What is Herb and Medicinal Gardening?

So many of the annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees we grow can really be termed as herbs. Now, that gourmet cooking has taken the world by storm, everyone wants to grow and eat herbs. You too can grow one, with just a little help.

Your Herb Garden:You must consider growing your own herb garden – whether you are looking for mint for your tea, oregano for your sauce or basil for your salad. Fortunately, herbs are easy to grow and you can begin by using small clay pots or you can create a mini garden in a 15-gallon bucket. No matter what you decide, here’s what you must consider:

  • Size: How big do you want your herb garden to be? Do you want to use these herbs for cooking or do you want to sit by them and take in their fragrance? While size is a major consideration, remember that you will be investing a huge amount of time to build and maintain your herb garden.
  • Kind of Herbs: Now, think of the kind of herbs you want to grow. Perhaps you would like to grow the easiest ones -basil, parsley, chive, sage, rosemary, marjoram and thyme. If you use a 15-gallon tub, you can get in a huge variety of herbs which will be deep enough for the water to seep down.
  • Growing Medium: The best growing medium for a herb garden is an equal mix of compost, potting soil and peat moss. Fill the container with the mix and plant the seedlings. Make the hold in the soil real deep, but see that you don’t plant them too deep. Pack down the soil firmly so that you don’t have any air pockets, and water thoroughly. Water the seedlings twice a day, depending on your climate.

Herbs to grow from seed :

Name of the herb When to sow Time to Germinate Used for
Basil Mid may 7 to 10 days To flavor tomato juice and pastes
Thyme Perennial 21 to 30 days To flavor soups and poultry dressing
Chives Perennial 10 days Good for salads, egg dishes and sauces
Dill Perennial 7 to 10 days For pickles and to flavor meats
Marjoram, Sweet Perennial 7 to 10 days To flavor lamb, fish, salads and soups
Sage Perennial 14 days For flavoring chicken, turkey, pork and sausages

Indoor herb gardening:You can grow herbs indoors too, if you don’t have a yard. All you need is a lot of sunlight and a well-drained soil mix. For this, first select a south or west facing window. While in summer, they will have enough light, in winter you might have to put up fluorescent lamps to supplement the little light you get.

Be careful with the amount of water you give each plant-besides, growing plants need more water than those growing in clay pots or hanging baskets. If you mist them and group your plants on a tray full of moistened pebbles, it will keep them humid.
Growing herbs is both an art and a science – when you manage to combine both, it can be a pleasure. So, go ahead and create your own space under the sky.