The Herb Garden

July 16, 2018

The Herb Garden

In the botanical sense, an “herb” is an herbaceous plant that lacks a woody stem and dies to the ground each winter.

Another definition describes herbs as any plant or plant part that has historically been used for medicinal, culinary or fragrance purposes.

And a broad definition of an herb is defined as a “useful plant” but one has to wonder what is meant by useful. Don’t forget to visit here: gardensonata.com.au

Choosing a Location for Starting an Herb Garden

Most of the herbs that you can grow at home need two things — sunlight and well-drained soil.

This means that when considering places in your yard to plant an herb garden, you need to look for a location that gets six or more hours of sunlight a day and that is well drained.

Many people also consider convenience when selecting a place to start growing an herb garden.

Planting near the kitchen or near the house will make it easier to harvest herbs from the herb garden.  See also: How to Grow Your Own Herbs in Your Own Kitchen Garden




Preparing the Soil before You Plant an Herb Garden

Once you have chosen the location for growing an herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil.

If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost.

Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing.

When growing herbs, do not use composted manures in the herb garden.

These are typically high in nitrogen, which will make the herbs grow quickly but will reduce their flavor. For more amazing garden equipment just click here: gardensonata.com.au




Choosing your Herbs in your Herb Garden


Which herbs you grow in your garden depends largely on what you would like to grow. Almost all herbs will grow for at least one season. 

Some will grow year after year. Some common herbs that people grow when first starting an herb garden are, the following:

  • Basil
  • Chives Mint
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary


      Planting and Growing Herbs

      Herbs can be started from seed or planted as plants. Planting herb plants is easier than starting them from seed, but if you are on a tight budget, starting herbs from seeds is not that difficult.

      Once you have planted your herb garden, make sure that it gets 2 inches of water every week. Also make sure to harvest your herbs frequently.

      Many times when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them.

      Actually, the opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest.

       At the end of the season, you can also dry or freeze your herb harvest so you can enjoy home-grown herbs all year round. Taking the time to plant an herb garden is very satisfying and easy. Check also: Herb Garden Containers

      By starting an herb garden and growing herbs, you can add beauty to your garden and flavor to your kitchen. For more amazing garden accessories just click: gardensonata.com.au .


      Herb Gardening for Beginners: The Best Tools

      One of the nicest things about herb gardening is that you don’t really need a lot of tools and supplies, just a few basics. 

      It’s perfect for beginner gardeners or for those who have minimal space available for storage.

      Aside from your plants and containers, there are just a few things you’ll want to have on hand. You can also click here: gardensonata.com.au


      Sharp Pruning Snips

      If you only buy one thing on this adventure, we recommend it be a nice sharp pair of pruning snips.

      It makes life so much easier and using scissors instead of pulling or plucking insures that you don’t do damage to the overall plant.

      These don’t have to be anything fancy and you can use your kitchen scissors if you really want to.

      Whatever you decide to use, just make sure the blades are sharp for a nice clean cut.

      Soils and Fertilizers

      Potting mix is generally recommended for growing herbs at home. There are lots of choices available both online and in-person at your local home and garden center or nursery.

      Grab something packed with organic materials and you’re all set. When it comes to fertilizing your plants, indoors and outdoors, a natural compost tea is a great alternative to expensive off the shelf products. Don’t forget to visit here: gardensonata.com.au

      If you don’t have a compost bin and want to pick up a prepackaged bag or a bottle of liquid fertilizer, just be sure to read the package and ingredients carefully. Anything you use on your herb plants needs to be safe for edibles and generated from organic materials.


      Small Watering Can

      Remember that dripping wet plant leaves can lead to mildew growth and disease problems, so you want to water at the soil or ground level so the water can soak down and absorb into the roots.

      A small watering can (like this one: IMEEA Watering Can Modern Small Size -amazon) makes this a little bit easier when it comes to small plants, even if your plants are outside.



      Herb Keepers for storage in the kitchen after harvest

      You want to prune and harvest regularly so that your plants continue to grow and provide fresh herbs to use, but you need to store those someplace.

      There are lots of options for storage and we’ll discuss some of those in more depth later on.

      Aside from your standard storage methods, some of the latest innovations in kitchen technology have brought us some fun storage keepers, containers, and pods that are easy to use and designed especially for the storage of herbs – and they look kind of futuristic and fun too.


      Benefits of Starting a Herb Garden

      Growing herbs at home carries a number of important benefits for you and your family. From better-tasting food to lower grocery costs, starting an herb garden will make a big difference in how your family eats and how much you spend.


      Here are some of the biggest advantages of a home herb garden:



      More Flavor

      It can be hard to come up with new and inventive meal ideas. You can search the web for new recipes, but those meal ideas are often packed with exotic (and expensive) ingredients.

      Instead of reinventing the wheel, try giving your old meals new life with fresh herbs.

      The taste of fresh herbs is so much more intense and memorable; your family will think you invented a whole new recipe!

      Lower Grocery Costs

      Those little bottles of herbs at the grocery store can be expensive. 

      Wouldn't it be better to spend that money on a few seeds and some pots or soil for your herb garden?

      Growing herbs at home could save you a lot of money in the long term. Think about how many herbs and other flavorings you use in your everyday cooking, then consider how much you could save by growing those ingredients yourself.

      Healthier Eating

      Adding fresh herbs to your dishes is a great way to encourage healthier eating.

      You’ll find yourself wanting to use your fresh produce as much as you can and going out of your way to incorporate it into every meal. 

      And let’s face it, some healthy dishes can be bland but a dish infused with fresh herbs will be bursting with flavour.

      Choosing fresh herbs instead of the prepackaged variety can have other health benefits as well.

      Jarred and packaged herbs sometimes contain preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. When you grow and dry your own herbs, you know exactly what is in each package.


      Educational Benefits

      Growing an herb garden is a wonderful way to teach the kids about nature and the importance of ongoing care.

      You can let the kids grow their own herb garden, or assign the care of a single herb to one of your kids.

      Hands-on learning is an effective tool for kids, and there is nothing like growing fresh herbs to teach the younger generation some important life lessons.

      If things go well, your kids can even take a basket of fresh herbs to the classroom for show and tell!

      A Chance to Share

      Once you start growing your own herbs, you may find that you have more than you and your family can use.

      That gives you a chance to share the excess with friends and neighbors who don’t have their own herb gardens.

      Sharing food is a great way to get to know friends and neighbors more and will help build stronger relationships.

      What herbs should I grow?

      There are literally hundreds of herbs you could grow in your herb garden but a good place to start is the common herbs most of us are already familiar with.

      These varieties are very versatile and you won’t have any trouble finding uses for them in your meals.

      Basil, Parsley, Chives, Dill and Coriander are best used fresh; they are ideal for salads, sandwiches, sauces, toppings, as a garnish and stirred through cooked meals just before serving.

      Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano and Sage are all very aromatic and strong flavored herbs that are normally used for cooking. Use them to flavor meat, fish, roast vegetables, soups or stews. 


      Learn How To Grow Your Own Herb Garden Indoors or Out!

      This article provides the necessary growing information for many popular herbs such as their ideal pH, soil requirements, suitability for container and hydroponic cultivation, watering needs, potential pest problems, and much more. Or visit Herb Garden Indoor for more information and tips.

      In addition, you'll find resources to obtain the herb seeds, plants and supplies you need to begin what will surely be a lifelong hobby that not only provides enjoyment for the kitchen and palette, but spiritual renewal and stress relief as well. Don’t forget to visit here: gardensonata.com.au


      What Can You Do With Herbs?

      In addition to the obvious purpose of using herbs in your cooking and culinary creations, herbs can be utilized in a myriad of ways to serve a wide variety of purposes.

      Probably the most common alternative use for herbs, and many would argue it's primary function, is for medicinal and healing purposes.

      Dating back to before written human history, the use of herbs as culinary additives was probably less for taste, and more so as a response to the harmful potential of food-borne pathogens.

      As a result, tropical environments where pathogens are most prevalent have been the source of the world's spiciest foods.

      Clay tablets that date back over 5,000 years have been discovered which list hundreds of medicinal plants, many of them common herbs as we know them today.

      Throughout the written history of mankind, herbs and herbal preparations have been used to treat illnesses and conditions afflicting not only humans, but there is strong evidence to suggest that even early primates ingested medicinal herbs to treat injuries and illnesses.

      Herbs as medicine can be ingested whole in many ways, including herbal teas, known as tisanes; herbal juices, or in a dried form.

      Other methods of administering whole herbs include infusions, which is extraction by steeping in hot water; decoctions, which are long-term boiled extracts of roots and barks; maceration, where plants are finely cut and steeped in cold water.

      Herb tinctures use alcohol to suspend the essence from the herbs, while herbal wine and elixirs are low alcohol content herb extracts.

      There are also dry extracts in which the plants are allowed to evaporate their liquid content into a dry mass, which can then be contained in a capsule or tablet.

      Many herbs can also be applied as a topical skin treatment with essential oil extracts used to create creams, lotions, balms, salves, and oils.

      Herbs have also been used as a compress with crushed or rehydrated dry herbs applied directly to a bandage, which is then placed over a wound.

      Another widely used medicinal use is aromatherapy, whereby the fragrant liberation of the essential oils in herbs is used to combat pain and anxiety, while reducing stress, and promoting relaxation through the olfactory senses.


      Remember:

      Growing your own fresh herbs at home carries a number of important benefits.

      Whether your goal is to eat a healthier diet, trim your grocery budget or test your green thumb, you can enjoy the ongoing benefits of a fresh herb garden day after day and month after month.