Picking fresh herbs to toss into tonight’s pasta or sprinkle on top of your casserole s so rewarding. Growing fresh herbs year-round is a great way to have quality herbs and save money. Some first-time herb gardeners run into a few mistakes. I will share these mistakes first-time herb gardeners do and how to avoid them. Then you can grow your herbs in abundance and reap the rewards!
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Having an herb garden indoors or outside is always fun. You can even learn how to dry your herbs and use them all year round! I have learned over the years the value of having a garden and growing your own food, and herbs are a favorite way to use for adding flavor and variety to the dishes you serve up for family and friends.
Many herbs have different varieties. For instance, thyme has a handful of varieties so before you buy them to make sure to know the flavors you are looking for to use in your dishes you make. Do your research so that you know the exact herb variety you are wanting.
If you are starting out with herbs, I recommend buying plants over seeds. Seeds can be hard to get started, and starter plants seem to have the best success. When you look for plants to buy, aim for really bright colored plants that look healthy, offer healthy-looking foliage that has no bug bites in it or anything like that. If it is weeping over or looks bad, don’t buy it and think with some water you can bring it back to life. Some herbs are hard to recover.
Herbs are a bit different than a classic houseplant. Delicate herbs tend to need water more regularly, especially during the hot summer months. This is important whether your herb garden is indoor or out. If you have herbs in planters, make sure there is a drain hole, this will help in not over-watering your herbs. Try to water them moderately each day, to make sure they are not getting too dry.
Herbs tend to grow very fast, so making sure to stay up on pruning is a must. The more you harvest them, the better they will grow and taste. If you do not prune as you should, it can make the leaves dry and they can even fall off. Pruning also helps promote new growth, and your herbs will produce for a more extended period. You want to aim to make your first trim around 3-4 inches above the soil.
Removing Dead Foilage
If you see some of the leaves are looking a little sickly or dead, make sure to remove that from your plants. Leaving that foliage can get your whole herb plant sick or even kill it. So make sure to clean up any fallen leaves, brown or weakly looking portions of your herb.
If you didn’t know many herbs will produce stunning flowers. You can even eat some of the blossoms on your herbs, but note that when you allow your herbs to bloom and go to seed, it will die back for the season. That is where you prune to prevent any blooms from producing, just cut below the flower or bloom on the herb.
For herbs, they need a lot of nutrients, and you want to make the soil you plant them in whether a potting soil or outdoors, that they have nutrients to pull from. Some like to toss in crumbled up eggshells in the outdoor soil, or even reach for an organic store-bought fertilizer to water their plants with on occasion. You want soil that will help your herbs grow and taste good. You can even add compost to the outdoor soil if you want a more natural approach.