Want fresh herbs at your fingers tips 24/7? I’m here to teach you how in 5 simple steps.
Planting your own herb garden is a cinch. In 5 simple steps, I’ll teach you how to plant a new herb garden, or transplant an existing herb garden into a new habitat.
Step 1. Select which herbs will grow best in your herb garden.
Seems simple, right? Not exactly. Although herbs grow very well in most conditions, they need certain things to thrive. Herbs grow best in their optimal amounts of light, water, soil and fresh air. As far as where to pick up herbs, you may find them anywhere from a local farmer’s market to a garden center to your favourite grocery store. They’re most everywhere – I’m choosy, though, and lean toward organic herbs. Our family is sensitive to pesticides and chemicals, so we avoid them altogether. Best in the long-run, don’t you agree?
When selecting herbs for your herb garden, think about the location where your herbs will live. Is there morning or afternoon sun? Is there a breeze? Is it in the open, or a sheltered, shady area? All of these factors play into which herbs will grow best. A good rule of (the green) thumb: the more delicate the leaf on the plant, the more delicate the conditions required for the herb to grow and thrive. For instance, herbacious stems in the rosemary and lavender family have sturdy, waxy leaves, and are resistant to harsh conditions. They thrive in rocky soil and tolerate tons of direct light (think desert-like conditions). On the other hand, cilantro and dill thrive in partial sun (afternoon sun is ideal), low breeze, warm-not-hot conditions.
For what it’s worth, basil is our favourite, go-to herb to start and propagate in any conditions. It loves sandy soil, a decent amount of sunlight, and prefers being watered daily.
Step 2. Dig a hole for your herb plant.
Time to grab your shovel. Dig a hole 1-2 inches (3-5 cm) deeper than the container which holds the herb plant. Place the container with the plant inside the hole you dug to measure. Dig a bit more to leave an additional 1-2 inches (3-5 cm) around the entire container. You want to have enough space to nestle your new herb friend in lovely high-quality potting soil so it will thrive. 🙂
Step 3. Fill the hole for your herb plant with a high-quality soil mix which has good drainage.
Fill the hole you dug for your potted herb 3/4 full with a high-quality potting soil mix. Move the soil toward the edges of the hole, so you have room to place your plant.
Ideally, use an organic blend of potting soil mix with equal parts potting soil, peat moss, and perlite or vermiculite (for drainage). Many herbs love a bit of sand mixed in as well. Basil, in particular loves to grow in sandy, well-drained soil.
Step 4. Plant your herbs.
Place the herb plant into the prepared ground, and lightly pack the potting soil all around it. Remember: herbs love to breathe. Don’t pack your soil mix like you’re building in a sand castle competition in San Diego. Go easy, but be sure the plant is firmly rooted in the soil, so it won’t budge when you water it.
Once there is enough soil packed all around your plant, top it off with a bit more soil mix, just until the soil mix reaches up to the base leaves of the plant. When you water, the soil may settle a bit, so better too much than not enough.
Step 5. Water your new herb plant. Be sure to monitor how well it’s adjusting over the next week.
Give each herb plant a good watering. Imagine your herb were in a pot (it may very well be, if you are growing in planters or patio gardening). Add enough water to the plant where it would begin to drip out of the bottom of the container. That’s enough. Little secret I’ve learned: plants typically die from overwatering or too much water after an extended drought, not underwatering.
Last, but not least: check on your plants daily. They may begin to appear a tad droopy for a day or two, but on day three, you’ll see they are pert and happy. Before watering your herbs, always be sure to stick your finger into the soil to detect water. If you feel any moisture, do not water. Soil should feel slightly dry before you water your plants.
That’s all there is to it, folks!
As always, be sure to email me or comment below with any questions. I’ll do my best to answer, or direct you to someone who can.
Happy Herb Planting!
Helpful Resources for Planting Herbs
Planet Natural’s page on growing herbs