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Starting your own herb garden

Are you tired of buying over-priced herbs? Why not start your own herb garden at home? Herbs are some of the easiest and most satisfying plants to grow yourself. Follow these useful guidelines and you will have a beautifully fragrant herb garden in no time.

Plan ahead

There is no point in planting herbs that you will never use. Take some time to check through your kitchen herbs and select the ones that you use the most often. Favourites include basil, rosemary, mint, parsley, coriander, lavender, thyme, sage and oregano.

Shop, but don’t drop
Some herbs (like basil, chives, lemongrass, parsley and thyme) do best when they are bought as seeds. Others, like mint, rosemary and tarragon, are better bought as actual plants. Check with your local nursery if you are unsure.

Claustrophobia
Spacing your herbs the correct distance apart is very important, as overcrowded plants can go hungry. Speak to someone at your local nursery about how much space each type of herb needs around it. Herbs in general do not need a lot of space. As a rule, one square metre is enough for about ten plants.

Soil solutions
Herbs will not grow in wet, clay-like soil. Rather than just the soil from your garden, use a good-quality potting soil that will also ensure adequate drainage. Farmyard Organics’ Potting Mix is light and well aerated – it will not inhibit your herbs’ root growth and will provide excellent nutrients for your plants.

Herbal sun worshippers
Location is the key to a successful herb garden. The best site for your herb garden will be the sunniest and least windy spot in your garden or house. Most herbs grow best in full sun, but partial shade will often do. In order for them to reach their full capacity for flavour and fragrance, the rule of thumb is for your herbs to get a minimum of four to seven hours of direct sun per day.

It is a good idea to grow your herb garden in a big pot, so that you can move it around to get the most sun or bring it inside during windy weather. A window box or individual pots for each herb are also ideal.

Herbs that prefer full sun include:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Herbs that prefer partial shade include:

  • Chervil
  • Lemon balm
  • Mint

Happy herbing!