Organic herbs from your backyard can add new finesse to your food. These herbs enhance your food’s taste and benefit your health manifold.
Herbs are saturated with nutrients and come with immense healing properties. Growing organic herbs is a beautiful experience in itself.
If you are keen on reducing your grocery bills by growing spectacular organic herbs, you have come to the right place!
Here is all you need to know to grow your very own organic herb garden.
For growing herbs, you must match the right plant to the right condition. The majority of herbs require at least six hours of direct light and must be planted in a full sun location.
Some sun-loving herbs include:
On the other hand, herbs that prefer shade for growth:
- Lemon Balm
It will be best to grow herbs in drained soil that are well amended with compost. The watering requirement varies among herbs. For example, Basil prefers moisture, Lavender herb needs a dry out between watering sessions. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides hinder the optimum growth of herbs.
What To Plant?
Several considerations must be considered before planting organic herbs. You must not plant herb saplings that are chemically treated with fertilizer or pesticide.
To grow an organic herb garden, you will need natural or organically grown herbs from a good garden nursery.
The best alternative is to get the plant from a friend who has an organic garden. Perrenial herbs grow out to be quite large. Hence, you can divide them into smaller plants.
How To Grow Organic Herbs-Beginner’s Guide
Many factors can influence the health and well-being of your herbs. They can only thrive if you prepare enough before planting them. These factors provide you a basic idea as to how you can take care of your herb plants. Here are the things to must look into to ensure the well-being of your herb garden.
The first step includes the identification of the right location, outside in your garden, for your herbs. You must choose that location that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for your herb garden. Also, make sure that it is close to your kitchen. This way you have better accessibility of your herbs.
2. Soil Quality
The most essential factor that determines the better growth of herbs is garden soil. You must test and amend the soil so that it fits the requirement of your plant. Use natural compost and organic alternatives to improve the soil quality.
Taking care of the soil will pan out in the form of taste-enhancing herbs that are safe for consumption as well.
3. Seed vs Seedlings Conflict
Most beginners find it difficult to understand if plantation through seeds is better or seedlings. Even the installation and the caring process are baffling. Here is what you need to know to get a head start.
Growing herbs from seeds
Sometimes finding a nursery that can provide you with organic seedling can be difficult. Gardners prefer to grow their garden with the help of seeds.
Initially, you can grow your herbs in containers. You must sow the seeds in a pot that is filled with seed-starting soil. If you do not want to use a pot, make sure to sow the seeds during spring or when there is no danger of frost outside.
Indoor growing trays are also a good alternative during the frost season. Once the frost has passed, you can transplant them into the garden soil to thrive. Make sure that the soil is moist enough for the seeds to germinate.
Growing herbs from seedlings
If you want to jump-start your organic garden, seedlings are the best alternative. You can directly take them outdoors and plant them into the soil.
Things that you need to consider:
- Choose seedlings that are healthy and organic
- Make sure that they are fresh before you plant them
- Plant the seedlings in the ground when the frost season has ended.
- Take extra care of them during their initial period.
Seedlings provide you herbs way before a seed can. After planting them, very soon you shall enjoy the herbs and their mind-blowing flavor. In considerable less time, your herb gardens grow and thrive because of seedlings.
The watering method must be improvised for all the plants you grow. Many herbs need excessive moisture in their soil, while some demand a working drainage system since they need dry outs.
If you are using a pot to plant your herbs, make sure that the soil is moist but there must be no waterlogging. Make sure to make drainage holes in the pot to prevent waterlogging. Also, when using a container for indoor plants to grow, use a spray water dispenser.
5. Fertilizer Use
Synthetic or man-made fertilizer is not good for your organic gardens. Avoid using them at all costs. You must use compost or organic fertilizer to promote the growth of your organic herb garden.
The main cause of diseases in herb plants is overwatering and waterlogging. If you see signs of wilting and yellowing leaves, this means that your herb plants have been watered more than they require.
You must also note, that lack of water can also show similar symptoms. Hence, you must check the soil for determining the water requirement.
Diseases are harmful to all herb gardens. You must always take them seriously.
Harvesting Of Herbs
Harvesting gives you the results that you were ardently waiting for. Through harvesting, you can get the herbs for adding exquisite flavor to your food. It is better to harvest herbs when you actually need them. This way, you can ensure that they are fresh.
In fact, fresh herbs fill your kitchen with their divine aroma. To harvest your herbs, cut them just above their natural junction or lead node.
Herbs that flower, it is better to snip off the blooms. This way the organic herb can direct its energy in producing leaves that need to enhance the taste of your food.
Annual herbs need regular and small pruning until the end of the growing season.
Kick Start Your Herb Garden
After learning the basics to grow a herb garden, you must start planting herb plants that are easier to grow.
- Basil: This classic Italian herb is loved by all. They are very easy to grow. You must sow their seeds in the ground with at least 16 inches of distance between them. This gives the organic herb much-needed space to grow.
- Mint: Herbs like mint and lemon balm must be planted inside containers rather than outdoors. Mint has a distinctive aroma and is extremely healthy to use. You must give their seed 18 to 24 inches of space between them.
- Parsley: They are used in salads and are grown next to rose bushes to improve the fragrance of the flower. You must keep a good 8 to 10 inches of space between each seed. When you are harvesting them, you must clip the stalks that are further away from the plant’s center. This promotes better growth.
- Thyme: These earthy and sweet herbs add flavor to all roasted food items. It is a Mediterranean herb that grows more if you trim and snip it regularly. This plant grows out to be large and bushy. Hence, you must leave 6 to 8 inches of distance between them.
- Cilantro: Cilantro or coriander is an important member of an organic herb garden. It is a uniquely versatile herb and is widely used in the Asian region. You must plant them 6 to 8 inches apart and protect them from direct sunlight during summer. Direct sunlight will make them bolt quickly.
Gardening is a worthwhile experience. Growing organic herb gardens has a multitude of benefits. An herb garden is fun to work at and is equally rewarding.
It is immensely beneficial to learn the care tips and basics for growing organic herbs in your garden. Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, the list of exquisite aromatic herbs is endless.
You can grow a large number of herbs indoors and outdoors and fill your foods with subtle and divine flavors.
An organic garden is full of possibilities and utility. You will be utilizing your garden space and saving a load of money.
May you have a spectacular time growing your very personal organic herb garden!
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.