Covid-19 has upended our routines, there is no denying it. If you’re staying home more often, take advantage of that free time. We wanted to highlight one activity we’re doing while we’re at home. It is not too late in the season to grow an herb garden. You’ll not only have fresh herbs for cooking but it’s an effective stress reliever. Planting will get you away from your phone and focused on something you can care for and watch grow. We’ve created a guide to help get started.
Consider the Container
If you’re renting, consider starting your herb garden in containers and indoors. They’re ideal if you have limited or no garden space. It will not only make it easier to take them with you on your next move but it’ll be easy to transition them indoors when the seasons change.
Clay pots are great and attractive options but they can break easily. Plastic and wood containers are preferred but feel free to work with whatever is best for you. Keep in mind that it’s easier to grow plants in large containers than small ones. Larger containers hold more soil which retains moisture longer. This is particularly ideal during the hot summer months. Whichever pots you go with, just make sure they have drainage holes.
Planning Your Herb Garden
If you’re not sure which herbs to start with, consider the staples. Basil, mint, thyme, and parsley are some of the most resilient and easy to work with. Think about what you cook with on a daily basis and expand from there. You can grow different types of herbs in one container but make sure they have the same sun, water, and soil needs (Most do but definitely double check).
Plant Needs: Sun, Soil, & Water
Whether you’re working with limited space or creating an herb garden indoors, pick the sunniest spot. Most herbs will need around 6 hours of sunlight per day.
While it may be tempting to just use the soil from your yard, it’s best to use a potting mix. Potting mix is ideal because it’ll retain moisture but will effectively drain excess water.
Just make sure the soil is consistently moist. You won’t need much and you certainly don’t want to drown your plants. If leaves begin to wilt or turn yellow, scale back the amount of water you use.
Harvest a few sprigs at a time and do it regularly. This will encourage new growth. Avoid harvesting too much at once. If you have more than enough herbs, consider drying them for future use or give them away to friends and family.
Herbs are extremely flexible and can be transplanted when needed. If you notice your plants outgrowing their containers, it’s time to transplant. Herbs can also be started indoors then planted outdoors once they’re ready or you have the space to do so.