This is a seedling, companion planting, and maintenance instructions tutorial to help you grow the best herb garden (indoor or outdoor) possible!
Herb Planting and Care
I purchased a variety of herbs this year for my garden. I had considered herb gardening since last year, and made it fact with earth turning, seedling purchasing and planting this year. This is seedling, companion planting and maintenance instructions.
Since we are away most of the winter, growing my own herbs from seed or cuttings is not an option. However, that really isn’t a bad thing for me because when I went to my local nursery, I needed to purchase what they had – and they had things that would grow well locally. While I could still fail, at least now I am growing plants that are appropriate for my area. This is something I don’t always do – at my old house, I had a beautiful butterfly bush that wasn’t supposed to be grown north of the Mason-Dixon line. Not only did it grow, but I also transplanted it three different times and it flourished each time!
I don’t always play by the rules. 😉
But, since I was going to be writing about this herb-adventure, I didn’t want to lead anyone too astray, and so am glad I bought herbs that are able to grow in my US hardiness zone 6 area.
Before I planted, I decided to investigate what my herbs needed by way of soil, plant food, and spacing. I fully recognized that I might not plant exactly as I should, but I did want the knowledge that comes from correct planting, seeding, and spacing of these herbs.
Here are the 7 herbs I purchased and planted, and this is how I cared for them:
Large leaves with sweet, spicy fragrance and flavor. Flowers are attractive in the herb garden, but are usually pinched off as buds form to promote high-quality leaves for cooking.
Annual – full sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed using all-purpose plant food. Maintenance includes weeding and pinching back for a fuller appearance.
How to harvest and dry basil
Deliciously fragrant flowers and leaves have a sweet apple flavor. Dried flowers are great in potpourri and make a flavorful and relaxing tea. Ideal for a fragrant herb lawn which can tolerate foot traffic.
Perennial – sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed in spring. Maintenance: trim every 6 weeks.
Also known as onion chives, the beautiful flowers and foliage of this plant have a distinctive mild onion flavor. Fresh leaves to cook, or whole blossoms for herb vinegar. Good companion plant for roses.
Perennial – sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed in spring. Maintenance: divide every 3-5 years.
Aromatic, flavorful leaves (cilantro) and seeds (coriander). Reseeds.
Annual – full sun, water 2-3 times per week, feed using all-purpose plant food. Maintenance: mulch to keep down weeds.
Outstanding for seasoning poultry, fish and pork, in sauces, soups and herbal vinegar. Good companion plant for tomatoes. Dry or freeze leaves for winter use, or grow in a pot indoors.
Perennial – sun, water weekly during dry spells, feed regularly. Maintenance: keep weed-free.
Note: It is now 6 years later and the thyme is still producing like crazy!
Aromatic, feathery foliage is an attractive filler in the herb or flower garden. Leaves, seeds and the stem are all edible.
Annual – sun, well-drained soil, fertilize sparingly. Maintenance: keep weed-free.
Parsley, Fine Curled
Attractive fragrant leaves are excellent for seasoning and as a garnish. A biennial that is grown as an annual; replant each year for best flavor.
Biennial – full sun, water daily, feed using all-purpose plant food. Maintenance includes weeding and pinching back for a fuller appearance.
How to harvest and dry parsley
Over the years since I first wrote this post, I have grown many different types of herbs. My favorites are basil (since we use so much in my cucumber Caprese salad recipe), the thyme that is still in the ground and requires no effort to take care, and chamomile as it smells terrific and makes great tea!
Whatever herbs you decide to grow, tend to them as required and they will reward you with some terrific tasting plants!
Note: Bloom IQ was an excellent source for writing this article.
Since I wrote this post many years ago, I have gone on to grow at least a few herbs yearly. Some herbs are grown for fresh and dried consumption such as basil and parsley. Some of the herbs I grow, such as thyme and oregano are for fresh consumption and to make the bees happy. They seem to love them to pollinate!
I now have this terrific garden tower (the image pictured is a photo I took shortly after I planted this past May) that I grow most, but not all of my herbs in. This year it was parsley, sage, thyme, and several types of oregano. I always have a LARGE container of basil. I harvest that several times during the season, dry it, and then keep it in the freezer. It is terrific for adding to Italian foods through the winter months.
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