Not all of us are experts when it comes to gardening. In fact for many would be gardeners the thought of all that digging and weeding is enough to put the idea on the back burner. This is where the easy to grow herb garden can be a great starting point. Herbs are beautiful, useful and good for you. They can make a great addition to any garden, patio or window sill.
Whether growing from seed, in pots or in the garden, a few basic steps will ensure many years of interesting meals and more attractive salads. They will require little maintenance and can be grown in even the smallest of spaces.
Sun or Shade?
Most herbs will appreciate a nice sunny spot with some areas of shade during the course of the day.
Many of the most common herbs are from the Mediterranean and need good quality sunlight and warmth. Chose a reasonably sheltered spot away from wind and rain and make sure they are in an area where you are likely to make use of them. Close to the kitchen door or window is ideal. Remember that herbs will also give off wonderful smells when brushed past, so placing them alongside pathways is a great idea.
Try to dig plenty of manure into your soil in advance of planting your herbs and feed the soil well. This applies to potted herbs as well. You can be assured of large and bushy herbs if time is taken to prepare the soil before planting. Make sure the soil is free draining and does not become water-logged by digging in some sandy soil if required.
Take into account the eventual size of your herb plant, bearing in mind it may well grow for many years. Plant them far enough apart to accommodate each plant. Many herbs are good partners for other garden plants and can be used as natural herbicides in an organic garden. Putting your tomatoes next to your oregano not only makes a good culinary partnership, but can prevent some nasty bugs who hate the smell of the herb. Nifty and organic all in one!
Herbs are an excellent choice for containers or pots and will grow well inside or out, provided they are in a sunny spot. Make sure the pot has good drainage by placing stones in the base and water them well during the summer months. You could put many varieties of herb into one large pot, but if you are growing mint keep it on it's own. Mint is renowned for growing like wildfire and taking over the space of other plants.
Even if you never eat the herbs you grow, simply having them in the garden will bring many years of wonderful smells and sights in the garden or on the kitchen sill. It also has the added advantage of making you look like a domestic goddess (or god!) without very much effort at all!