Top Tricks for Better Herb Gardening
Do you like the idea of growing and cooking your own herbs, rather than spending a lot of money for them? A kitchen garden of your own guarantees freshness and the confidence of knowing where your plants come from. With a little know-how and patience, you can even create your own essential oils using herbs you grew yourself.
Choose seeds and seedlings from sustainable sources in your area. Your local plant nurseries are likely to have these. Start with one or two herbs you're likely to use the most. Parsley and oregano are tried and true favorites. If growing outdoors, bring in a sample of your soil and ask the experts which plants are best for it, and how to fertilize and improve the soil. Apartment dwellers can grow herbs in containers with generic potting soil.
Growing from seeds takes longer than seedling plants but is less expensive and more satisfying when you see your baby plants first poke their heads above the soil. Seeds are also better if you're growing perennials such as oregano, mint, or chives. Some can be grown from cuttings. Many people start herb gardens indoors during the last part of winter or early spring, transplanting outside when warmer weather arrives.
Most herbs should be planted in an area that gets full sun. Some like mint or parsley don't need quite as much and you should grow outdoors if at all possible. Your plants will produce better, attract helpful bees and butterflies, and prevent soil erosion. If growing indoors, put your garden in a sunny window. If you don't have one, get a grow lamp.
Keep herbs well-watered, allowing them to dry out somewhat between watering times. Check for bugs often, even indoors. If spiders set up shop near your indoor garden, leave them to it. They're often harmless and will help take care of other pest problems. Economize by making your own compost or natural fertilizers. Crushed eggshells, green tea, and coffee grounds are often used.
Herbs usually keep producing throughout the summer. If you grow annuals, save the seeds for next year's crop. According to doTERRA products, essential oil extraction requires large quantities of your chosen herb, so the more you can plant the better.
You can grow helpful herbs no matter where you live. It is a great way to begin learning about gardening, and it's good for your health, the environment, and your pocketbook.
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