Tips for Growing Herb Plants Outdoors
Herb gardening can take part in any landscaping scheme - from a simple
planting of culinary herbs at the kitchen doorstep to an elaborate
formal knot garden of medieval tradition.
have a myriad of shapes, colors and textures which offer many
possibilities: ground covers, boarders and backgrounds as well as the
perfect addition to a potted garden. You can integrate herb plants into
your vegetable garden as insect repelling companion plants, and they
will be close at hand to season the harvest. Adorn containers and
hanging baskets with herb plants.
Selecting the Proper Place to Plant
well-drained site will make your herb plants happy. In general, herbs
are not especially fussy about soil type as long as the soil drains
well. Poor soils tend to product highly aromatic foliage, while richer
soils will produce less aromatic but more abundant foliage. All soil
benefits from the addition of compost, manure or peat moss - dig about 8"
into the soil and add sand if you have poorly draining soil. Most
herbs prefer full sun, but they will tolerate some partial shade.
chervil and sweet woodruff thrive in shaded areas.
Planting Your Herb Plants Outside
Once the danger of
frost has passed, you are ready to plant the herbs. However, there are
many hardy perennial herbs that can be planted at anytime during the
growing season, even in fall. Before you plant, make sure that you
understand the growing habit of each herb plant and plan accordingly.
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate its root ball, and remove from the
pot and set in the hole. Firm soil around the plant and water
When to Water Your Plants
will benefit from a less frequent but more thorough watering. Frequent
light spraying is not a good way to water. Make sure that you penetrate
8" to 12" to reach the roots.
Winter protection: Perennial herbs left to winter outdoors will stand a
better chance of surviving the cold if you mulch with straw or dead
leaves. Put about 4" of mulch over the herb plants before the ground
freezes in late fall. This is more important in areas where the snow
cover is not persistent through the winter.