Gardening is a great way to relax and provides enjoyment for many people. If you enjoy gardening, why not make your own indoors? Herbs have numerous advantages on food, health, and the environment. Here are some tips to follow when developing your herb garden. [I removed the word “indoor” because the planting guidelines and pest problems discussed for the most part are specific to outdoor plants].
The following can be paired well with most herbs:
The first step in creating a garden is knowing the purpose that each plant serves. Let’s dive into how these herbs benefit other herbs and vegetables.
Chives are a great partner for most herbs and vegetables. Chives work well with other herbs by repelling pests and boosting the harvest production of fruits and vegetables. Many rose gardeners use them around rose beds for decoration and to repel pests. Chives can be planted next to peas, lettuce, and celery which are all at a higher risk of aphid attacks. Aphids are tiny garden pests that can quickly destroy everything in a garden. They also ward off the Japanese beetle, a species of the scarab beetle This insect is known for its ability to destroy flowers, grass, and other plants due to their eating habits. Another way chive help gardens is by reducing black spot, which is a fungus that causes dark, round patches on plants when the weather is hot and humid.
Unlike chives, rosemary is not pairable with several other herbs. Its main safe companion is sage. Sage is an evergreen subshrub with woody stems, gray leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. Rosemary is mainly suited for vegetables, so keep this in mind if you contemplate incorporating rosemary into your herb garden. You will likely need a separate container or planting area for these two herbs.
Basil is similar to rosemary in not preferring the company of other herbs. Except, in this case, basil pairs well with oregano and chamomile. Vegetables have more to gain when planted next to basil. Still, if you are looking for other herb combinations, you could try this herb arrangement. Oregano is from the mint family, and people mainly use it for cooking to add flavor. It is also known to have some health benefits. Chamomile shares some traits with basil since it also can be used for health reasons. Chamomile soothes the body and aids the digestive tract. With basil’s benefits for food and people’s health, these herb combinations can be an excellent way to continue building your garden.
Cilantro (also known as Mexican parsley) thrives in the cool season. All parts of the plant are edible. In various food dishes, cilantro is used for spice or to create a specific flavor. And great news! This plant pairs well with numerous herbs such as basil, mint, tansy, yarrow, lavender, and dill. Having an herb like this in your garden provides more variety and an excellent opportunity to have various uses for your harvest.
Tarragon (referred to as the nurse plant sometimes) can enhance flavor and increase any plant’s growth. That means you do not have to worry about ruining your garden if you decide to purchase these herbs. The smell of these plants drives away most pests. Furthermore, if you want to separate portions of your garden, you can use this as a barrier plant. Along with countless other herbs, tarragon goes well with hundreds of vegetables.
Before you begin this project, there are certain things to consider ensuring that you are prepared to grow and maintain a garden. Explore these tips below to determine if this is the right path for you.
1. Know What You Want
Contemplate which herbs best suit you based on time, money, and daily use. If you plan to make lots of Mexican dishes, then cilantro is a useful herb to possess. If you want to have herbs for relaxation and medicinal purposes then plants from the mint family are a great choice.
Also, think about how long you want to have the plants. Herbs bloom and last for different periods. Chives, fennel, mint, tarragon, and thyme are perennials, which bloom every season they are alive. They can help you save money since they last longer and serve multiple purposes. However, suppose you do not mind having a few plants for one or two seasons. In that case, annuals (basil and cilantro) or biennials (parsley) are other options.
Where exactly do you envision starting your garden? Before you begin shopping for herbs, contemplate which spots in your home receive the most sunlight and have the most space. If you are unsure, you can always ask a gardening expert to advise you on where your fresh herbs will bloom best. For example, basil can succeed outdoors with a vast amount of sunlight. On the other hand, marjoram prefers to stay in shady areas indoors. This factor highly impacts how much your herb garden will survive.
3. Own the Right Equipment
The items you use to store herbs affect their lifespan. If you want to use a pot, clay containers that provide 8 inches between each plant are ideal. Or, if you are struggling to find a proper one for your home, gardening centers can help you pick one out. In some cases, gardening centers will plant your herb for you in a container at no cost. Planters can use saucers as well to keep planting areas separate and clean. Soil and fertilizer will be needed to plant your herbs indoors but double-check that your herb does not have any specific needs, besides water and sunlight.
4. Maintenance is Important
Keep in mind how much daily sunlight your herb requires. Most plants need a minimum of four hours in direct sunlight. Even if your garden is indoors, still care for it as if it were growing outside. If the temperature is hot and dry in a particular area one day, move your herb to a place where it can receive shade and a more even temperature. Another thing always make sure that your plants have enough water. One of the most common reasons plants do not last very long is because they are not hydrated enough.
Are herb gardens worth it?
Herb gardens are worth the investment if you use herbs often and can adequately care for them. Before starting your indoor garden, determine your home conditions, financial situation, and ability to maintain a garden daily.
How long can I keep an herb garden?
Herbs have various lifespans. Ponder how often you plan to use them and what purpose they will serve you. If you want something that lasts longer, anything from the mint family is a good choice. On the other hand, if you desire something short-term, then cilantro is a better option. Moreover, if you ensure that the plants receive proper sunlight and water, they thrive longer. They can last for several [months? years?] when you treat them well.
Are there any herbs that are hard to grow and maintain?
Herbs such as lavender and bay leaf can be hard to grow, starting from a seed. They are not recommended for beginners in gardening or for those who do not have enough time to encourage them to grow. They have slow growth and are hard to germinate. Bay leaf plants can also grow to be People are better off investing in transplants. Transplants are when plants are moved from one place to another to stimulate growth and help them belong in the right place. Invest in other herbs if you do not have the patience or tools for slow growers.
Sources: Cooking Light and Gardening Channel