How to Grow Herbs Outdoors

March 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Gardening

Homeowners are encouraged to test their soils ...

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An attractive element to add to your landscape might be an outdoor herb garden. While many herbs grow without attention in the wild, they are useful plants and can be grown domestically in many locations. If you have never grown herbs, you may find them fascinating because there are so many types. Some are grown for their medicinal properties and cosmetic ingredients; others are used to enhance a good cook’s special recipes. It may take persistence on your part, but you can learn to grow herbs for use in your own home.

An appropriate outdoor placement is vital for the success of an herb garden. A location which provides plenty of direct sunlight and some protection from wind is the best choice. Wind can be very drying to herbs which must have average soil moisture. If you are going to use herbs in your kitchen, they can be planted along a walkway close to the kitchen door.

When you got to buy your plants or seeds, you will find that there are many to choose from. Be careful to get plants that share the same soil, water and sunlight needs. For example, chamomile, cat mint, rosemary and thyme belong together as well as lemongrass, lovage, elderberry and comfrey. On the other hand, dill, fennel, and mint are much more aggressive and one must be careful not to plant them close to other herbs.

Once you have chosen the herbs that will be in your outdoor flower beds and pots, you are ready to prepare the planting site. You will need herb seeds or seedlings to transplant, a garden shovel or tiller, and garden mulch. Most herbs do best in an average, well-drained soil. Equal amounts of compost and sand should be used with heavy clay soils, which need to be loosened with a garden shovel or tiller. Any large clumps of dirt should be broken up before you plant.

Place larger herb plants in the back, with the smaller ground covers near the front. Leave some space between plants for weeding and harvesting. Put a fine layer of mulch around the roots to keep in moisture. Then, water the plants thoroughly and add water whenever the soil becomes dry. You may want to take cuttings off your herbs, which they are young and fresh to use for cooking. Plant parts that won’t be harvested may need to be pruned and shaped to fit into the garden. If flowering herbs are to be used for aromatic uses, they should be cut before the blossoms dry out.

Here’s to happy gardening. Enjoy the lovely new additions to your landscape and the spectacular difference fresh herbs will make in your old standard recipes.

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