Basic Herb Garden - How to Set Up an Indoor or Outdoor Herb Garden

If you're considering growing a basic herb garden, you might be wondering how you should do this and what you can put in your garden.

This is common, but one of the first steps for you to take is to have an idea as to whether or not you're going to put your herb garden inside or outside.

Inside herb garden

Your inside herb garden is a great way for you to ensure that you have fresh herbs for all of your cooking needs when you need them, but your limited space will determine the herbs that you will be using. However, this is a great way for you to get started growing your own herbs.

For an inside basic herb garden, you will need:

  • Three small pots of any material, or one long pot
  • Tags to mark your herbs
  • Pre-grown herb plants of your choice or seeds
  • Potting soil for indoor plants

How to do it:

Planting your herbs is really quite easy, and it may have more to do with choosing your herbs than anything else. Most often, for your basic herb garden, you will want to plant about three herbs that you use most commonly. For instance, basil is a very popular herb, but so is rosemary and thyme, so your choice of herbs will mostly have to do with what you cook most often.

Make sure that the pots or pot you choose has holes for proper drainage, and that you have a saucer at the bottom to catch overflow when you water. If you're planting plants, you won't have to wait as long to use them as you would if you were planting seeds, but the decision is yours.

Fill the pot about 2/3 full of potting soil and gently place the root ball of your plant in the container. If it looks like your herbs are "root bound", or that the roots are shaped to the container the plant was in, you should gently loosen the bottom by breaking the roots up just a little bit. Once you have your plant in place, add additional soil around the sides to fill your pot and gently water your plant.

If you're planting seeds, one of the easier ways to do this is to fill your pot with dirt and poke holes in the dirt with your fingers. Drop some seeds in (but not too many or the plants will become overcrowded), and gently cover with dirt and water.

Once you have your herbs planted, you only need to mark them so you remember what they are, and place them in a sunny spot, such as a window sill. There you have it - an indoor basic herb garden.

Outdoor herb garden

Now, the idea of planting an outdoor herb garden might feel similar, but there are some differences.

For instance, since you will have a larger amount of space, you will be able to choose more herbs, or you may want to add herbs to an existing fruit and vegetable garden. Your choices here have a lot to do with your overall plans. However, if you're trying your hand at a small basic herb garden, there are some things which you should know.

  • Knowing what you wish to grow your herbs for will really help you in planning your basic herb garden. For instance, if you like to season your foods, you may choose different herbs than if you like to have a good cup of chamomile or comfrey tea, so the first thing you should know is what you plan to do with your herbs.

  • Another thing to consider when you're planning a basic herb garden is the conditions your herbs will need. For instance, does your favorite batch of herbs need full sun, or will it be happy with only sunlight in the morning? This will help you to have a successful herb growing experience. For instance, basil, oregano, garlic, cilantro, chamomile and fennel are all herbs that will thrive in full, hot sun.

  • Know that some herbs can actually cross pollinate if you're not careful, so make sure to find out which herbs you can safely plant together and which ones you should space far enough apart as to not come up with funny flavors.

  • For your basic herb garden, you should also know the height of your herbs. Tall herbs such as dill, fennel and rosemary should be grown at the back or in the middle of your herb garden so as not to block the view of the smaller herbs or the sun. Smaller herbs such as thyme, sage, oregano or some mints should be placed in the front of the beds to ensure that they grow well and you can get to them easily.

Most of all, before you start growing your basic herb garden, even though it can be relatively simple, sticking with a little beginner information can really be helpful in having a garden that you'll be able to use and benefit from all year round.

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