You don’t have to be a top chef to appreciate the mouthwatering flavors of fresh herbs. By adding an herb garden in your backyard, you’ll have access to an endless supply for all your culinary creations. If you don’t have an existing garden or don’t have the greenest of thumbs, don’t worry! Herb gardens are incredibly easy to establish and fairly resilient. Best of all, your backyard will smell delicious the whole season long. With these ideas from Modernize, you’ll be picking fresh herbs out of your backyard in no time.
Most herbs love full sun all summer long, so long as the temperatures don’t jump over 90 degrees regularly. If your climate climbs to the triple digits, then consider finding an area that gets ample morning sun, but is fairly shaded throughout the afternoon. So long as your herbs get about four hours of direct sun a day, they’ll be just fine.
Properly preparing the soil is probably the most important step in this whole process. Compacted soil that is lacking in nutrients will kill your herbs faster than anything else. Use a gardening fork to loosen up the soil until it is loose and soft. Once you have the soil consistency correct, mix in a healthy helping of compost to add organic fertilizers that will nourish your herbs. When you begin to place your plants, give each plant the proper amount of room for them to flourish. In general, large bushy herbs like sage and rosemary will need a diameter of 3 to 4 feet around each plant, whereas smaller, condensed herbs like cilantro and dill will only need about 1 foot.
Herbs like water, especially when they’re freshly planted. In order for your garden to blossom, you’ll need to check the moisture levels regularly, especially in middle of a hot, humid summer. Simply poke your finger into the ground a couple of inches, and if the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water again. Be sure not to over water, though, because this can cause bacteria to grow, leading to stunted growth in your herbs.
Container Herb Gardens
Although plants do love being planted directly in the ground, not everyone has the space or time to manage this type of garden. If this sounds like you, opt for a container garden instead. A traditional pot will definitely work well, but if you are looking to get a bit more creative, consider one of these options. With adequate room, you can build a spiral raised bed with some stacked stone and good quality gardening soil. Plant your fuller herbs at the base and continue up the spiral in decreasing plant size. As the herbs grow, they will create a whimsical turret of greenery. If you have a smaller backyard and don’t want to give up any square footage, you can still have a thriving herb garden by sowing your herbs in old cans or cut plastic bottles along your fence or home’s walls. Since these type of containers will be smaller, be sure to pick herbs that will be able to grow in cozier conditions.
No matter how you choose to plant your herb garden, you’ll be glad you did every time you take a bite of your next delicious meal!