What is the most important ingredient in your best dish?

We won’t be surprised if you said thyme or curry or the perfect ending to the perfect plate of jollof rice- bay leaves!

Do you know what all these have in common? They are herbs, and in case you’ve been wondering if ever you could have your own herb garden, it’s high time you stopped wondering because you actually can!

Here is a concise guide to starting your own herb garden.

But before we proceed, do you know that at Omar gardens, we have well trained professionals that can help take your gardening game to the next level, for a very affordable sum? Now you know! Get in touch with us by clicking the link here.

We’re back to the concise guide to starting your own herb garden.

Herbs are quite easy to grow as they require only the four basic needs of a plant: a little sunshine, a soil that drains well, some watering and a little fertilizer or compost.

Herbs are pot and ground friendly but this depends largely on the type of plant in question- potting some plants can cause them to be very unhappy and this could lead to them having a stunted growth. (Not good.)

Here are some basic tips you need to start a simple herb garden

Plan

Planning is key when it comes to starting an herb garden.

Just like building a house, getting married or starting a business, planning is key when it comes to starting an herb garden.

You need to figure out what sort of plants grow well in your area, once you’ve figured this out it’s pretty much a happy ride from this point. Now you know the herbs you want to plant out of the many list of the ones you can grow in your area.

The next step in planning is to figure out where you would love to do the planting itself.

The major requirement for growing herbs is growing them in the proper location. Most herbs prefer a place that affords them enough sunshine. Once that is considered, you would want to ensure that there is a water source nearby or make a provision to get one close to your preferred location.

The most important tip in regards to location is to pick a place that is near your kitchen. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to sprint around the entire house to snip a handful of basil for your rice stew.

A container garden could be quite handy for a beginner as you can move your pots around until you’ve gotten the right spot.

Final tip on planning – plant only those things you would love to eat! The more you love to eat them, the better you’ll take care of them.

Prepare your garden

You could get good soil from anywhere, just make sure it’s dark and loamy!

Once you’ve done the hard work of research, it’s time to get your hands dirty. The first thing you’ll need to do if you will be planting on the ground directly is to rid the ground of debris once you’ve done this, it’s time to turn your soil over, you’ll find it easier to do with a shovel and a rake for spreading the soil after it has been turned.

For a first time gardener however, you will need to totally get rid of the top layer of your ground to avoid a weed problem. To do this, remove the top ground layer, then turn the soil that’s left and introduce new soil as the soil layer. You could get good soil from anywhere just make sure it’s dark and loamy.  

Show some love to the soil

To get the best out of your soil, you need to pamper it!

To get the best of your soil, you need to pamper it.

The best way to pamper your soil however is through the use of compost. Starting a compost process could however be a hard gruelling work but the end result is a perfect love relationship between your plants and your soil. (it’s totally worth it!)

So to do this, you need a compost bin where you would toss your plant scraps, worms and other nasty organic things in. Over time, you’ll turn the bin over and the clue on when to use it is when it looks really black and rich. At that point, you’ll spread it all over your garden patch. (easy!)

Plant your herb garden

Don’t be in a rush when it’s time to plant, check your seed labels for necessary information.

Once you’ve gotten all the steps ahead correctly, it’s now time to do the actual planting!

To correctly plant your herbs, check the plant tags for the information on spaces to keep between each plants. Dig a hole, and then plant the herb to the same depth that it was in its previous container, and then gently pat down the soil around the plant. This works well for when you are not planting from seed which is more advisable for herb planting. It is better to transplant a seedling than to grow from seed when it comes to herbs.  

Show your plant some love

Feed your plant its liquid food!

Always keep an early morning date with your plants to check if they need watering. If you notice dryness in the top inch of the soil, water thoroughly. Plants in containers tend to dry out more quickly than those that are planted in- ground.

Feed the plant some liquid plant food every week or two to ensure a strong and healthy growth all through the season.

Harvest frequently

Your herb grows more healthier when it gets a frequent haircut.

Your herbs look finer and grow much healthier when they get a frequent haircut.

The bushier and thicker your herbs looks the healthier they truly are. To achieve that bushy look that your herb should have, harvest in the morning, and never remove more than one third of the plant so it can recuperate and continue to grow through the season. Also, never allow your herbs to flower unless you planted them for ornamental purposes. The moment they begin to flower, snip off the flowers, that way, you’ll have better, larger and sweet tasting leaves.

Finally, you need to always keep in mind that there are no gardening mistakes, only experiments. So get diggin’!