Herb Facts and How to Grow Herbs

Herbs grow as annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees.  Yes, many people are not aware that some herbs are trees. Willow and Witch hazel are two examples. And what is a definition of an herb? Simply, it’s a plant with another use. Herbs are commonly used for flavoring, medicinally or for crafting.

One thing that makes growing herbs easier than most plants is that very few diseases or insects attack herbs.  Sometimes in dry, hot weather red spider mites can be found on low-growing plants and aphids may attach dill, caraway, anise, or fennel.  I have also noticed that rust will often affect mint.

Herbs can be bought and planted into a home garden or indoors. They can be grown from seed. Planting from seed is easier on the budget but I have found a few herbs that are easier to grow from a plant. Lavender and rosemary are two such plants. For some reason they challenge me! And they are two of my favorite herbs.

When planting herbs, indoors or out, you should use well-drained soil.  If your soil is heavy or compacted, add organic matter to it so that bit drains better.  Other than that most herbs take care of themselves so fertilizers are not necessary either.

Most herbs prefer a sunny location although you will find a few that prefer full shade. And many herbs will grow well with afternoon shade.

When starting herb seeds use a shallow pot or box. If you’re planting for year round use anytime is fine, if it’s for outdoor herbs start the seeds in the late winter.  Use a light, well-drained soil to grown your seeds in.

Since herbs do not have a deep root base, make sure not to cover the seeds too much with the soil. Follow the rule: the finer the seed, the shallower it should be sown.

You can transplant the seedlings to the outdoors in the spring.  And if you’re keeping the plants indoors move to a windowsill or near a window. My one window has hanging herb planters. They are hung at different level to create interest and depth to the plants.

Although most herbs can be grown from seeds, some herbs do not transplant well.  Herbs like dill, fennel, anise, and coriander should be planted directly into the garden.  And if planting outdoors but you want an early start for your herb plants that should be “planted where they will grow,” use a moveable cold frame or mini greenhouse.

Once you grow your own herbs you will find that they become an asset to the home and kitchen.

Note: Enter The Gardener’s Rake herb Contest. Click Herb Contest for the rules and prizes.

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