Herb Gardening Guide: The Secret to Your Perfect Herb Garden! Checkout Now!
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Are you interested in herb gardening? I have a secret tip to help you produce a healthy and thriving herb garden. That secret is companion planting. Strategically placing different plants together will allow you to take advantage of their beneficial relationships with other plants, whether that is to help discourage pests, encourage beneficial insects, or even prevent a change to the flavour of nearby herbs or vegetables. And you can provide the same care to plants with the same needs. The team at Gardening Know How is here to offer you our Sage Advice pun intended to companion planting your herb garden?
First, let’s start with the basics, light soil and water. Planting herbs and other edibles with similar light soil and water requirements will optimize the health and productivity of your herb garden. Most herbs do prefer to be planted in full sun, although there are a few different varieties that are shade tolerant. Some herbs such as parsley, mint, chives, and lemon balm can tolerate both sun and part shade.
The Best Soil for Herb Gardening
The first step to a healthy herb garden is selecting the right soil, whether you’re planting in the ground or in a container. It’s also important to avoid planting herbs in soil that is too wet and has poor drainage.
In containers be sure to choose a high-quality potty mix that is rich in nutrients. It is always recommended to amend your soil, whether in the ground or in containers with compost, to both improve drainage and increase its organic matter. For additional information on improving the quality of your soil, check the link in the I have provided to our Five Quick Tips to Boost Your Soil’s Health.
Watering Your Herbs in Herb Garden
As with all plants, water is an essential part of the growing process. You will want to keep your herbs well-watered throughout the growing season. Containers often dry out faster than in ground plantings, so they may require a bit more care. You will also want to be careful not to over-water them, as this can lead to root rot. Plus, some herbs. Prefer soil on the dryer side, but we will talk more about that later.
How To Fertilizer Your Herbs in Herb Garden
A few applications of fertilizer would also be beneficial to provide needed nutrients during the growing season. You could choose between an organic slow release, granular formula, a water-soluble option or even a fertilizer specific to tomatoes. You can fertilize every few weeks, just do not over fertilize during each application. If you are limited on space, have poor soil or if you want to keep your herbs close at hand for quick use in the kitchen.
Growing Herbs in Containers
The majority of herbs are suitable for growing in containers. It can exist just about anywhere if given the proper light and water. When it comes to choosing containers for your herbs, it is important to pick pots that are the right size for the plant. If mixing a combination of herbs into one pot. Of course, you’ll need more space, but individually planted herbs such as thyme or chives would do well in smaller pots. Clay, plastic, wood, or metal are all acceptable, but the poorest nature of clay allows the planters to dry quicker, especially when over-watered. Be sure to choose planters with large drainage holes. If you aren’t using a traditional style container, be sure to poke some holes into the bottom for drainage.
Growing Herbs in Strawberry Pots
When planting herbs together in one pot, be careful not to overcrowd the plants and choose herbs with similar growing requirements. One such planter that is popular with herb growers is the strawberry pot.
They are often made of Terra cotta and may include many openings around the sides for your smaller herbs, with a large hole at the top for larger plants. A few good choices for this kind of pot would be cascading herbs such as oregano, thyme or marjoram, adding upright growers such as basil, Rosemary, parsley or chives at the top.
Easy To Grow Herbs from Seed for Herb Gardening
The next step on your companion herb garden journey is deciding between sowing seeds or purchasing already established potted herbs.
If growing from seed, you’ll not only be able to choose from a wider assortment of varieties, but you’ll be able to witness the entire life cycle of the plant, from tiny seed to mature herb. On the other hand, potted herb plants from your local garden centre will provide convenience and a head start in the growing process. It saves time and effort, especially for those new to herb gardening or with limited space. Plus, it will allow you to enjoy the benefits of herbs sooner.
If you’re new to herb gardening or prefer starting from scratch, several herbs are great choices because they are known for their ease of growing from seed. These herbs can thrive in many growing environments, including containers or garden beds.
Not all herbs thrive in the same conditions. Some herbs prefer dry soil, some moist soil, and some grow too tall or too big to be paired with other varieties.
Plus, others may be considered invasive and take over in the same area. So, when growing herbs in the same raised bed or patio pot, it is best to group plants with the same requirements or growth rate. One example of a combination pot that would work well would be to combine the Mediterranean herbs.
Mediterranean Herb Pot for Herb Gardening
You’ll never lack on flavour with this mix of easy to grow, drought tolerant herbs. Some of these herbs can get rather woody and large with thyme. If growing in a container, you may want to consider transplanting them into the garden when they become too big.
Herbs for Sun and Shade
There are other herbs and enjoy a similar sunny spot but with a bit more moisture. You should mix herbs with similar irrigation needs for an area with a bit more shade, say around 3:00 to 6:00 hours of sun per day. The following herbs are your best bet. Shade tolerant herbs may grow tall and lanky as they reach for the sun, however, you can encourage Bush care plants by pinching them back as they put on fresh growth.
Mint can tolerate both full sun and light shade and soil that is dry to moist. It can grow just about anywhere, but it comes with a warning. Mint is extremely aggressive and should never be planted on the ground. Always plant it in containers. Also, different types of mint, including spearmint or lemon mint, may cross pollinate, changing the flavour of each type, so plant each variety separately. Now, this doesn’t mean we don’t still love mint.
Herbal Lemonade Container Recipe
Try this container recipe to add flavour to your favourite summer drink. Now let’s switch gears and take a look at some of the most common herbs and their perfect matches.
Common Compatible Herbs
Basil not only repels insects, but it’s a have to combine with tomatoes. Chives are a great partner with most other herbs and veggies as they attract pollinators and repel aphids, cilantro de tears mites and aphids in the garden.
Pair it with beans or peas for a nitrogen boost to the plant. The blooms on Sage attract much needed pollinators while repelling such insects as slugs on strawberries. Rosemary is one of the few herbs that doesn’t get along well with others. However, it is a great companion with broccoli, beans, peppers and cabbage as it helps to ward off insects. Another favourite herb, dill, attracts a flurry of beneficial insects while also deterring pests such as aphids, cabbage loopers and spider mites. Try these additional kitchen themed gardens that combine both veggies and herbs.
Pickling Pot Container Garden
Pick a peck of pickled cucumbers with this container filled with ingredients to make these briny snacks.
Pizza Garden Container
Prepare your perfect pie with fresh Italian flavours such as tomatoes, oregano, and basil.
Tex-Mex Container Garden
Kick your dinner up a notch with incredible flavour combinations inspired by American and Mexican cuisine. For a full listing of compatible herbs, see the link I have given in this article.
Finally, don’t be afraid to harvest your herbs regularly. Consistent harvesting will keep the plants from getting too big and too unruly, but it will also help to encourage new growth to create a constant supply of fresh herbs. Many varieties are easily propagated by stem cuttings.
How To Propagate Herbs for Herb Gardening
Just snip a section that is three to four inches long right above a leaf node. Make sure the cuttings are from a piece that is not yet flowered, then remove the lower leaves and place the stem in a glass of fresh water in a bright location. Change the water every few days until you see root growth. This may take two to four weeks. Plant your new cutting into soil once the roots reach about two inches long or more.
Now that you know how to grow and propagate your favourite herbs, you’ll never need to be without fresh herbs again.
I think we’re near the end. I hope I provided you with some encouragement to grow a companion herb garden of your very own. Remember, when it comes to companion planting, it’s all about verbally ever after. Be sure to visit this website regularly for more helpful tips on gardening. Thanks for so much for reading till the end and happy gardening.