There’s nothing quite like growing your own food and with the current pandemic in full swing, there’s never been a more necessary time to get to grips with your green thumb. It isn’t too long before the days will start to get longer and planning a herb garden now can get you ready for a great summer when you can put them to use in soups, salads, and light dishes.
But growing herbs is more difficult than most people initially assume and some things must be carefully considered when designing a garden:
It’s pretty well known that plants require light to grow while a good surrounding for herbs can keep them safe. A multi-level garden looks amazing when blooming and the correct placement of plants is required to make the most of the sun.
Protect from Pests
A good surrounding for your herbs should always be considered as it can help with pests such as rabbits and foxes who will go out of their way to eat your delicious herbs. A suitable surrounding can be erected with materials from DIY stores or fence suppliers and should consider the animals that it is intended to exclude.
Meshes can be purchased for keeping out most pests but some animals are known to be good jumpers so careful planning of height needs to be considered. If a surrounding is too high it can block the sun from the herbs and if it is too low it could be scaled by an animal.
A good option if you have the time, money and skill could be to build a greenhouse that will nurture your herbs and keep everything out so they will be perfectly safe from animals that might otherwise feed on them.
Bathe in Sunlight
The process of photosynthesis is how plants convert light from the sun into energy that they use as nourishment as well as water. If a plant doesn’t get the sun it needs then it will wilt and die but herbs are especially sensitive and different ones require different amounts of light.
Soft herbs such as mint, parsley, and chives can fare well in shaded areas with minimal sun so long as they get what they need, while hard herbs like bay, thyme, and oregano for example can grow very well in shaded areas.
Some other herbs are more difficult to grow and will require exact amounts of water as well as a lot of sunlight. Basil is notoriously difficult to grow without good amounts of light and requires a lot of attention. Placing herbs such as basil at a south-facing spot will ensure that they get the most sun possible while others that don’t require much sun are best positioned to the east so that they get just what they need and no more.
Provide Enough Room
The placement of herbs is very important as it can stop them from getting sun, block roots, or stunt growth. Herbs are initially very small when transplanting and take some time to grow, but once they do they need space.
When planting, make sure you separate them adequately. A diameter of between 1 to 4 feet is recommended depending on the plant as some don’t require much space while some will get large. Chives, dill, and parsley tend to stay relatively small and need a diameter of 1 foot while rosemary, sage, and mint will grow as a bush and require around 4 feet of space around them.
If you are using a surrounding then you might want to consider a leveled approach to your herb garden. Placing herbs at different levels can help control the amount of sun that they are exposed to. Herbs that require a lot of sunlight can be placed at higher levels while shaded herbs can be placed on lower levels.