Fresh and dried herbs can be very expensive at the grocery store, making it well worth your while to consider growing and harvesting your own. Although an indoor herb garden on your kitchen windowsill may be tempting, you may find that you have the best success with an outdoor garden where your plants will have sunlight and rain.
Start with a Central Station
Instead of trying to tend your plants from a square of space on your patio or directly on the ground, consider creating a moveable workstation that can hold soil, fertilizer, clippers and seeds. If you are handy, you can create your own. Be sure to add rust-resistant stainless steel casters to the bottom to allow you to move the workstation with ease.
Choose a Location
Ideally, your herb garden should be near your kitchen or near the door closest to your kitchen. The spot should see plenty of sunlight.
Prepare Your Garden
You will want to add compost or topsoil to your ground soil for the best growing results, particularly if your soil is very heavy and clay-like. Loosen the soil and work in some compost for natural fertilizer.
Choose Your Herbs
Numerous herbs do quite well outside, including basil, sage, oregano, cilantro and parsley. You will want to protect the herbs from wildlife who may be looking for a nibble by surrounding plants with a fence or building a raised, enclosed garden.
Care for Them Regularly
New herbs will need a great deal of water. However, after a month or two, their needs will decrease. Be sure they get at least an inch of water per week from rain or your garden hose.
Many herbs grow quickly. While you may be scared to harvest them at first when your plants are small, this can actually help them produce more leaves. Consider using them fresh or drying them at home for use throughout non-growing seasons.
When you start with the right foundation for growing an outdoor herb garden, you will quickly see that herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. Many grow like weeds in certain parts of the country, and you may find yourself stretched to use and dry them all. Using your own herbs can be an extremely satisfying experience as you work in the soil and create a beautiful garden.