Whether it’s some chicken tikka masala or some good old pasta, we rely on our aromatic herbs to boost the flavors on another level.
Everyone loves some fresh herbs on basically all their dishes, but what happens quite often is that the freshness is often missing in store-bought herbs.
Therefore, naturally, many people worldwide have started to grow some fresh herbs in their own little herb garden.
If you have landed on this article, we must presume you are here to learn more about how to care for herbs.
So, let us give you a step-by-step process of taking care of herbswithout too much fuss!
How to Care for Herbs
Learning how to plant herbs and take care of them is not a very difficult process. But it can get a bit overwhelming because of all the different techniques shown in various places.
Here, we will be showing you the easiest and the best 5-step process to start-up and sustain your little herb garden.
Step 1: Choosing Your Pots
First off, you will need to select your pots, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about the aesthetics here.
You want to select a pot that you can keep close by so you can easily pick up some of your favorite fresh herbs and toss them into your pan. The options are plenty here, and they vary from wood, clay, resin, and metal.
Be careful; you cannot randomly pick up a container made out of the materials mentioned above and start a herb garden; you have to ensure that there is enough drainage of excess water provided by the pot.
That is because, if excess water is not drained, the roots of your herb plants may begin to rot, and before you know it, the herbs you planted with so much effort and hope will be completely ravaged.
You must keep in mind one other factor while picking your pot to cross-check its size with the size of the herbs that you intend to grow.
The amount of space needed for herbs to grow will vary greatly and will be explained further in the article. If your plant is put into a cramped space, the herbs will become pot-bound.
This means that your plant will not be receiving its required nutrients, which may result in killing the plant completely.
Step 2: Getting Your Herbs
If you are a beginner in this herb planting world, then picking the right herbs may be a great deal of confusion for you.
To begin, start by planting some basic herbs that most people use daily. A few great options include mint, basil along with the essential parsley.
As mentioned previously, different herbs require different measurements of space in a pot to grow prolifically.
In general, each plant will consume a space of about 1 to 4 feet in diameter, and this will vary depending on which plant you choose. Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, and Sage take up the most spaces, about 3 to 4 feet in diameter.
All the four herbs mentioned in the previous sentence grow better in strong sunlight and will need drainage. You must also note that you are better off planting mint in its own pot because it has an extremely high growth rate.
Herbs like basil and thyme need space of around 2 feet in diameter, and both need strong sunlight, but these two herbs differ in another growing condition. While basil prefers to be in moister soil, thyme grows better in well-drained soil.
The herbs take up little space compared to others like Chives, Dill, and Cilantro, requiring an area of just a foot in diameter.
Step 3: Using Starter Plants
When you think about starting a herb garden, it might occur to you that you will have to get seeds of your favorite herbs first, but we differ.
As a beginner, you are much better off with a starter plant than planting seeds because this will save you from a flop harvest. On top of that, you will be saving grow time of approximately two weeks by using a starter plant.
Step 4: Picking and Potting Your Soil
Picking garden soil to plant your herbs is a very common but deadly mistake beginners tend to make.
You need to use potting soil when planting herbs because it is much more effective in draining the excess water from the soil.
Potting soil has better drainage due to it being much lighter and porous, so it lets the excess water flow away without any blockage.
Finding the best potting soil for herbs can undoubtedly be difficult, and since the quality of the soil is so vital for a successful harvest, you must pick a great one for your herb garden.
Step 5: Prepping Your Soil
Use a garden fork and try to loosen up your soil a bit before planting your herbs to prevent drainage issues.
Also, put an inch-layer thick of compost at the top of the soil and then mix it to act as a fertilizer and improve drainage.
Step 6: Putting in Some Care and Harvest
People often start a herb garden enthusiastically but never get a successful harvest because they don’t water their plants or control the surrounding temperature at all just after a few weeks of planting. You will need to water them on a consistent routine as they dry and deal with the surrounding temperature.
To harvest, when your plant reaches about 6 to 8 inches of height, snip off a third of the branches to prime the plants for new growth.
Although you might have thought that planting herbs would be a tedious and complex process, we hope this article showed you otherwise and taught you how to care for herbs properly.