Do you know that in the Middle Ages, herbs were used by mankind to preserve meat? Somewhere, along the way, the world of herbs got lost in the melee of technology and more, but the modern man has once again taken recourse to herbs; this time in their own backyard. Here’s everything you need to know on how to make a herb garden.
Herbs are healing and especially home-grown herbs as they are fresh, personally nurtured and well cared for. They flavor your cuisine and the results are evident from the beaming faces you see once the plates are licked clean.
While herbs may offer the ideal seasoning to the meals you whip up, they also make for a scenic background to the ambiance.
SELECT THE RIGHT POTS
Types of Pots
There are 5 types of containers you can use for growing herbs:
- Ceramic Pots
- Clay Pots
- Wooden Boxes
- Tin Containers
- Hanging Planter Pots
Now, you may or may not agree with me, but herbs are best grown outdoors in the backyard of your home. Before you say, you don’t have a backyard, let me remind you, there always is a place for everything so make one.
How to make a herb garden when you don’t have a backyard? Resort to pots – ceramic & clay pots, wooden boxes, hanging planter pots, or any other container which may serve the growth of herbs well in any indoor space such as your kitchen or living room.
Pots are flexible as you can keep moving them, re-arrange them and change the landscape of your herb garden.
Size of Pots
Did you just forget the size of the pots? This is a very important aspect of potted herbs though, honestly, the choice is yours.
You can always consider two different sizes of pots:
- Small-sized Pots
- Large Pots
Small-sized pots work well for succulents and cacti as they require less water. However, once the cactus starts growing, the pot becomes inhabitable. The biggest advantage of small pots is being able to use them in an indoor herb garden. They make you feel one with nature.
Large pots on the other hand face the issue of soil cakes forming towards the base which take over the roots. Common sense dictates studying the plant and its growth history before deciding on the size of the plant.
Now that we are done with the pot (ty) issue, let’s get an understanding of what herbs to grow, shall we?
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HERBS
The family of herbs can be categorized as annual and perennial.
The Case of Annual Vs Perennial
As the names suggest, annual herbs thrive during a specific time of the year. The seeds of such herbs are best harvested in small quantities until they begin flower.
Perennial herbs are a garden staple and you can grab a handful throughout the year though they require timely pruning and the right fertilizer to make them grow well.
Common Herbs for Your Garden
Some of the most preferred herbs in any personal garden are –
Amongst these, parsley, lovage and mint grow well in moist soil whereas thyme and rosemary prefer less moist soil.
The least fussy of this lot are oregano, coriander, basil and dill which are annual herbs. You can nurture their seeds within the enclosure of your home and enjoy their wonderful flavors. These are ideal for beginners.
Mediterranean woody plants like bay, lavender and rosemary are even more fussy and thrive only in well-drained soil.
PREPARING THE SOIL
“Different strokes for different folks?” This applies to the gardening of herbs as well.
Most of the members of the family of herbs grow well in your everyday garden soil with a good amount of water. One of the most hygienic and nutrient type of soils for your potted herbs is the one you can make at home.
Here’s how you go about it:
One part perlite – no, don’t get scared. This is a type of volcanic glass that works as a drainage catalyst for potted herbs. It is mined and heated in big ovens until it moulds into a round shape. The white material is used specially in seed-starting processes.
Lost me, didn’t you?
Add an equal amount of compost, peat moss (coconut coir) and top soil, and voila, you have the finest soil for your herbs.
The baby steps to keeping soil healthy are:
- Increase the number of nutrients
- Keep turning the soil regularly
- Add more organic material
- Maintaining the pH of the soil
The right amount of water and the right amount of exposure to sunlight are chiefly responsible for potted herbs to be able to emit their natural aroma. A minimum of 6 hours of sunlight works like manna from the heavens for potted herbs.
An indoor herb garden is one of the most soothing hobbies. It’s draws you closer to nature. No matter what the nature of the herbs, they offer an immense cure to both body and mind. Herbs are the way to go, and this should tell you all you need to know on how to make a herb garden.
What’s better than to have herby aromas waft through your walls?