Monday, April 20th, 2009

Getting Started in Herb Gardening

Imagine starting dinner, the onions and garlic sizzling away in the frying pan, tomatoes chopped and ready to go, all you need is a bit of fresh thyme and you have the perfect spaghetti sauce. So you just pop out the front door and grab a handful. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But many people are afraid to start herb gardening because they think it is too difficult for someone who is just getting started.

However, herb gardening isn’t nearly as difficult as you might imagine. In fact, if you begin with seedlings, you shouldn’t have any problems at all! There is no need to start seeds, which can be rather difficult and time consuming. Just pop down to your local plant nursery and they can set you up with a wide variety of herbs for your new garden.

A herb garden can be planted just about anywhere that you have space. A strip of dirt beside the front walk, or you could take over a flower bed or two. Even if you have no outdoor space, herbs can be grown in large containers set in a well-lit area or on the balcony. So, you see, there really is no reason not to start herb gardening today.

Before planting your herbs, you will want to make sure that they have a nice nutritious soil to go into. Add aged manure or bagged fertilizer to the area that you plan to use for herb gardening and turn it over with a shovel so everything is mixed in. Now you are ready to get started planting.

Herb gardening requires a little bit of planning, not much. When you buy your plants, they should come with a little plastic marker that gives you basic information about each plant, how tall it will grow, how wide, etc. It is a good idea to read this information before planting your baby herbs. This will help you arrange your herb garden in the most efficient manner possible.

You will want to leave sufficient space around each plant to allow for its eventual growth. Gardening this way means that you won’t have to dig things up later, although it might mean that your garden looks rather sparse for the first year or so. To fill up extra spaces in the meantime you can put in temporary flowering plants like marigolds and pansies.

Taller plants should go in the back of the flower bed if it is along a fence or house. For a round or oval shaped bed, you will want the tallest plants to go in the middle and gently slope down from there. When herb gardening, you need to remember that access is key if you  want to enjoy the herbs in your food. To pick them, you have to be able to reach them!

Once you have started gardening, it is hard to stop. You will find yourself pausing to check out gardening techniques on your way to work or when you take your daily walk. Anything interesting and you’ll be back to apply it to your own gardening in the herb plot! It really is quite addicting.

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