Today I thought I’d share some tips on herb gardening and which ones I’m planting this year!
Herbs are wonderful things for kitchen and medicinal use, normally easy to grow and can also be grown for making your own herbal teas.
These things are little joys to grow because they are very versatile – you can grow them on your kitchen windowsill, in a cold frame/hoop house, in a raised bed, in the ground, or in a container garden!
The majority of herbs love sun and aren’t fussy, making them good “beginner” garden items while also being super useful.
Herbs don’t take up a lot of space -perfect for people who live in college dorms, apartments, townhouses and even those who live in an RV!
If you are just starting a herb garden for the first time, I would personally recommend picking out about four herbs to grow and choosing to grow them in a windowsill or in containers outside.
Choosing four gives you selection without getting overwhelmed and growing them on a windowsill or in containers means no weeding, groundwork, and less time spent – all good things for beginner herb gardeners!
I have grown herbs a few different ways over the past four years ….
- the first year I grew them on a tea cart in our breakfast nook
- the second year I grew them on our kitchen windowsill
- the third year I grew them outside in a raised bed
- this year I’m growing them in containers separately but all within the same vicinity
A big lesson to pay attention to that I learned the hard way – if you plan on putting them in a raised bed or the ground – you need to research which ones to grow next to each other and which ones not to!
Like any other plants, some do not play well with others and negatively interact with one another – lavender is simple to grow, but in my experience is one that either thrives with neighboring plants or suffers.
Again, this is something to consider if the plants are going to be very close to each other and sharing the same dirt! If you’re growing in separate pots or containers this is less of an issue, just make sure to provide ample space around each plant – leaves from other plants should not be touching each other no matter what growing method you choose 🙂
Also, a word on lavender ….
Lavender is very popular among herb gardeners even though they are not officially recognized as a herb (it’s classified as Lamiaceae, the mint family) and used in herb gardens due to their culinary and medicinal uses, plus they are such iconic plants and also beautiful to look at!
It is pretty easy to grow, but note that not every strain of lavender is strongly scented …. so if you are growing it to make scented sachets, do some research on which lavender seeds to pick for the best scent 🙂
Back to herbs in general, the best way to pick which ones to grow is the first make a list of all the fresh and dried herbs you use the most!
With growing gardens, it’s often a wise decision to first think of what you actually consume first and then adding to that grow list every year.
While herb growing is easy, it does take a little bit of your time and if you grow too much you risk getting burnt out and abandoning your plants and previous time/energy spent!
As someone who has been growing traditional gardens and herbal gardens for over five years, I tend to grow more than most gardeners – plus I am preparing to start selling at farmers markets in my area as well! So exciting 🙂
On the herbal garden end of things, I grow a lot.
Most are for fresh sprigs to use in our kitchen, but I also dry and crush my own herbs as well to refill herb jars that have run low!
On top of this, I also grow a few for herbal teas that I hand grow, harvest and preserve as well as herbal medicines.
So, my list of herbs to grow will be much longer than most!
Here is my list of herbs to grow for this first half of 2020 –
- Chamomile (German)
- Basil (Genovese)
- Thyme – common
- Rosemary (Rosy)
- Cilantro (Slo-Bolt)
- Sage (Broad Leaf)
- Chives – common
- Parsley (Giant of Italy)
- Lavender – common
- Oregano (Wild Zaatar)
Whew! A long-ish list for this first half of 2020!
I do have a few that are special strains as well as some common strains, I’ve found that some herb plant strains grow better in my zone (which is zone 7B, but acts like zone 8a) than others.
On selecting herb seeds, when you’re just starting most any will do!
Tractor Supply, Walmart, Lowes Improvement and stores like them usually carry good common-strain seeds.
Personally, I like to use non-GMO and heirloom seeds in my herb garden and I also enjoy trying different specialized strains!
No matter which type of place you shop and get your seeds from, remember to store them in a temperate location out of the sun and to keep them dry.
If you don’t, you’ll end up with moldy seeds next planting season! Ew! Just store your seeds correctly and you should have nothing to worry about 🙂
So are you feeling ready to start your own little herb garden now?
I hope this post helped some of you and also educated you on some herb gardening tips as well!
Have a good day, friends 🙂