shade.
Oregano plants prefer light soils and flourish in warm, sunny locations. They have lovely pink flowers and are an excellent ground cover for the front of the border. Sow the seeds in the spring once the soil has warmed up, or start them indoors in containers. Pinch out the vertical growing tips when the plants reach 10cm in height to promote more leafy side shoots.
Cilantro is easy to grow thanks to its large, spherical seeds. However, cilantro bolts swiftly past the leaf-forming stage to blossom in hot temperatures. To slow this down, give the plants lots of room and give them enough water. The good news is that once cilantro has gone to seed, it may self-sow, giving you a second or third round without having to do anything.
Coriander is a valuable cooking herb that may be grown in the ground or containers. Because seeds can take weeks to germinate and plants are short-lived, sow a few seeds every few weeks to ensure a steady supply. When pressured, it might ‘bolt,’ meaning it grows flowers and seeds instead of edible leaves. For optimal results, keep it well watered and harvest it regularly.
Because they don’t appreciate root disturbance, it’s best to sow them in a permanent location, such as the ground or a container. The leaves can be clipped off and used in dishes throughout the spring and summer. The seeds can be saved in paper bags and stored as they turn brown and ripen later in the summer; you can crush them or whole, and they are frequently used as an ingredient in curry powder.
The evergreen leaves of rosemary, which are fragrant and look great in a Mediterranean garden, can be harvested all year to flavor soups, meats, and tea. When the flowers fade, cut down the stems to maintain the plant looking full and compact. Otherwise, the plants will grow lanky.
What month should you start a herb garden?
You may start growing and maintaining your kitchen herb garden indoors at any time of year. However, if you want to plant herbs in your garden or outdoor planter, the best time to do it is in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed.
What do herb gardens need to grow?
The majority of herbs require two things: sunlight and well-drained soil. This means that you should look for a site in your yard where you may plant a herb garden that gets six or more hours of sunlight every day and is adequately drained.
How should I arrange my herb garden?
Passers-by and visitors to your home will notice your herb garden. Arrange your herb garden according to a theme or organize it by planting taller herbs behind shorter ones.
Here are some helpful tips to consider:
- Choose a location. The majority of herbs require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. In addition, herbs prefer nutrient-rich, well-draining soil to grow in. Many herbs, in general, enjoy a Mediterranean climate with warm or mild winters.
- Know the size of the herb garden. The size of the garden is determined by how many herbs you wish to cultivate, as well as how tall or wide the herbs grow. To determine the exact size of the garden, use a measuring tape.
- Draw a picture of your garden. As you plan your garden, this will assist you in visualizing it. Draw a rectangle to depict the garden border, for example. Inside the rectangle, draw a grid of squares. Fill in the squares with the names of the herbs you want to cultivate and where you want to grow them.
- Create a theme. For example, you can make your garden Italian, colonial, aromatic, or herbal tea-themed. Basil, oregano, and parsley are common herbs in Italian herb gardens. Mint, lemon balm, and chamomile are among the herbal tea gardens.
- Plant tall herbs in the back. Like fennel, angelica, and lemongrass are usually on the north side. This permits tall herbs to get enough sunlight.
- Plant shade-loving herbs directly in front of the tallest herbs in the row. Examples are garlic chives or parsley. Taller herbs will shade shorter herbs.
- Plant shorter herbs near the front of the garden. Examples are parsley and marjoram, which is usually on the south side. Low-growing herbs like thyme, Roman chamomile, and yarrow look lovely planted along the garden’s edge. At the front of the garden, sun-loving herbs like basil and sage enjoy plenty of light.
To start a simple herb garden for a beginner, purchase seeds, good soil, and pots. You can start an herb garden indoors or outdoors and even year-round.