Easy Tips For Growing Herbs

Growing herbs can be a frustrating business. It’s a bit like having a pet or a small child, in that they aren’t able to just tell you what they need – it’s on you to figure it out. Luckily, help is at hand! Without further ado, here are some of the best tips for growing herbs.

  • Drainage is the key. Whether you are growing your herbs inside in pots or outside in your garden, soil that stays wet is a big problem for herbs. For pots, put an inch layer of gravel in the bottom of them before adding your soil, and mix the soil with some compost or coarse sand to lighten it. For growing herbs outdoors, dig up the area where you want to plant them to a depth of 15-18 inches, then lay down three-inch layer of crushed rock. Again, use a lightened soil on top. A little limestone is also a good idea to ensure the soil is alkaline.
  • Fertilizer isn’t always necessary. Herbs don’t grow in high-quality fertilized soil in their native environments (usually the Mediterranean), and there is evidence that fertilized soil leads to herbs with more foliage but less flavor.
  • Sun. Ensure your herbs get full sun. Most herbs require direct sun during the day, so if you’re growing herbs outdoors ensure that they’re not going to be in the shade of a tree or your house. If you’re growing them indoors, put them on a windowsill facing the direction of the equator, and install a fluorescent ‘grow lamp’ for extra light during the winter.
  • Watering. Be careful with watering. Too much water can quickly kill a lot of herbs because roots will rot. To avoid this, don’t give herbs (particularly ones you keep indoors) so much water that their roots are left soggy. Try ‘watering’ them with a spray mister instead.
  • Pick leaves at the right time. How much flavor the leaves of your herbs have depends in part on when you pick them. For optimum flavor, pick them in the morning, after any dew has evaporated but before they’ve received a lot of direct sun. Note that you can pick herb leaves as soon as the plants are big enough that you’re not taking more than 1/3 of their foliage at a time, but take the lower and outer leaves first.
  • Know whether your herbs are annuals or perennials. Some herbs are annuals, meaning that they bloom for one season and then die. More herbs are perennials though, meaning that they can live through the winter and bloom again each year. Out of the popular culinary herbs, annuals include basil, dill and coriander. Perennials include fennel, chives, marjoram, tarragon, mint and thyme. Keep in mind when planting perennials that they may be around for a long time.

So with these tips now in your knowledge bank, get out there and begin reaping the benefits of healthy herbs.

Arthur McLay is a herb grower enthusiast and author of the book “The Secrets of Herb Growing”. If you want more tips for growing herbs, visit http://www.herbgrowingcenter.com.

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Author: Arthur McLay
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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