How To Start Your Own Herb Garden
You don’t have to be a seasoned gardener to try your hand at growing herbs. Most herbs need just two ingredients, sunlight and good soil, which is why creating your own herb garden is a simple way to bring gorgeous greenery into your home.
Herbs are the perfect way to elevate everyday dishes and drinks, and we have plenty of tips to send you on your way to starting a herb garden all of your very own. Think soups, stir-frys, pasta dishes, and refreshing mocktails and juices, which can all be enhanced by mixing in some fresh herbs.
Growing your own herbs means they’re always within easy reach; plus, they’re really decorative, good for your mood, and smell heavenly. And, by growing your own, you'll also save money and help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic wasted when buying pre-packaged herbs!
First things first, you’ll need to decide whether you’re growing your herbs inside or out. Maybe you want to create a kitchen garden on top of a shelf or window sill, or perhaps you want to bring some colour and shape to a balcony space or patio area? Growing herbs is a lot simpler than it might seem, and you really don’t need lots of room or tools to get started.
Inside or out?
Choose somewhere that gets around six or more hours of daylight every day - windowsills and sunny garden spots are perfect. If you’re choosing somewhere outdoors, you might want to consider its location. Herbs, like mint, can get a bit carried away, and light and water can make them grow at a rate of knots, so you’ll need to keep on top of pruning or be able to move them to a bigger space.
Picking your herbs for that Sunday roast or spaghetti bolognese means they need to be close to hand, so find a spot that’s easy to reach, such as near the kitchen. The scent is one of the great things about having a herb garden, aside from the constant supply of fresh ingredients. So you may want to choose a place where you sit; that way, even when you’re not picking herbs to eat and cook in meals, you can enjoy their fragrance.
Herbs are a great way to garden if you’re short on space, from pots on a balcony and herbs in hanging baskets to upcycled wooden pallets or just hanging off fencing in a box; just remember, it’s all about that good drainage! And, whilst glass jars might look pretty, they don’t have any drainage, so make sure you have the right foundations.
What to grow? Which herbs are easiest?
Basil - Originally from India, this distinctive herb loves British soil and is perfect for pasta dishes and tomato sauces.
Parsley - Works best in well-drained and moist soil; parsley is a hardy biennial and tastes delicious in stews and fish dishes.
Thyme - This classic herb loves well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine. It adds delicious flavour and fragrance to soups, roasts and even pizzas!
Rosemary - An evergreen shrub that works perfectly by a front or back door (like a warm and delicious welcome); it pairs brilliantly with roast lamb and chicken.
Mint - No herb garden would be complete without the fragrant and soothing taste of mint. Ideal in sauces, salads, and also brewed as a tea. But be warned, if it’s not looked after, it can grow like mad.
Dill - A hardy annual that’s versatile and fragrant, dill is the perfect accompaniment to any fish dish.
Sage - A member of the mint family, sage is an evergreen shrub that can be picked all year round. It brings a beautiful shade to a herb garden and works wonderfully in pork dishes and even as a garnish.
Chives - Low maintenance, hardy, and great chopped up in a classic potato salad.
Coriander - Best known for its appearance in Indian dishes, it loves fertile soil and plenty of sun.
From Tiny Seeds
There is something incredibly satisfying about growing your herbs from seeds, and whilst it’s cheaper, it does require a little extra patience.
Here are a few fresh tips for creating an indoor or outdoor herb garden.
- You’ll want to plant the seeds into small containers and give them around five inches of water every week.
- Once they start to sprout, you can transfer them to your outside garden or repot them in larger containers.
- Opt for potting compost over garden soil; herbs tend to prefer fluffier, fertile, and well-drained soil.
- A delicate balance between just the right amount of water and too much. If the leaves start to yellow, then lessen the amount of water you give them.
- For outdoor herb gardens, start in the spring and enjoy the fruits/herbs of your labour come summer.
- And for indoor, well, you can start at any time so long as there are around six hours of sunlight in your chosen spot.
- Add markers, so you know what seeds you’ve planted - labelling them up at the start is always helpful, but once they start to grow, you can tell by the shape and smell!
Creating a herb garden is such a simple way to bring fragrance and flavour to your home and home cooking. A great stress reliever, this mindful activity not only encourages greenery in and around your home but also means no more boring dinners whilst soothing the soul!