Spring is my favorite time of year. After a long, cold, dreary winter in the midwest, I’m always anxious for sunshine and nice weather! Because I am guilty of planting too early and losing my beautiful plants to frost, I have started waiting until Mother’s Day weekend to plant my herb garden. I love having fresh herbs around. They are so fragrant and they add great flavor without adding salt or extra fat.
Be sure to find a sunny spot for your herb garden and use a potting mix rather than a potting soil. Potting mix is a lighter soil that is designed for the texture and drainage that herbs need. It also tends to be organic, which is a good thing since you will be eating the leaves of the plants.
The secret to a successful herb garden is knowing which herbs to plant together. Some require more moisture than others. We recently moved and don’t have a place to plant my herb garden in the ground. So this year, my herbs will all be planted in containers or a raised bed. Because the raised bed is shallow and won’t hold in a lot of moisture, I planted herbs that require low moisture in the raised bed and I used deeper pots for the herbs that require more moisture.
In the raised bed, I planted thyme, dill, sage, and I planted some arugula as well. Other low moisture herbs include: bay, lavender, and oregano.
Rosemary is also a low moisture herb, but I use so much rosemary that I dedicated an entire pot for it.
Basil is a high moisture herb.
Chives are also a high water herb. Chives are perennials and will come back each year…even in a container!
Parsley requires a lot of water.
And so does mint. Mint is great for keeping insects and spiders away too.
Potting mix dries out quickly, so water your herbs frequently. Put your finger into the soil and if it’s dry one inch below the surface, it’s time to water. Because herbs require so much water, the nutrients can be depleted quickly. Be sure to fertilize about every 3 weeks, at half strength, with an organic fertilizer that does not encourage blooming. Flowers will sometimes change the flavor of the leaves.
With these few guidelines, you should be able to enjoy fresh herbs all summer long!