What Is A Herb Garden?
A herb garden is a type of outdoor vegetable garden. They are usually located near your house or apartment. You can grow many types of vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, lettuce and other kinds of greens. Some examples include basil, chives, dill weed and parsley. There are also some herbs which can be grown indoors like mint, oregano, thyme and rosemary.
How Can I Grow My Own Herbs At Home?
There are several ways to start an indoor herb garden. One way is to use hydroponics system. Hydroponic systems allow you to grow plants without soil. Another method is using aeroponics system where the plant roots grow through a nutrient solution instead of water.
In hydroponics system, the plants are placed into a liquid solution containing nutrients. The plant roots absorb these nutrients from the liquid solution and then release them back to the environment.
Hydroponic systems require less space than soil based gardening methods. However, they do not produce as much food as aeroponics systems.
Aeroponics System (Air Potting)
The air potting technique uses special containers called aeropots. These pots have holes at the base to allow nutrient solution to enter.
The roots of the plants are suspended in the air and not potting mix or any other growing media. Moisture is delivered directly to the roots via a fine mist spray. The plants absorb the nutrients in the mist then release them back into the environment when they transpire.
The systems listed above can all be used to grow herbs indoors. The aeroponics systems require less maintenance and are easier to set up than hydroponic systems.
They are ideal for propagating large numbers of cuttings.
This technique is cheaper than using soil based systems and does not require a lot of space. In addition, they are not as heavy as soil based systems or require a lot of water, so they can be easily moved.
How Do You Start A Herb Garden?
Herb gardening is very easy. If you are a beginner, then you can grow herbs in pots. You can also grow them in your yard if you have enough sunlight and space. For growing indoors, you need containers such as plastic tubs or large buckets. The most important thing is to choose a good soil mix because this will provide the nutrients for your herbs. A good potting mix contains vermiculite, perlite and soil.
For growing outdoors, you will need to choose a location that gets full sun for most of the day. You should also make sure that you don’t over water your herbs because this can cause them to rot.
Different types of herbs require different amounts of water. For example, herbs such as thyme and rosemary require more water than others such as basil and oregano.
What Herbs Can I Grow?
There are many different types of herbs that you can grow. Some of the most popular ones include basil, dill, rosemary, thyme and lavender.
Some other herbs that you can try are cilantro (also known as Chinese parsley), chives, mint, sage, tarragon and marjoram. You can also buy specialty herb seed mixes from your local garden supply store.
How Do I Know When To Water My Herbs?
Most herbs need less water than grass. If the soil is dry 1 inch deep, then you should water them. This depends on the weather. During very hot and dry weather, you may need to water your herbs daily because evaporation can quickly cause the soil to become dry.
Why Should I Start An Herb Garden?
Herbs are great for adding flavor to your dishes. They are also great for medicinal use and can be used to make natural insect repellents. Herbs have been used for centuries for things like cooking, cleaning and health purposes. Even today, many people still like to use them. Some of the more popular herbs include basil, rosemary, thyme and mint.
Many people love to grow and use herbs in their kitchen to add extra flavor to their food. Growing your own herbs can be a very rewarding experience.
It is also a fun hobby that can be shared with your friends and family.
Can Anyone Grow Herbs?
Yes. Anyone can grow herbs, although some may require more sunlight than others. For example, rosemary requires a lot of sunlight so it is best suited to being grown outdoors. On the other hand, mint does not necessarily need a lot of sunlight and can be grown indoors.
One of the great things about herbs is that they add flavor to your dishes when cooking. There are many different varieties that can be used for different recipes.
Some of the most popular herbs and their uses include:
Basil – tomato sauce, pasta and cheese dishes, soups and salads.
Bay Leaves – long cooking times, stews and soups.
Chervil – used as a replacement for parsley.
Chives – Breads, dips, fries, egg dishes, sauces and soups.
Dill – pickles, breads, fish and potatoes.
Parsley – soups, salads, sauces and stews.
Rosemary – roast lamb, pork, beef and chicken.
Sage – pork, stuffing and sausage.
Tarragon – Beef, Veal, Rabbit and Lamb.
Thyme – roast chicken, meats and poultry.
Mint – lamb and lamb dishes, peas, beans, soups and salads.
How Do I Know What Herbs To Pick?
There are many different varieties of herbs to choose from. There are also many different ways that you can use them in your everyday cooking. You may wish to look online for recipes that include your favorite herbs.
You can also ask your local nursery or garden center for their recommendations on what you should grow. Most garden supply stores will have pamphlets and information about popular herbs and their uses.
What Do I Need To Start An Herb Garden?
If you have a backyard or an area of your garden that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, then you already have everything that you need to get started. You can use small pots or plant your herbs directly into the ground.
If you live in a apartment and do not have a yard or garden, you can still grow your herbs in pots that can be placed on your porch or balcony. This way, you will still be able to grow your favorite herbs.
Do I Need A Specific Herb Garden?
You do not need a specific type of garden to grow herbs because they can be grown in most types of soil. Herbs can be grown in the ground or in small pots. Some herbs do better in certain types of soil, so you may want to ask your local nursery or garden center for their recommendations.
You can also put a few plants into large planters if you have no space at all. It is also worth checking Craigslist and local free ad sites for gently used garden pots and supplies.
What Maintenance Is Required?
Once planted, most herbs require little maintenance. There are some exceptions, however. For example, mint tends to spread quickly. If you are growing it in a container, it can over take other plants nearby very quickly. It can also be invasive in your garden if not contained properly.
Rosemary can also get away from you and spread throughout your garden if not trimmed on a regular basis. It is best to grow rosemary in a pot or isolated in a corner of your garden where it has room to grow freely.
If you decide to grow in the ground, it is important to keep it watered. Your soil should be loose and rich for best results.
Most herbs also prefer more nitrogen in the soil. You can add lawn clippings or chicken manure to the soil for this purpose.
Some common herbs and their uses are listed below.
Common Herbs and Their Uses
Basil – Pesto, tomato dishes, fish, soups and salads.
Bay – Long cooked dishes, white sauces, and stews.
Chive – Breads, dips, fries, egg dishes, sauces and soups.
Cilantro – Southeast Asian dishes, taco fillings, chutneys and raitas.
Dill – Fish, pickling, breads and sauces.
Marjoram – Meat, game and tomato based dishes.
Mint – Fresh and iced tea, lamb, peas, lentils and potatoes.
Oregano – Tomato based dishes, pizza, vegetables, salads and cheese.
Parsley – Almost everything including noodles, rice and fish.
Rosemary – Lamb, beef, chicken and stuffings.
Sage – Pork, white sauce, sausage and vegetables.
Tarragon – Eggs, fish, chicken, salads and sauces.
Thyme – Potatoes, beans and other vegetables.
Do I Have To Buy Seed Or Can I Collect It Myself?
You can collect your own seeds if you have the time and patience for it. Most herbs will produce viable seed that can be collected and stored for future use.
For some of the more common herbs like chives, thyme and rosemary, this is especially true. It is also a fun way to be self reliant and you can save a little money in the process.
Some Considerations Before Starting
If you have never grown herbs before, it might be a good idea to start with small pots first to make sure that you have the time for them. This will also allow you to have a greater chance at success.
Also, think about where in your yard you want to grow them. Most herbs prefer full sun but some can tolerate a little shade.
Keep this in mind when deciding where to plant.
Tips On Growing Herbs
If you are growing herbs from seed, plant as soon as you get them. This means getting the seeds into some sort of container with sterile potting soil.
Place in a warm area that gets sunlight for at least a few hours each day.
Also, if you are getting started with plants in pots, it is a good idea to prune back the plants to around 6 inches after they get about 6 weeks old. This will help to focus their growth into larger, more productive plants.
The last thing to keep in mind is each herbs requirements. The information below should help you decide whether they need full sun, partial shade, etc.
Again, a great resource for this information is from your local Cooperative Extension office.
How Long Does It Take For The Herbs To Grow?
Herbs will grow at different rates and times of the year depending on where you live. In general, most fresh herb needs to be used within 6 weeks of when they are harvested. After this time, they will usually start to dry out or rot.
The great thing is you can harvest them as you need them and not worry about wasting any.
How Do I Preserve The Herbs So They Don’t Go Bad?
The quickest and easiest way to preserve them is to cut the desired amount off and put them in a jar of water like flowers. Make sure you change out the water every couple of days so they don’t rot. You can then use as needed.
For longer storage, you can dry or freeze your herbs. To dry, just hang a string with some small squares of muslin or fabric from it in a dark place where there is good air flow.
After a couple of days your herbs should be dry and ready to remove and store in an airtight container.
To freeze, simply place the desired amount in a small plastic bag and put in the freezer. Take out and thaw when needed.
How Do I Preserve The Herbs For Long Term Storage?
The best way to do this is the same way you do with the vegetables. Can them. (Remember, you will need to invest in a pressure canner and follow the directions for use).
Why Preserve Herbs At All?
While there are many ways to use and enjoy your herbs, some people prefer to have them dried for long-term storage. If you have a green-thumb and love to grow the plants, this might be a good way for you to save your harvest for future use.
Other people prefer to buy their herbs already dried so they don’t have to mess with the process of drying them. Your local grocery or health food store should carry different varieties of dried herbs.
Other Uses For Dried Herbs
Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to just the culinary uses for dried herbs. Many people enjoy placing a few in their blankets or pillows to give it a nice scent while others use them in making healing balms and ointments.
Getting Started With Herbal Remedies
Note: Before you attempt to make any herbal remedies, it is best to talk to your doctor. They will be able to tell you what, if any, ailments you can or can not take certain herbal medicines or remedies.
Many people shy away from using herbal medicines and treatments because they believe that they cannot be as effective as the ones your doctor prescribes. This is hardly the case.
In fact, many pharmaceutical medicines come directly from plants and trees that have been used for centuries as cures or treatments.
Of course, it is always best to talk to your doctor before taking anything, but here are a few herbal remedies that you can make at home and use without the hefty price tag of over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
Hangover Remedy – This is most definitely a remedy that should only be used if you have been adult enough to realize you’ve had one too many the night before.
Take some dried mint leaves and steep them in a cup of hot water. Sweeten with honey and add a little milk for good measure.
Drink and feel the hangover slip away.
Insomnia Treatment – Chamomile is a flower that most people are familiar with. Its use in this instance is to help aid someone who has trouble falling asleep.
Steep a handful of the dried flowers in a cup of hot water. Add a little honey or sweetener of your choice and then allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Drink before bed and allow yourself to drift off into a deep slumber.
Muscle Treatment – The best natural treatment for muscular pains can be found right inside your kitchen.
Whether it is a sprain, strain or just normal aches and pain, a mixture of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Fresh Garlic crushed and mixed together can allow your body to heal itself and repair those muscles.
The oil will allow the skin to soak up the properties found in the garlic so it can provide a healing effect for your body. Simply massage the oil into the skin and allow it to soak in for as long as you can before washing it off.
These are just a few of the herbal remedies you can make or find at your local health food store. These are also just a few of the reasons why you should start saving your leftover herbs from recipes and start newfound hobby of gardening!
A Herb Garden
Gardening is a very rewarding experience. There is nothing like being able to walk out your backdoor and pick a fresh ingredient for your dinner or to feed your pet with.
But for many it can be an overwhelming experience when they don’t know where to start.
Should you get a fruit tree? How much work does it take? What kind of herbs are easy to grow?
The most important part of gardening is preparation. You need to plan out exactly what you want to grow and some research to make sure your area gets the right amount of sunlight and what soil you will need etc.
Once you have done your research and picked out your seeds (or bought them at a local store) then you can get the fun part of actually putting in the garden. Depending on how big your garden is going to be and what exactly you are going to plant will determine how you lay it out.
There is a very simple method to this though that will make measuring out your rows and pathways a lot easier. It is called the square foot method.
This method breaks down a plot of land into a grid of 4 foot by 4 foot squares. Using small markers or small piles of rocks you can divide up your space fairly easily.
Use a measuring tape to determine exactly where each square begins and ends.
The next step is to take a good look at what you are planting.
Are you planting a variety of things in one large garden or are you planning multiple smaller gardens?
The answer to this will determine how many rows you will have and how many squares are in each row.
For instance if you are planting a variety of different fruits in one large garden you may only have 2 rows that are 10 squares each. If you are doing two 5 row by 5 square gardens then you will have a total of 10 gardens.
Using this method is a great way to easily expand or contract your garden in the future without a lot of work.
Placing markers in the ground will also help you when it comes to weeding and watering since you will be able to easily distinguish each square.
The next step is to get your soil ready. If you are using already tilled soil then all you have to do is rake it smooth and make sure that it is nicely moistened before planting in it.
If you are using soil that has not been tilled then you will need to break it up a bit before watering it and making sure that it is well tilled and free of stones or other debris.
Now that your garden layout is all laid out and your soil is ready for planting you can start placing your seeds (or starter plants) in each square. Following the directions on the seed packet or plant container, lightly cover your seeds with soil.
Most seeds need to be covered with about cm of soil. If you are planting a vegetable that needs a lot of sunlight to grow then you will want to place it in a spot in the upper half of your garden. Those that like more shade should go in the bottom of your garden. This will ensure that you get a good healthy crop no matter what!
Once your seeds are planted, lightly water them. You don’t want to drown the seeds but you want the soil to be nicely moist so that it holds together and doesn’t form a hard ball when you poke your finger in it.
When your seeds first start sprouting you will need to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Most seeds just need a light misting a few times a day or you can use a very gentle spray from a plant mister Several times a day.
As your seedlings get older they will begin to develop their second set of leaves (the first set that comes out are called the cotyledons) At this point you want to make sure your soil is damp but not muddy. Your plants will also need a little more sun by this time so you should begin moving them around a bit and giving each one adequate sun.
You may also notice a few plants that are growing far larger than the others. You should pull up these extra large plants as they are probably weeds that have sneaked in with your seeds.
If you have potted plants then repeat the above process but keep them inside until all danger of frost has past and all the danger of freezing temperatures has passed. Move them to your garden but keep an eye on the weather.
Your plants will probably get some sort of insect or disease not long after you plant them. Don’t Panic!
This is all part of having a garden. Most of the time all you have to do is remove the infected plant and make sure the rest of your plants are getting enough sun, water and nutrients.
You can also try using gardening pesticides and fungicides but try not to over use them as your plants may build up a resistance to them and then you will have to buy more expensive fungicides and pesticides.
By the way, congratulations on starting your first organic garden!
This advice is free and I hope that it has helped.
Gardening For Newbies
You can also ask your questions about the garden to this adviser!
Sources & references used in this article:
Grow Herbs: An Inspiring Guide to Growing and Using Herbs by J McVicar – 2010 – books.google.com
Herb Production in Organic Systems by BW Ellis, FM Bradley, H Atthowe – 1996 – books.google.com
Veterinary herbal medicine by KL Adam – 2005 – Citeseer
One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square by SG Wynn, B Fougère – 2006 – books.google.com
Recent growth patterns in the US organic foods market by L Houbein – 2016 – books.google.com
Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF): A neglected aspect of farm tourism in New Zealand by C Dimitri – 1949 – books.google.com
The flower farmer: An organic grower’s guide to raising and selling cut flowers by A McIntosh, T Campbell – Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2001 – Taylor & Francis