Growing an Herb Garden

When people think of planting a garden the first thing that comes to mind is vegetables. The typical home garden is a vegetable garden but more and more people are adding herbs to their gardens as well.

Growing your own herbs can be a rewarding experience. You can use the herbs you grow to flavor foods or create sweet smelling sachets for drawers.  Many herbs grow easily in most types of soil and are easy to harvest and prepare.

While you generally eat the fruit that grows from trees or the vegetables you get from your garden, it is the leaves and stems that are what you are after in an herb garden. The leaves and stems can be cut and used fresh or you can dry them for later use.

If you choose to dry the herbs, cut the stems and then carefully wash the stems and leaves. Pat them dry between two paper towels then hang them to dry. Once the moisture is gone, put the stem and leaves into a paper sack and allow the drying process continue. Once the leaves are crumbly, crush them into small flakes. You may need to dry them a little more in a warm oven. When the herbs are completely dry, store them in an airtight glass jar.  The jars of dried herbs look lovely on your kitchen counter or window sill.

There are many different herbs you can grow for cooking, the most commonly grown herbs are: basil, chives, cilantro, mint, thyme, and sage.  Herbs can be grown in the garden or in a pot on your porch. Many herbs also grow well in a sunny window sill.  In the old days it was common to have a kitchen garden that was located close to the house. This is where the herbs were grown and it was close to the house so they were easy to get to while dinner was cooking.

Herbs are not only good for cooking, you can also grow herbs that help you feel good emotionally as well.  

Lavender is a great herb to grow for its calming effect.  The smell of lavender can make you feel relaxed and peaceful. In fact, lavender is used in many bedtime products for babies and adults alike. If you grow lavender, you can harvest both the purple blossom and the leaves of the evergreen plant. Both give off the wonderful aroma.

Toss some fresh lavender in a bowl and put it in the bathroom or a bedroom for instant calm. You can also put fresh or dried lavender in your bathwater for a soothing and relaxing bath.  Keep some dried lavender in a jar in the bathroom to use anytime you feel a little stressed. In addition, you can put dried lavender into small sachets and tuck them into dresser drawers to freshen them.  

Growing your own herbs is very easy and can be richly rewarding. It is so nice to be able to cook with produce and herbs that you have grown yourself!

Cathy is a freelance writer who enjoys gardening and the outdoors. She has a kitchen garden where she grows her own herbs and she uses her patio cart get them ready for drying. As an avid gardener, Cathy realizes the importance of a great yard cart to keep her supplies organized while she works!

How to Grow Some Tips for Indoor Herb Garden.

For thousands and thousands of years we have turned to plants we call herbs for flavor, dye, perfume and cosmetics. We have believed that individual herbs held the power to repel insects, evil and vampires, while others attracted the perfect lover, good luck or bees to pollinate our crops. For some, the use of herbs can cure headaches and burns. And, of course, what would fine dining be without the culinary herbs?

Here are some tips for herb gardening indoors that will simulate the conditions in an outside garden. For Herb gardening indoors the growing climates need to be pretty much the same as the conditions outside.

Make sure you have a sunny windowsill that your herbs will love. Use a container that is at least 6-12 inches deep.

Get your herb plants from a good garden center nursery who will have plenty of garden advice to help you with your inside garden. You will need some garden equipment like a small digging garden tool, garden gloves, organic fertilizer and some small gardening containers. You probably already have most of these garden supplies in your garden shed.

Soil is the most important aspect of growing herbs indoors. Use only top grade potting soil with an organic fertilizer mixed in. If you think it is too fine a soil, use a little perlite. Fertilize while potting the herbs and they should be happy until spring. If you have an herb that is not growing vigorously add a little organic liquid fertilizer to the water.

When you go to transplant the herb, go one inch up in the size of the gardening container. If the plant is in a two-inch pot, go to a three-inch gardening container. Leave the roots alone and be careful not to bruise the stem.

Don’t plant oreganos, mints, lemon balm or bee balm with other plants because they will overgrow everything. Pot these herbs in a garden container all their own. You may want to always plant those herbs in containers since they tend to “take over” the garden.

Some people swear that you must put garden stones in the bottom of the gardening container, but I dispute that opinion. I feel that the garden stones take valuable space away from the herb roots. You might want to place a small piece of wire screening over the hole to keep it from getting clogged.

Here are some examples of which herbs to plant together:

* For an Italian selection try Sweet basil, Italian parsley, Oregano, Marjoram and Thyme.
* For a lovely scented container use Lavender, Rose scented geranium, Lemon balm, Lemon thyme, and Pineapple sage.
* For really great salads try Garlic chives, Rocket, Salad burnet, Parsley, Celery.
* And to say “We love French Cooking!” use Tarragon, Chervil, Parsley, Chives and Sage

Allow time for your herbs to grow used to their new conditions. Once you see growth you can start using you herbs. Snip and use your herbs often to encourage them to grow full and bushy.

When it comes to light, all herbs must get 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day on your window sill. If your window doesn’t supply that much light then purchase garden grow lights and hang them three inches above the plants. If you live in a very hot climate shade the herbs during the hottest periods. If you live in a very cold climate keep the herbs away from the cold glass panes.

When it comes to watering, don’t let the herbs dry out but don’t drown them either. Herbs do not like to sit in wet soil. An inexpensive water meter from your garden center nursery will help with this important step in growing your herbs. Always use room temperature water so as not to shock the herb’s roots.

If you follow all of these steps you will have a healthy herb garden all winter on your sunny windowsill.

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Building A Raised Bed Herb Garden

When I first got started growing herbs, flowers and vegetables in my garden, I didn’t have a lot of money for supplies. I got some great books that told me exactly what to do to grow fabulous plants at home. Do you want to know the secret? Prepare great soil!

Plants need a good foundation to thrive. Their roots provide moisture, nutrient elements and even air. They also create a stable base from which herbs and other plants can send their leaves, stalks and shoots soaring into the sky.

Unfortunately, not a lot of us have perfect beds in our back yards. My soil has too much clay. It’s very wet during the winter and it gets as hard as concrete in the summertime. Some people tussle with sandy soil that loses moisture very quickly. Raised beds are an excellent answer to the problem of having poor soil. Even if you don’t have poor soil, they can provide excellent drainage and nutrients for your plants.

When you build a raised bed for your herbs, you provide them an amazing oppotunity to grow unimpeded.

You can frame your rasied beds with any materials you have on hand. I built my raised beds with concrete blocks. Some people use hay bales. You can also use landscaping timbers, but use caution not to use chemically treated timbers or rail road ties as these are full of pollutants that will leach dangerous chemicals into your soil. This is never a bonus, but its especially damaging if you’re going to be eating the plants you grow.

How Deep Do Your Garden Beds Need To Be?

A good goal is to have your beds raised 6-12′ above the regular soil line, depending on what soil conditions are like underneath. I have seen some raised bed gardens planted on top of a concrete drive.
The Dirt On Raised Bed Gardens

The final step in building raised beds for your herb garden or plant garden is filling the bed with soil. Another important factor is enriching the soil with organic material. Making your own compost is the cheapest option, but you may buy compost, potting soil, and other glorious high quality soil mixes at the garden center.

Making raised beds is a great weekend garden project.

To learn more about creating a raised bed for your herbs, please visit www.HerbGardeningIdeas.com.

Basics of a Thyme Herb Garden

Thyme is one of the most famous herbs available, and this is especially true for the usage of garden-grown herbs in a number of culinary dishes. The plant is not difficult to cultivate and it is most known for two things: its functions as a decorative item and the uses in the kitchen. More often than not, you will find this herb as a flavoring for various recipes. These food preparations include vegetable and meat dishes, sauces, breads, salads, chowders and soups. Jellies and desserts are other varieties this herb can add flavor to. Chefs today use the herb as an ingredient in a number of recipes. Bonquet garni is an example of a dish where this herb is deemed important to use. Thyme is also a main ingredient in the very popular and expensive Benedictine liqueur.

The mint family is where thyme belongs to and it is part of the perennial evergreen shrub. The aroma the plant exudes mainly comes from the small, grayish to greenish leaves that coat the herb’s tiny wooden stems. The aroma that gathers around the garden as people pass by best explains the reason why the herb is a favorite among decorative items. Quadruplet nutlet fruits grow through the herb’s flowers which are small in size. It contains two-lipped flowers whose colors vary from pink to purple. Many gardeners plant this herb because of its aromatic features. If a person happens to pass by the garden this herb is set in, they will surely notice its fragrance in the air.

Over a hundred variations of thyme exist. The most known of these variety is the Lemon thyme and Garden thyme. The many classes of this herb are so similar in their outer appearance that it is at times hard to differentiate one from another. This is most common in people who are not so familiar with the herb.

Some differences exist between Lemon thyme and Garden thyme. One of these is the particular smell exuded by the Lemon thyme. Its lemony fragrance is a known mixture for creating dishes that has fish. The taste this herb gives is the reason why fish dishes are acquiring popularity today. Those people with aversion for eating fish due to the peculiar smell it gives off are now gaining appreciation for the dish. This may be credited to this thyme’s lemony scent when mixed in recipes such as this.

All types of thyme draw the attention of bees because the herb gives off a certain smell that is appealing to them. The flower’s nectar is what they normally feed on; sucking out the nectar from the flower to create honey. Culinary masters find so much delight in honeys taken from bees that gather thyme flower nectar. This is similar to the herb’s use in food preparation.

Amazingly, thyme also has the ability to repel many insects. A cup of thyme tea is what people usually prepare. It is set out in a plant mister; another method is through spraying it around during hot temperatures to repel insects that come during this season. Knowing that the plant is aromatic in nature, this ability to fight off other insects is unexplainable.  Thus, researches for additional information is needed to gain further understanding of this property.

My name is Vicky Josephino. I’m a writer and herb garden enthusiast living just outside of Long Beach, CA. Mostly, I spend my days either buried in my laptop or tinkering the organic garden I’ve set up a decade ago. I can confidently say that in that amount of time, I’ve learned about what works (and what doesn’t) as far as herb gardening is concerned. And as it goes, you can find those years of herb knowledge and experience in my free email course. I offer you great techniques for growing your herb garden the right way.

For more advice about tending a thyme garden, as well as more tips on how to grow herbs, check out my articles and free e-course at http://www.herbgardeningguides.com/.

A Quick Guide to Fresh Herb Gardening

Adding a few well chosen fresh cut herbs to the food being prepared will transform it into an extraordinary flavorful meal and the fresher the herbs, the tastier the meal to be enjoyed. The most efficient way to obtain a steady stream of freshness is to grow your own herbs.

If you are new to fresh herb gardening you will be glad to learn that, compared to growing fruits, vegetable and plants, herbs are much easier to grow. The herb plants needs little caring of and and are quite resistant to disease and pest, making this a perfect indoors or outside gardening experience for a beginner and always a joy for the experienced ones.

It is usually easier to buy the plants you wish to grow to start your garden for many herbs are not simple to grow from seed. Take the time to decide which herbs you wish to grow and foresee what use you will be making of them. You might want to grow a group of herbs that can be used together, for instance, for culinary or ornamental purpose.

Another simple way to start a herbs garden is to buy yourself a herb gardening kit. You will find a vast choice of kits available offering different mixes of herbs for different uses. Everything is included in a kit except for the water.

The gardening area should be sunny and facing south. If such a spot is not available for you to use, then choose a situation that receives the best light through out of the day. Perhaps you know some neighbors around you that have to compose with a similar situation, see how they have managed and perhaps a few good ideas can help you.

You have to be very careful when it comes to fertilizing the soil in which the plants will grow. Organic fertilizer is preferable to any other type available and beware of quantities you use not to over fertilize the plants, it will result in poorer flavor. The soil should not be packed and good drainage should always be favored. Basically, the water that the plants receives should keep the soil moist to the touch and proper drainage will keep water from the roots that can be easily damaged.

There are many different ways to start in fresh herb gardening. Other than in your garden, herbs can be grown in pots or containers, on a windowsill, hanging baskets ect… I often prefer growing herbs in pots or a container because they can be easily transported in and out of the house. It is an ideal way of having healthy living herbs all year.

Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more great tips and information on fresh herb gardening, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com.

Herb Garden Information for Personal Home Use

Since ancient times, people have grown herb gardens. Peoples of ancient China and Egypt left written records of their use of herbs. Medieval documents and references within the Bible show people used herbs for perfumes, cloth dyes and medicine as well as cooking. Today, herb gardens are useful for supplying people with herbs for cooking, tea, medicines, potpourri and for controlling pests.

Herb gardens can be specialized for the plants’ use, culinary here, medicinal there, or mixed for aesthetic reasons. Herbs can be planted directly in existing landscape with flowers or vegetables, or contained in pots or a raised-bed garden. A four foot by six foot garden plot is all the space a small family needs for an herb garden. Many herbs can be grown together with other species in the same container. Herbs can be grown indoors or outdoors.

Gardeners new to herbs usually gravitate toward familiar herbs used in cooking, but many herbs are grown for the appearance of their foliage and flowers or for their aromatic properties. Culinary herbs, used in cooking, can be used as flavor-additives or as garnish, and may be used either fresh or dried. The portion of the herb plant used may be the leaves, stems, roots or seeds, depending on the herb and the intended use.

As with other garden and landscape plants, herbs vary from small shrubs to trees, and can be annuals, perennials or biennials. Plant herbs in well-drained soil. Heavy or clay soils will need to have organic mulch mixed in to break up clumps and allow water passage for the herb garden’s roots. Fertilizer is not needed for most herbs. Perennial varieties may appreciate fish fertilizer every other year or a dose of Osmocote.

Full or partial sun is required for most herbs, although some herbs prefer full shade. Group herbs by their sun and water requirements for ease of care. Insect pests and diseases rarely trouble herbs, but aphids can attack herbs such as anise, caraway, dill and fennel. Mint can get rust, and red spider mites can attack low-growing branches of herbs in hot, dry weather. Grow your herb garden from starts purchased at a nursery, or grow your herbs from seed.

Watching an herb plant develop from a single tiny seed can be an empowering experience. While it lives, an annual herb provides your family with taste, smell, sight, texture and emotional experience as well as adding nutrients to your diet. How many garden plants can do all that? Herb seeds need a shallow container of light, well-drained soil. Plant seeds in the late winter indoors. Bury the seed no deeper than three times its width and keep the soil moist but not saturated until germination. Virtually all herbs can be purchased as seeds and started in this way.

Transplanting seedlings is risky, and some herbs are not suited to this practice. Anise, fennel, dill and coriander prefer to be directly sown where they will grow. Some herbs may be considered noxious weeds and will be listed with the local extension office, so check listings prior to planting medicinal herbs. Your local nursery may have information on this as well.

Herb gardens are easy, fun and rewarding. From a single small pot on the kitchen windowsill to a full herb garden with perennial shrubs regularly harvested, your discovery of herb gardening has just sprouted. You have much to learn and understand about herb gardens before you get started, read on!

Before you plant an herb garden, sign up for Sandi Stewart’s free herb gardening mini-course found at successfulHerbGardeningSecrets.com. You will receive lots of excellent herb garden information.

Raised Beds For Herb Gardening

When I first got started growing herbs, flowers and vegetables in my garden, I didn’t have a lot of money for supplies. I got some great books that told me exactly what to do to grow fabulous plants at home. Do you want to know the secret? Prepare great soil!

Plants need a good foundation to thrive. Their roots provide moisture, nutrients and even air. They also create a stable base from which herbs and other plants can send their leaves, stalks and shoots soaring into the sky.

Unfortunately, not a lot of us have perfect beds in our back yards. My soil has too much clay. It’s very wet during the winter and it gets as hard as concrete in the summer. Some people struggle with sandy soil that loses moisture very quickly.

Raised beds are a wonderful solution to the problem of having poor soil.

When you build a raised bed for your herbs, you provide them a wonderful oppotunity to grow unimpeded. Their roots will luxuriate in richer, fluffier soil that offers just the right balance of moisture?

Are you ready to build raised beds?

You can frame your rasied beds with any materials you have on hand. I built my raised beds with concrete blocks. Some people use hay bales. You can also use landscaping timbers, but be careful not to use chemically treated timbers or rail road ties as these are full of contaminants that may leach harmful chemicals into your soil. This is never a plus, but its especially harmful if you’re going to be eating the plants you grow.

A good goal is to have your beds raised 6-12″ above the regular soil line, depending on what soil conditions are like underneath. I’ve seen some raised bed gardens planted on top of a concrete driveway. If you have enough soil in your bed, your plants won’t mind a bit!

The final step in building raised beds for your herb garden or vegetable garden is filling the bed with soil. I recommend digging the layer of soil beneath your bed to loosen it and provide a hospitable environment for adventurous longer roots. This is especially important for pernneial herbs and any other plants which may have an especially deep root system, like asparagus for example. Another important factor is enriching the soil with organic matter. If you have it, finished compost makes an excellent filler for your raised bed garden. Making your own compost is the cheapest option, but you can also buy compost, potting soil, and other excellent high quality soil mixes at the garden center.

Making raised beds is a great weekend garden project. Start with a small garden and soon you’ll have a lovely, healthy patch of herbs with tasty leaves ripe for the picking.

To learn more about building raised beds for your herb garden, please visit http://www.HerbGardeningIdeas.com.

Stop Before You Start Your Herb Garden Designs…  

Before you begin turning the soil in the garden and prepare planting herbs, start by planning the design that will grace yours growing herbs. It will also help you organize the space, take into account sunlight exposure and the various sized of the herbs you will be growing which are all important points.

Shorter growing plants that loves to bathe in sunlight must not be overshadowed by taller plants, of course, it would be quite ironic if the taller herb also happen to prefer shade. Placing the plants in a manner that respects height order will contribute not only in overall health and favor growth but also in beauty and dimension. These are all to be considered in your herb garden designs.

Before you start designing the space you plan to use for your herb garden, it would be wise to begin by listing the reasons why you wish to start a garden.

Here are some of the tips to help you put your plan together :

know the herbs you will be growing. How they look, the color scheme, the fragrances and what you should expect from the mix of several herbs. also research the size and the height of the various plants for proper placement. compare the size of herbs to the area available of the garden to get a ”good feel” of spacing and aesthetics. where and how you will be arranging the plants to favor their varying environmental needs.

The visual arrangement of plants :

will the herbs be in pots casually arranged on the patio a designer container, modular or attached single containers such as ceramic or terracotta pots you may want to recycle an old tire or a wheel barrel of any odd object that can be used to contain various herbs, be careful when using these type of basis for it will set the tone of your garden.

Once you have established all the requirements, you can start visualizing the garden or even draw a little plan of the various elements you wish to place and start putting the elements into place.

Take some time to run your ideas in your head, have fun with it and enjoy placing the various elements around and create different forms. redraw the foundation then place the different plants taking into account colour, height and fullness of individual herbs. Also remember to consider the sunlight or shading needs of your plants to place the in a proper order.

To assure success, make sure that the following 3 main rules are respected :

be certain that your plants receives enough light to grow healthy. that the plants get watered according to their need. the soil will drain well.

No matter how you wish your garden to look like, you should always plan the desired effect on paper before actually getting the whole project done. There are many possibilities you can look into. For more great info on the subject, have a look are other articles on my website.

Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more great tips and information on herb garden designs, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com.

Not sure on where to begin with Herb Garden Designs

Stop! Before you begin turning the soil in the garden and prepare planting herbs, start by planning the design that will grace yours growing herbs. It will also help you organize the space, take into account sunlight exposure and the various sized of the herbs you will be growing which are all important points.

Shorter growing plants that loves to bathe in sunlight must not be overshadowed by taller plants, of course, it would be quite ironic if the taller herb also happen to prefer shade. Placing the plants in a manner that respects height order will contribute not only in overall health and favor growth but also in beauty and dimension. These are all to be considered in your herb garden designs.

Before you start designing the space you plan to use for your herb garden, it would be wise to begin by listing the reasons why you wish to start a garden.

Here are some of the tips to help you put your plan together :

• know the herbs you will be growing. How they look, the color scheme, the fragrances and what you should expect from the mix of several herbs.

• also research the size and the height of the various plants for proper placement.

• compare the size of herbs to the area available of the garden to get a ”good feel” of spacing and aesthetics.

• where and how you will be arranging the plants to favor their varying environmental needs.

The visual arrangement of plants :

• what is the basic structure or idea that you wish to convey, will it be in the ground, a formal structure or a more informal area.

• will the herbs be in pots casually arranged on the patio

• a designer container, modular or attached

• single containers such as ceramic or terracotta pots

• you may want to recycle an old tire or a wheel barrel of any odd object that can be used to contain various herbs, be careful when using these type of basis for it will set the tone of your garden.

Once you have established all the requirements, you can start visualizing the garden or even draw a little plan of the various elements you wish to place and start putting the elements into place.

Take some time to run your ideas in your head, have fun with it and enjoy placing the various elements around and create different forms. redraw the foundation then place the different plants taking into account colour, height and fullness of individual herbs. Also remember to consider the sunlight or shading needs of your plants to place the in a proper order.

To assure success, make sure that the following 3 main rules are respected :

• be certain that your plants receives enough light to grow healthy.
• that the plants get watered according to their need.
• the soil will drain well.

No matter how you wish your garden to look like, you should always plan the desired effect on paper before actually getting the whole project done. There are many possibilities you can look into. For more great info on how to make herb garnden designs and other interesting articles, have a look at my website.

Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more great tips and information on herb garden designs, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com.

Preparing Herb Garden Soil Sowing the Seeds For Richer Herbs

Herbs are happy-go-lucky plants that are extremely accommodating with their basic needs. However, treating it right will yield amazing rewards. Preparing the best soil for growing herbs is one such step in the right direction.

Understanding Garden Soil Basics

Garden soil is made up of substances such as clay, sand, loam, silt, and peat in varying proportions. It consists of 50 percent solids, which is a combination of organic and inorganic matter. Inorganic matter comprises of clay, silt, and sand, a ratio of 20:40:40 of which is considered the ideal soil for an herb garden. Organic matter is decaying material like sawdust, hay, and cover crops used to enrich the soil.

Testing your Native Garden Soil

Reworking your garden soil before new plantings is the best way to grow healthy herbs. Testing the soil for pH (acid-alkaline) balance, concentrations of clay, sand, and silt will help determine the right organic matter to use to improve the soil. Ribbon test involves taking little bit of soil and rolling it back and forth in your hands. Soil that sticks together indicates high level of clay. On the other hand, if it disintegrates easily the soil probably has lots of sand.

Fine-Tuning the Herb Garden Soil

Clay soil does not drain well while sandy soil does not retain the required amount of nutrients. Adding compost solves both the problems of drainage and nutrients. High level of pH indicating most alkaline or sweet is the preferred level for herbs. pH levels can be raised by adding ground dolomitic limestone, which is harmless to the plants. Ammonium sulphate can be used to lower the pH balance.

Magic Potions

Humus is priceless constituent of the soil formed by the decomposition of animal or vegetable matter. Compost is a mix of decaying organic matter of leaves and manure. Both are used to enhance the nutrients in the soil. Mulch is an attractive protective covering of leaves and straws around the plants to avert any incidence of moisture evaporation, weeds, and freezing roots.

Preparing herb garden soil is a significant step in ensuring the healthy growth of herbs to enrich your lives in the process.

Adam Johnsen is an herb enthusiast and a lover of growing herbs for years. Over the time, he has found out that one of the most beautiful aspects of nature is that everything in the nature has it’s use. He has realized the many benefits of growing natural and organic herbs, so he would like to share with you free of charge, one of the best information in the world on herb gardening

Feel free to browse for information about herb gardening and on how to grow herbs in your home and garden. For more great tips on Home herb garden, visit http://www.herbgardeningtoday.com.