Herb gardening for beginners
The fact is that herbs have become an extremely popular form of plant grown at home and in the garden. Herbs are used for various reasons for food flavouring and on occasion for medicinal purposes. Whatever the reasons are for growing herbs, there are a few simple steps to take to ensure that your time and money is not wasted.
The good news is that herbs are very easy to grow. They tend to be quite hardy plants that will tolerate almost any type of soil as long as it is free draining. In fact many people grow them on the windowsills of their houses. So the initial choice is where are you going to grow your new herb garden.
Best location if outside
The location is of paramount importance when it comes down to growing herbs outside. A sunny location is best, as it provides exactly what the plants require yet offers the ability, through artificial means if need be, to create shady areas. Some herbs can grow to a reasonable size so check the requirements of each plant when purchasing, either as seed or a plant plug.
Best type of soil
Free draining, as mentioned, is considered the ideal soil type. Although dependent upon the particular herb, some will also thrive in clay based soils. The key is to initially determine the type of soil that you have and then work with herbs/plants that suit that particular soil type.
Some ideas for herbs that are easy to grow
Without doubt one of the most popular choices when it comes to growing herbs and rightly so. It is quite simply the most versatile herb around and grows everywhere if you allow it too. Ideally placed in a sunny location, although will manage admirably in shady positions. Only downside is that it does require regular feeding, and it will grow quite large if left untouched. Typically leaves are available from April to November.
This mildly onion flavoured herb is a firm favourite with herb growers. They have a grassy look to them with purple blooms. This particular herb thrives best in damp soil, however it does like to have four to five hours of sunlight daily if at all possible (Don’t we all !!)
Another favourite amongst herb growers, Sage offers so much and yet is so easy to grow. The only real caveat is to keep it away from wet ground, so clay soils that retain water should be avoided. Well drained soils are the most effective option and when it comes to harvesting the leaves, do so regularly, as it will encourage further growth.
Probably the easiest herb to grow, because it simply is so hardy. In fact Rosemary will grow in almost any type of soil and doesn’t mind either sun or shade. The only thing to be aware of with this herb is that like many other herbs, it is not a fan of wet soils, so try to keep in well drained areas.
Parsley is probably one of the most well known of all herbs, and a perennial favourite in most kitchens. It is a slow growing plant
Basil is one of those herbs that loves warm climates. A greenhouse is the ideal location for these easy to grow herb. There are actually a variety of different basil options from boxwood styles through to spicy globe types which have tiny leaves. Irrespective of which one, this herb is a joy to grow and requires little maintenance.
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