Green to gardening? Start with something so easy that it basically grows itself: herbs! Not only are they quick to grow and simple to handle if you’re a newbie but bonus: they’re a wonder in salads, certain dishes and even a drink of two.
Before you speed off to the nursery, there are a few little titbits you need to know to help you choose the right herbs. Follow these quick and easy do’s and don’ts to growing herbs and you’ll be an expert in no time!
- Start growing your herbs from seedlings when you’re starting out.
- Group similar herbs together – basil, parsley and coriander tend to work together as they require more water than most herbs. Thyme, sage and rosemary are well suited together as they like dry soil.
- Give your herbs their fair share of sun. They should be getting at least 6 hours of direct sun every day! Your best bet is to plant in a spot that’ll get morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon.
- Make sure your herbs are in a pot plant that offers drainage so they’re not sitting in excess water. Placing pebbles at the bottom of the planter will work. Drainage is the one hard and fast rule to growing herbs like a pro!
- Keep your perennials like oregano and mint contained by using a container or mesh bag when planting in flower beds. Dig at least 10cm and leave the rim poking out at ground level.
- Use a mixture of half potting soil with half compost to plant your herbs.
- Pick off flower buds as flowering requires energy use. By picking off flowers or buds your herbs can focus on growing delicious leaves!
- Use mulch to prevent perennials like mint from roaming when planting in garden beds.
- Regularly trim or prune leaves, particularly if you see browning leaves. Not only does this keep your plant healthy but it won’t waste energy on dying or old leaves.
- Plant all herb seedlings in pots as some only do well when planted in a garden. Do some research beforehand or ask your local nursery so you don’t end up buying herbs like coriander, fennel or anise if you can’t plant them in a garden!
- Plant different types of mint together, like spearmint, peppermint etc. If you do you’ll end up with a weird mix of all their flavours in one plant!
- Overwater your herbs, they won’t grow in wet soil! It can be tempting because they love the sun but too much water will give them root rot. We suggest watering one once a week during winter and every second day in the peak of summer. A good way to know how much water they need is to test the soil with the tip of your finger. If it’s dry you need to water that plant!
- Plant perennials and annuals together as perennials like mint or oregano can take over, which ends up choking the other herbs.
- Plant herbs in tiny containers or pots as they need space to grow. Tiny pots will choke them. Try something that’s about half a meter wide.
- Use a cracked or torn container when planting perennials in flower or garden beds – they’ll take over!
- Plant herbs in very wet conditions – most herbs need heat and moist soil to thrive. Though some herbs, like mint, prefer drier soil.
For more gardening tips, keep your eyes peeled for our next blog post. In the meantime, you can browse our range of plant food and fertilisers – designed to fill your garden with wonder.