Home And Garden: Growing An Herb Garden

Learn to grow an indoor or an outdoor herb garden with these simple steps.

First decide if you want an indoor or an outdoor garden. An herb garden does not take up much room so you won't need an entire side of your house to grow something. Take a small section or even plant them in tiny little containers and spread them out throughout the house or yard.

If you've decided to have an outdoor garden, lets pick which herb you'll want.

1. Pick an herb. Fragrant herbs are great because of the scent and because they look pretty. Herb seeds can be found through local seed dealers, friends or even your local store. If it's the scent or decoration that is needed here are two that would be perfect for the home:

Lavender: This plant can grow to be 3 feet tall. If planting more than one you may want to make this herb furthest back in the garden. Smaller versions of this plant are available if you don't want it to grow so tall.

Mint: There are many different types of mint, but the most common are peppermint. This plant will grow anywhere from 1-3 feet tall. Dark purple leaves and white, pink or purple flowers that bloom make this a beautiful herb to grow near your home. This plant is actually very easy to grow but will take the garden if it's allowed. This herb would probably be best as a separate herb. With its beauty it can stand to be alone.

2. Choosing a spot for the herb is very critical. Don't plant lavender in the middle of the garden. It will pop up everywhere. Some herbs thrive in sunlight and others don't care either way. Water is another worry. Don't choose a spot that doesn't drain well for an herb like basil. Make sure to follow the care for each individual herb and find the location that way.

3. Prepare the spot the same way you would if you were planting vegetables. Dig it up, rake it out and

smooth it out. Make sure there are no large rocks, sticks or weeds.

4. Plant seeds, making sure they will get all the sunlight needed. If you bought an herb plant to grow in the garden and not the seed carefully remove it from the pot. Gently squeeze sides and lift out the herb. Transplant it to the designated spot and lightly cover it back up with earth. Pat firmly but don't press it too hard. Water it.

4. Water the herb as much as it calls for, there are normally guidelines to follow on the seed packet or ask the dealer. Never water too much or too little.

5. Watch it grow!

If the decision is growing an indoor garden, you'll need to decide where you want it.

1. Pick an herb, making sure it is one that will grow great indoors and fits the pot.

Here are a few herbs that are great for indoors and beginners:

Bay- It doesn't need a lot of sun and likes cool places. The corner of the room would work great!

Chives- It needs a lot of soil and water. The kitchen would be a great place so you'll always remember to water it.

Parsley- Parsley is fairly easy in most rooms.

Dwarf Mint- Mint likes sun but not direct sunlight, moist soil and coolness. Keep the mint in the windowsill at night and the kitchen counter in the morning.

Thyme- It needs a lot of light and not much water to grow. This is a perfect window plant.

2. Find a good quality container or pot that you want it to grow in. Remember, to make sure it has good drainage. Look at the bottom make sure there are holes.

3. Fill the bottom of the container with rocks. This helps with draining it. Pour in soil and place herb plant or seed in pot. Pack it with earth and pat firmly.

4. Water it often.

5. Watch it grow!

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