herb garden in pots

Starting A Herb Garden As A Beginner

Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Real Men Sow

For any kitchen gardener, fresh herbs from the garden are a must. A new herb garden can be prepared and planted in a matter of minutes and at a very low cost.

Where To Plant Your Herb Garden

The ideal spot for herb-growing is one that gets plenty of sunlight and is close to your home. This is because your herbs will be easier to harvest when you need them. 

What Soil Should You Use For Herb Garden

Rich soil is not necessary for herbs, that’s why you don’t need to use your finest compost to grow them. Average garden soil will work fine as long as it drains well. It might be worth adding some general-purpose potting mixture with added grit if you are growing Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary or lavender.

You can easily grow herbs to reduce your costs by using grocery store herbs, cuttings, or dividing plants.

Can You Use Grocery Store Herbs In Your Herb Garden

Let’s begin with the grocery store herbs. You’ll be able to see clusters of young plants all packed together in one pot if you pay attention. These living herbs can be sown, grown, and then sold on without being thinned out. The herbs will soon die if they are left overcrowded and will last longer if you carefully separate them and replant them.

How To Add Herbs

First, wash off the potting mixture by running the root ball in the water. It makes it easier to separate the plants so that they can be potted up separately and grown on. Take the plants apart and divide them into three to four clumps. Then, you can pot them up in a fresh potting mixture.

To encourage new, healthy growth, cut back the majority of the top foliage. This is particularly useful for herbs that are difficult to grow from cuttings, such as parsley or coriander. In a matter of weeks, they will be ready for transplant.

Propagate Herbs From Cuttings

Cuttings can also be used to propagate new plants. You can take cuttings from your garden plants or use inexpensive packets of herbs from the grocery store.

You can place prepared cuttings of herbs like mint and basil in water, then wait for the roots to grow. This should take approximately two weeks. Once the roots have formed, you can plant them in pots made of fresh potting mixture.

You can also root herbs such as rosemary and thyme in a loose-draining potting mixture (e.g. general-purpose potting mixes with added perlite), and then separate them and plant them in their own pots.

Divide Existing Herbs to Make New Plants

Many times, new plants can be easily propagated by lifting and dividing existing plants. You can simply lift the entire clump with a garden fork but be careful not to damage the roots. Next, insert two forks in the clump then rock them back and forth to separate pieces. These can be placed in your new herb garden, while the rest of the clump can be replanted back where it came.

This works well with chives, oregano, and creeping varieties of lemon balm. The ideal time to divide plants is towards the end of the growing season. This will allow the soil to warm up but the top growth has slowed down. This will decrease the stress on the plant. Keep your plants well-watered during their establishment.

Plant Up Your New Herb Garden

Sun-loving herbs should not be overshadowed. To ensure this, arrange them in order of height. Taller herbs, such as rosemary or mint, are at the back, and medium-sized herbs, such as basil, parsley, and coriander, are in the middle. Thyme is at the front.

You can take some time to arrange your herbs in their pots so that you have an idea of how they will look once planted. You can then adjust the layout until it suits you.

Mint can be invasive if it isn’t grown in a pot. To avoid this, you can plant them in a large pot and then place the entire pot in your garden. The roots can then move through the holes in your pot to get nutrients and moisture, but they cannot spread out.

Watering Herb Garden

Water them once they are planted to settle the soil and then keep them well-watered as they develop over the coming weeks and months. If they become too leggy, herbs like parsley and basil can be cut. This will encourage them to continue bushing at the base and create stocky plants.

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