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Avoiding these Common Herb Garden Mistakes

Herb Garden Tips-basil-herb

Basil Herb

Garden herbs have such amazing flavors exciting one’s taste buds as the armors emanate from our favorite dishes, herbs can do so much to enhance our foods, are loaded with vitamins, and have healing properties that can promote one’s health naturally.

This is no wonder why so many, persons are either starting a home herb garden or include herbs in their existing garden. Both my wife and I love herbs because we find them to be so beneficial as listed above so we have taken advantage of and started a herb garden of our own.

But in order to grow herbs successfully, there are some dos and don’t we will be discussing to ensure that you can reap a good harvest after you would have put in the work.

How to avoid these mistakes when growing a herb garden

Thyme-my-thyme-and-basil-is-turning-brown

Thyme Herb

  • The location
  • The wrong soil type
  • Watering methods
  • Growing from seeds
  • Choosing plants that are not healthy
  • Overcrowding
  • Invasive herbs
  • Letting herbs flower
  • Delay in harvesting
  • Bugs and Disease
  • The use of chemicals
  • Allowing weeds to take over

The location

The location is so important and should be the first thing to consider when planting not only a herb garden but any garden for that matter. Garden plants whether fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, flowering plants, shrubs, ornamental grass, lawns, etc… require a certain amount of sunlight to grow or perform their best. Get to know the lighting requirements of your herbs and give them that which is one of the key components in growing herbs successfully.

Soil type

Garden soil is at the heart or root of growing successfully, just as different species of plants have their own lighting requirements so it is when it comes to the soil. Many garden failures can be linked or trace back to the wrong soil type. When it comes to herbs the soil should be organically rich. This type of soil will not only supply your herbs with some nutrients but will hold the right amount of moisture but will allow excess moisture to drain through.

Rosemary Herb-herbs-in-hanging-baskets

Rosemary Herb

Water methods

Another important factor to consider is the amount of water you are giving your herbs, to much water will cause disease issues to arise and lack of water will let to plant death. Get to know the watering needs of your herbs and give them that no more no less. As a set rule however the soil of your herbs should be allowed to dry out somewhat before applying more water.

Growing from seeds

My advice to you when deciding to grow herbs from seeds or seedlings is to go with seedlings because when it comes to seeds you have to be extra careful they are getting the right amount of water and sunlight besides you don’t need a whole package of the same herb seeds when you can get a better head start by purchasing seedlings individually getting only what you need and with seedlings you will get a quicker harvest.

Choosing plants that are not healthy

What you want from the get-go is a good jump or head start and the way this happens is in your selection of herbs. Herbs that are not healthy will have a harder time establishing because of health issues.

When selecting herbs look for signs of disease, if herbs are leggy, have yellow leaves, are root bound, the soil is saturated with water, the leaves and the stems begin to turn black and mushy, the leaves have holes that may indicate the presence of insects or the insects may be seen on the undersides of the leaves a few on the leaves surface and the stem, the leaves may be a pale green instead of a rich dark green then avoid herbs with these issues.

Garlic Field-growing-garlic-next-to-other-plants

Garlic Field

Overcrowding

All garden plants including herbs need proper spacing to grow healthy, a herb garden that is overcrowed will have poor air circulation that will encourage disease. A herb garden that has the proper spacing will not only create an environment that will encourage herbs to thrive but will be easy to maintain as far as keeping the beds free of debris is concerned but will also have a beautiful appearance.

Invasive herbs

It’s a known fact mint will grow and spread and if not cared for in the right way will take over your plant bed chocking other herbs that are in the same bed. When installing herbs get to know their growing habits at maturity this way you will either avoid plant other herbs with them by giving them a bed where they can grow and be free to spread or avoid installing them altogether.

Letting herbs flower

Don’t allow your herbs to flower, when this happens your herbs will spend its energy into seed production which will stop that energy from getting to the leaves and the roots. This will encourage the herbs to stop producing leaves causing herbs to become leggy and tin. Once the flowers remove by pinching.

Delay in harvesting

Chives herb

Chive Herbs

The more you harvest the leaves from your herbs the more they will produce become fluffy or full. This is a great way to have an almost endless supply of your favorite herbs. When harvesting the leaves, remove the mature leaves that are above a set of immature or growing leaves. Also, remove leaves that are about 3 inches above the soil. Infrequent harvesting will also lead to herbs that are leggy, the leaves will begin to shrivel up and fall to the soil surface.

Bugs and Disease

Garden pests and diseases can really damage not only the appearance but the health of herbs. Besides implementing all of the above, that was discussed. Keep an eye out for these issues because from my experience I have learned that even in the best-kept gardens issues such as these can arise.

Do a weekly inspection of your herb garden and take notes, a problem that is dedicated early is easier to deal with than allowing it to prolong and then seeking to implement measures to correct that problem.

The use of chemicals

Chemicals or pesticides have their place in the garden and should be treated with care because a mishandling or misuse of pesticides can cause more harm than good. Many have ruined a herb garden that would have done well because of either not knowing which pesticides to use so instead of treating insect pests they avoided or used pesticides in the wrong manner.

For me, I would rather use organic pesticides or go with homemade remedies, if you are not sure what to use then have a talk with your garden rep or nurseryman but remember if you are purchasing a pesticide ensure that it is organic for use on edible plants, read the instruction first before applying for the best results.

Allowing weeds to take over

Mexican Tarragon-backyard-gardening

Mexican Tarragon

This is an issue that all of us face and that is seeking to keep our gardens weed-free which is impossible. Weeds are always present and will present challenges if not dealt with. No one loves to weed including me.

Weeds compete with garden plants for sunlight, nutrients, and water, weeds also encourages disease and is a hiding place for certain garden insect pests this gives us all the more reason to do all that we can to keep weeds out for herb garden.

There are many ways to approach this but first put a weeding program in place that way when the time comes you can be in your garden removing weeds. Handpicking weeds is laborious but in my opinion, it is the safest way to rid your garden of weeds. I do not advise using weed killers which can get on edible plants causing herb health issues and contamination. Once you have a weeding program in place this will make it easy for you to stay on top of those weeds

The final word on herb garden tips

I believe that we can be successful in our gardens no matter the type, it is all about getting the right knowledge and putting it in place and you have come to the right place for that kind of knowledge. At Eden’s Garden, our goal is to equip you with the right knowledge so you can garden successfully. the information that you receive here will make working in your garden much more enjoyable as you reap a good harvest of the time you invested.

4 comments

  1. Donny says:

    All along I didn’t know that too much water could really have negative impact on herbs, actually I thought there was no such a thing as too much water. Soil type is really another thing that gets me worried so how exactly do i get the right soil type since I already have loam soil, I guess I will have to look herbs that fit what I have. Thank you for these great tips here I have never been really successful in planting any thing but I guess this might just be the turning point.

    1. Norman says:

      Having the right knowledge about proper plant maintenance is the key. The soil type should meet the plants requirements and if you are not sure of the soil type for the plants you are installing is to have a talk with your garden sales rep. I hope this helps.

  2. Diane says:

    Very informative article! I love growing herbs, both indoors and out. We are zone 9, so most of the year we can grow outdoors, but our basil really takes off in the summer. Have you tried to grow any of your herbs indoors in containers? I’m about to try drying some of ours to use later. Any tips on that?

    1. Norman says:

      Thanks so much, for the moment we are growing herbs in containers and will transform them into our outdoor garden. When growing herbs indoors there are a few keys to consider that you will find in this post.
      https://gardenofedengardencenter.com/kitchen-herb-garden#more-35118

      So happy to help and all the best to you.

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