Growing herbs in a home garden is not difficult, but there is a lot of herb garden information background needed for a true understanding of this skill. Hopefully these articles will help a little towards furthering your knowledge of herbs. Please use the search feature to explore our site for specifics or write to me as this site is a work in progress.
Herb Garden Information: How to grow
Popular herbs may either be bought, propagated or planted from seeds. Watching seeds germinate and grow does anyone’s heart good and should be experienced by all gardeners. Almost like seeing a child grow in front of you, you participate in the life cycle and relish the triumphs. And nearly all herbs can be grown from a seed.
Herb Garden Information: Usage
Growing herbs as an essential inclusion in any type of modern garden can bring abundant rewards to a gardener or householder; herbal uses include:
* Pest repellants
Herb Garden Information: Types of gardens and growing
One of my friends practises growing herbs like bush basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and chives on her kitchen windowsill. And yes – she is a great cook.
The lovely foliage and aromatic nature of many herbs has popularised their use in conventional gardens while plants such as lemon verbena are used either as a companion plant which is a natural insect repellant, for its aromatic properties or simply for the beauty of the plant itself. Herb gardens can be successfully grown in a section of your garden no larger than a double bed. Properly planned, such a garden should be sufficient to supply a household’s normal daily usage. Unlike most other garden residents, herbs can be processed for storage, extending their utility throughout the year.
Herbs can be grown either with other types of plants, in a separate garden of their own or in indoor or outdoor containers. Many herbs are referred to, rather charmingly I think, as ‘companion plants’. This denotes their perceived ability to assist, protect or even improve the growth pattern or taste of the plant they are paired with, whilst repelling insects and diseases.
In general, seeds should be placed in a shallow pot or box in late winter and moved to their garden location in spring. Use light, well-drained soil. Many herbs can be grown in seed trays but not all take kindly to relocation; some types do better planted directly into the chosen garden location – for example fennel and coriander.
Eventually you will find that the seedlings talk to you; for instance, I transplant coriander very successfully, but I don’t really have a specific timing plan: the time just seems right. Most – but not all – herbs have a high immunity to insects and pests. Dry, hot zone gardeners should beware of rust and aphids, weak plants being most vulnerable. So get the transplant timing right as soon as you can.
Herbs have shallow roots, so make sure not to smother the seeds in soil or planting medium. There is a rule of thumb with planting seeds: the smaller the seed, the lighter the covering.
Herb Garden Information: Position and preferences
Herbs require that you use light, well-drained soil. Add organic matter to soil to achieve this. Fertilizers are less use than this organic matter. As a rough guide remeber that herbs prefer a sunny location although a few do like medium to full shade. (But you will learn all this as you go along; I did say that you had to do some homework) Many herbs will grow well with afternoon shade.
Herb Garden Information: Historical
One of the things we have in common with the Neanderthals is probably the use of herbs. Passages from many medieval and ancient tomes refer to the growing and processing of herbs as an everyday household task. Evidence of growing herbs for both medicinal and culinary use go back to antiquity – we’re talking very ancient here.
So-called hedge witches of medieaval times were probably just women with a wealth of herb lore growing herbs in their gardens and collecting their stock-in-trade from hedges and fields around Britain and Europe. On the premise that any advanced technique is regarded as magic, they were probably held in awe when their willowbark and feverfew remedies eased pain.