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Growing Herbs: Tips and Ideas for Your Garden

For centuries, herbs have been used to add unique flavors to any dish. These plants are also prized for their healing properties. As growers, we can all agree that herbs make beautiful plants. They're fragrant, versatile, and they don't take a lot of effort to grow.

If you want to build your own herb garden for whatever reason, you came to the right place! Growing herbs is so fun and easy, especially if you’re buying an herb kit! The kit has everything you need to grow and care for different herbs, including kitchen staples basil, parsley, and oregano.

Since herbs take only a short time to grow, you’ll be cooking and dazzling guests with herbed dishes in no time at all. Want to learn more about growing herbs? Here are some tips and ideas for your garden:

Best Places to Grow Herbs

herbs in the garden

Most herbs thrive in full sun, so these are best grown in the sunniest spots in the garden. These areas should receive at least 4 hours of sunlight every day.

Windows facing the south or southwest are the best places to grow a windowsill herb garden. If the spot doesn't receive as much sunlight, then consider installing a type of plant lighting to make up for it.

If you’re thinking about building a windowsill garden, we suggest going for basil, parsley, cilantro, sage, chives, oregano. These herbs love sunny and partially shaded areas. Other herbs could tolerate more sunlight, about 6 to 8 hours a day.

When’s the Best Time to Plant Herbs?

herbs on the window

If you’re planning an outdoor herb garden, then springtime is the best time to plant herbs. But, as long as the soil isn’t frozen, you can start growing the herbs. When you're building a windowsill garden, your primary concern should be the sunlight that the area received daily.

Where to Grow Herbs, Indoors or Outdoors?

herbs placed on the window and basil in the garden

If you want a better yield after the growing season, it’s best to grow herbs outdoors where the plants have more room to grow. But if you want herbs all year round and don’t have a garden, grow the herbs indoors. Either way, herbs will need sunlight and optimal drainage to thrive.

How Often To Water the Herbs?

Woman pouring water on herbs

Once per week should be enough for most herbs or when the soil is dry to the touch. Suppose the weather is too dry and hot, water twice per week. Do your watering during the mornings, between 6 to 10 AM, when the sun isn’t too intense.

What Type of Soil to Grow Herbs?

Woman putting seeds in the pot

Different herbs have different needs, and that includes the soil type. That’s why it’s best to group herbs with similar needs together. Generally, herbs need rich, moist, but well-drained soil. The soil should have a pH between 6 and 7. For mineral deficient plants, do add micronutrient fertilizer.

Growth and Maturation of Different Herbs

Basil

Basil herbs

Basil is loved for its sweet, fragrant foliage and is a staple in Mediterranean, Italian, and Thai cooking. This herb comes in different varieties, so there are slight variations in terms of scent and flavor. Cinnamon, lemon, and purple basil are some of the sweet varieties.

  • Growth type: Annual
  • Germination rate: 5-7 days
  • Indoor planting: 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost
  • Outdoor planting: Anytime before/after the last spring frost
  • Harvest time: 70 to 75 days
  • Sunlight: 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day

Oregano

Oregano herbs in the garden

Oregano has a strong fragrance strong, almost spicy fragrance. It adds a kick of flavor to meats, fish, and poultry. This herb is often used in pasta, soups, and stews too. It’s one of the easiest to grow in a container, perfect for container gardens and windowsill gardens.

  • Growth type: Hardy perennial
  • Germination: 7 to 14 days
  • Indoor planting: 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost
  • Outdoor planting: Anytime before/after the last spring frost
  • Harvest time: 60 days
  • Sunlight: 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day

Cilantro

Bunch of cilantro

A staple in Chinese, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Some like it; others don’t because it can taste fresh, bright, and citrusy to some and soapy to others. When growing cilantro, the thing to remember is to never let it go to flower; otherwise, the flavor will change. If cilantro goes to bloom, you can harvest the coriander seeds, which will appear along the stem in clusters.

  • Growth Type: Annual
  • Germination: 7 to 10 days
  • Indoor Planting Date: Early spring, after the last expected frost
  • Outdoor planting: Anytime before/after the last spring frost
  • Harvest time: 45 to 70 days
  • Sunlight: Full to partial sun 4-8 hours every day

Sage

Sage plant

Not all varieties of sage are edible, but the ones used for cooking are added to soups and stews. Sage has a distinctively bright, minty fragrance that goes well with meats and poultry.

  • Growth Type: Perennial
  • Germination: 10 to 21 days
  • Indoor Planting Date: 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost
  • Outdoor planting: 1 to 2 before the last spring frost
  • Harvest time: 75 days
  • Sunlight: 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day

Chives

Chives and garlic on the top of chopping board

Chives is a drought-tolerant herb that’s closely related to shallots, leeks, garlic, and scallions. It has dark green, thin hollow strands and produces a hearty fragrance similar to onions. It’s mild in flavor, so this herb goes well with poultry and fish. It’s also used as a garnish.

  • Growth Type: Perennial
  • Germination: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Indoor Planting Date: 8 to 10weeks before the last spring frost
  • Outdoor planting: 3 to 4 before the last spring frost
  • Harvest time: 30 days
  • Sunlight: 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day

Parsley

Bunch of parsley herbs

Parsley is often used as a garnish, although it has a distinct flavor on its own. Every dish just looks better with a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top! It’s a slow-growing annual herb, but once it reaches maturity, you’ll never run out of parsley to season your everyday dishes.

  • Growth Type: Annual
  • Germination: 14-30 days
  • Indoor Planting Date: 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost
  • Outdoor planting: 3 to 4 before the last spring frost
  • Harvest time: 70 and 90 days
  • Sunlight: Full to partial sun 4-8 hours every day

Growing herbs is so easy and effortless, especially if you’ve bought herb kits. These kits have all the components you need to grow an entire indoor or outdoor herb garden well beyond the growing season. What are your favorite herbs? For more gardening tips, check out our blog.

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