You might use herbs in everyday cooking. You might use them for decoration and in crafts. Are you thinking about growing your own herbs for use in these everyday activities? Here are some tips for growing herbs.
- Determine the Type and Reason for the Herbs. Herbs come in all shapes and sizes. There are some herbs that require a huge amount of space. Other herbs only require a small space. Go to your local book store and find a book on herbs. There are many different types of herbs so it's a good idea to find a book with herb information to start your herb garden. Some greenhouses sell information books as well, so have a look around at your local greenhouse.
Herb use varies. It can be used as a culinary item, for medicinal purposes, for ornamental use or a combination of the above reasons. Determine your reason for growing herbs.
Common culinary herbs include basil, oregano and thyme. These culinary herbs are often sold together in packs in home and garden stores and at local greenhouses. You should do some research before consuming them, however; some people have strange reactions to herbs as with any food newly introduced to their diet.
Common medicinal plants are feverfew, chamomile and echinacea. These are used in teas sometimes to relieve common ailments like headaches or to boost the immune system. As with culinary herbs, doing some research can help determine if the type of herb is safe and right for you, and if it will grow well in your climate.
Herbs are often grown for ornamental use as well. Quite a few herbs will flower and can be used for crafts. Most culinary herbs and medicinal herbs mentioned above flower. Some other common flowering herbs are anise, chives, lavender and borage.
- By Seed or Plant. Herbs can be grown from seed or be transplanted as plants. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages.
Buying seeds is cheaper than buying plants, but the herbs will take longer to grow. Plants give a head start to your herb garden; they allow for quicker and earlier production.
You generally have to plant the herbs inside or in a warmer spot until the weather warms up for the earliest production. But you can plant by seed once the weather warms up.
- Where to Buy Herb Plants or Seeds. You can buy herbs seeds and plants just about anywhere. Check your local greenhouses for a better selection. Any home and garden store or even some farmer's markets have herbs for sale. Search the Internet for your favorite garden catalogs and shopping places where you'll find the best herb prices.
- Price of Herbs. Prices of herbs vary depending on many factors including location and type of herb. A typical range for herbs is anywhere from a dollar for seeds and common herbs to a few dollars for more unusual herbs or herb plants. You will generally pay more for unusual herb plants or uncommon herbs in your area.
- Other Tips for Growing Herbs. As a general rule, most herbs love warmer weather, although some common herbs such as parsley and cilantro love cooler weather. Make sure all chances of frost have passed before setting herb plants outside.
To avoid transplant shock, you want to harden off your herb plants. This means getting the plant used to conditions outside. It is especially necessary to do this when you have started the herbs inside. To gradually acclimate your herbs, set the plants outside for a few days. Bring them in the first few nights and eventually leave them outside all day and night. Then transplant them into their permanent spots.
To help retain moisture for the herbs, it might be a good idea to mulch them. You can use wood mulch or even paper mulch. Raised beds are great for herbs because they help to control moisture, pests and warmth of the bed.