herb gardening

Herb gardening for beginners: Everything about growing herb

A complete Guideline on Herb gardening for beginners, how to grow herbs in Garden: Plants are of different types. Different plants grow in different climates and conditions. Plants around the whole world are categorized into three broad categories. These three categories are

  • Tree
  • Shrub
  • Herb  

Tree: Trees are those plants that are large in size, can live for a long time, have woody trunks, so many branches or a single tall trunk, deep root system spread into the inner layers of the soil.

Shrub: shrubs are medium in size not as large as a tree. They seem to be really bushy in appearance. Shrubs do not have large trunks. From the basal portion of the plant, they start producing profuse branches and get a bushy structure. They are sometimes woody and sometimes not. But are very much preferable for landscape designing also in garden borders.

Herb: Herbs are small-sized plants. Most herbs are soft succulent delicate plants. In some of the cases, herbs with strong and stout stems are seen. Herbs can be annual, biennial, or perennial. Annual herbs live for just one year, they give birth to a new generation and die. Biennial herbs live for more than one year but less than two years. After that, they die. And the perennial herbs live for many years. They lead to many generations.

Herb gardening for beginners: Basic tips for growing herb

Herbs are a very appropriate choice for gardening. So gardening with herbs is a good idea. Gardening is a practice of decorating a place with various kinds of plants. Flower plants, fruit plants, vegetables, ornamental plants, etc. It can be a mind freshening hobby of someone. Its like book reading. Like books gardening also enhances the knowledge house of a man with new knowledge. Many people in leisure time spend their time working in the garden. So it is a great practice to make a garden inside a house balcony or on a terrace or in the yard of the house.

Herb gardening for beginners

Preparation for herb gardening

A garden can be made at the terrace of a building if there is no open place in the surrounding of a house or building. Also in building apartment balconies are very suitable for making a garden. Children can also play there in the garden. Some houses have an open yard in the front. Open yards are the best place for gardening in full charm.

If the house has a large area in front of it then a garden can be easily planned on that space. Adjustment according to the house view can be explored. It can be an intelligent concept if the garden is added to the decoration of a house building. It will be a splendid attachment to the exterior designing of a house. Children can play inside or beside the garden. The house members will have a fresh feeling both early in the morning or in the evening. A peaceful mindset can be initiate by garden making.

Site selection for herb gardening

Site selection for herb gardening

Weather condition or environment: Place selection for a garden doesn’t tell about the environment existing in that place. For that knowledge, we should go through the site selection for the garden. When the possible places for gardening are considered then it becomes necessary to know about the weather condition or the environment of those places. These criteria will be included in site selection.

Sweet sunny place: A garden is happy if it is made in a sweet sunny place. That means the place won’t be too sunny or too much shady. It should have moderate sunlight. The site of the east side or site of the south side should be selected for gardening. On the east, it will have the morning sun which is very much essential or effective for herbaceous perhaps all plants. And on the south side, the garden will be enriched with soft sunlight all day.

Drainage condition: The site should be open. No garbage or poisonous particles should exist around. As herbs are so delicate in nature, proper assurance should be imposed that they do not get flooded by the rain. That means the drainage condition of the site has to be outstanding. The site should be in a higher position to drain out the excess water.  Otherwise, the waterlogged condition will destroy the plants and the whole garden.

Preferable soil texture: The site should have a preferable soil texture that can provide a good supply of nutrients to the plant from time to time. Sandy loam soil is the best choice for herb gardening. Again the site should be free from various insect pests or animals. Also, a shady place is not preferable for gardening. Shabby places always contain various microorganisms that will cause diseases to the plants and the seeds. So the selection of a fruitful site is of great importance in garden planning. Then the gardening will be successful.   

Soil preparation for herb gardening

Soil preparation for herb gardening

Sandy loam soil: Knowing the soil texture is very important for gardening purposes. Without exploring the soil condition gardening will be difficult. The texture of the soil should be sandy loam for gardening. Sandy loam soil is best in water and nutrient holding capacity. As herbs will be selected for this garden herbs’ preferences will be highlighted.

Removing wastage material: Soil should be prepared well for herbs. For the preparation of the soil first, all the existing plants or objects on the land should be removed. Plastic bags, chips packet, plastic bottles of cold drinks or water, other paper materials all must be removed clearly from the site. Now if the soil contains weeds or other grass plants on it they are also about to be removed.

Removing weeds: Weed removal should be performed very strictly. Otherwise, the residue of weeds will disturb the herbs of the garden in the future by competing with them for water and nutrients. For reducing this competition no stubbles are allowed in that soil. Now it is a fact that the residues can be used as organic fertilizer in that soil for enhancing the fertility of the soil. But this is not suggested to be a good idea.

Weeds are very much quick growing, and they have a variety of propagating material in them. That is they can easily regrow from the residues. It is not a matter to think from what it will regenerate. A single root or a stem or a tuber or even a leaf is enough for their regeneration. And as they are quick growing and vigorous they will consume the nutrients in the soil before the herbs do. The same thing for water absorption also. Due to this phenomenon weeds are needed to be completely removed from the soil.  

Plowing the soil: After cleaning the things the soil should be plowed very nicely to remove all the clumps of it. To break down the compaction of the soil. As herbaceous plants are small they have small roots also. Some are tap-rooted and some are of fibrous-rooted. But the roots in both cases are not large and tough enough. So the soil should be pulverized very well. If not than the herbs will find difficulty in penetrating their roots into the soil after germination. Also, they won’t be able to uptake water and nutrient properly if they can not spread the root uniformly at their point.

Fertilizing the soil for herb gardening

soil for herb gardening

Application of NPK fertilizer: Before putting the seeds of the herb plants the soil should be enriched with nutrients. Before 30 days of seed, sowing soil should be mixed with NPK fertilizers. And also an effective amount of organic matter. Nitrogenous, potash, and phosphate fertilizers are added to the soil in a 10:10:10 ratio. These are the major nutrient particles for the plant.

Application of other fertilizers: Other major nutrients like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen are taken from the air by the plant and less requiring major nutrients are magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur. Boron, copper, zinc, etc are minor nutrients of the plant. These nutrients should be added to the soil before planting for better growth and development of herbs.

Herb selection for herb gardening

The choice of herb depends on the taste of the garden owner. The owner can be in love with flower herbs of he can be in love with vegetable herbs. Again there are some owners who are in love with culinary herbs. Some owners prefer to cultivate both flowers and vegetables in their gardens. The people living in western countries prefer to grow vegetables in their garden as the cost of buying vegetables from super malls is very much higher. They create a balcony garden themselves and grow various seasonal vegetables in their garden. Flower herbs are chosen when the garden is for beautification purposes.

A list of flower herbs

  1. Marigold,
  2. Chrysanthemum
  3. Calendula
  4. Flox
  5. Button flower
  6. Thorium
  7. Ester
  8. Snowball flower
  9. Salvia
  10. Cosmos
  11. Lavender
  12. Football lily
  13. Day lily
  14. Lilium
  15. Aram lily

List of vegetable herbs

  1. Tomato
  2. Bottle gourd
  3. Eggplant
  4. Potato
  5. Sweet potato
  6. Okra
  7. Sponge gourd
  8. Snake gourd
  9. Ridge gourd
  10. Bitter gourd
  11. Squash
  12. Pumpkin
  13. Wax gourd

List of culinary herbs

  1. Coriander leaf
  2. Mint
  3. Asparagus
  4. Spinach
  5. Basil
  6. Rose marry
  7. Aloe vera etc.

These plants are very popular in both gardening and kitchen purpose.

11 Most popular herbs

People love to grow such herbs in their garden. A discussion can be made about some very popular and important herbs growing into the garden. For example-

1. Marigold

Marigold is a herbaceous plant with pale green leaves and golden orange flowers. It has varietal differences in flower size and color. There are some varieties of marigold which have so much bigger sized flower. They look like big balls in hand. Again there are some varieties that have smaller flowers on them. In color differences, some marigolds are golden orange in color and some are bright yellow in color.

Herb gardening

Marigold is a multipurpose flower. It has so many beneficial sides along with beautification. Marigold plant is the best choice for a huge garden entrance. It may be sown as a borderline of a garden. Every month it initiates the blooming of profuse flowers. Sometimes flower quantity in this small plant is so much that leaves are not seen. They got covered under the flowers. 

2. Chrysanthemum

Herb gardening

It is a herb having lovely floral parts. They have multicolored flower varieties. Pink, violet, white, yellow are the color of the chrysanthemum flowers. These are small-sized plants creating a nice appearance in the garden. They have not scanted flowers but are beautiful to look at. These plants have medicinal value also. The juice of chrysanthemum cures cancer in the long run.

3. Ester

Herb gardening

This is also a herbaceous plant. Very much similar to the chrysanthemum flower. But the light violet color of this flower makes an elegant look inside the garden. Possibly this plant can create a rich look inside the garden. Petals are soft and the center of the flower is thick and yellow. It is a little expensive than the other flowers.

4. Calendula

Herb gardening

Calendula is a small sunflower-like flower. They create a similar look as sunflower. but are very small in size. These are the herbaceous plants that enhance the beauty of the garden at a great level. They are like yellow bulbs in the garden. People who do not like the flower scant can try this flower in their garden. Also, it is cost-effective.

5. Lilium

Herb gardening

It is a herbaceous plant with succulent leaves. The flower grown on these plants are very much nice to see. Various colors like white, yellow, pink are available for this plant. Flowers look very stylish in the garden. A soothing plant with appreciating beauty.

6. Lavender

Herb gardening

People who love flowers with fragrance can make an appropriate choice by lavender cultivation in their garden. Lavender is violet-colored slender flowers when fully bloomed. It has a fresh scant diffusing from it. That helps us to calm down. this plant is very good for our mental health. Having this on a garden is like an achievement.

7. Tomato

Tomato is the most popular vegetable across the world. It is a favorite fruit in some countries, a favorite vegetable in some country also a favorite food ingredient in a country. So in some instances, a question arises what is a tomato, a fruit, or a vegetable? Tomato is multipurpose. When eaten cooked then it is a vegetable and when eaten raw it is a fruit.

Herb gardening

Having a tomato plant in the garden is a blessing. Tomato is a winter herb. It gives fruiting in the winter season. But nowadays some summer varieties are also seen. Also, the winter varieties are cultivated in summer by optimizing the required environment artificially. In the kitchen garden, or in the house balcony or terrace tomato can be easily grown.

8. Eggplant

Herb gardening

Another favorite vegetable is eggplant. These plants are called eggplants because the fruit of the plant looks like an egg. The color of the fruit in some varieties is also white, so the name is very popular throughout the world. The other name of this plant if brinjal. It is also grown in the garden especially in the regions of Asia.

9. Potato

Herb gardening

Potato is also a herbaceous plant. That produces tuber which we eat. It is a carbohydrate-rich vegetable. Potato is a very popular food in view of industrial purposes. It is the third most grown agronomic crop after wheat and rice. So it can be an economic idea of growing potatoes in the garden. In winter potato sets tuber under the soil. It needs a good mulching condition in growing.

10. Cucurbits

Cucurbits are annual herbs. Bottle gourd, pumpkin, squash, bitter gourd, and all the gourds are called cucurbits. These are annual growing plants. After giving fruit they die. But the vegetables coming from these plants are very nutritious and tasty also. They are fleshy and quick perishable so storage of these vegetables should be accurate to increase the shelf life of them.

Herb gardening

These plants also need great protection from insects and viruses. Insects can cause total damage to the garden. Mostly in winter, these plants are very popular. The nutrients man should have in winter are available in these vegetables.

11. Culinary herbs

Culinary herbs are those plants which have a storehouse of nutrient inside the leaves of the plant. For example like coriander leaf, mint leaf. A feeling of refresh ness is provided by the coriander leaves. Chopping them and added to the desired meal is a very good choice. Especially in fish dishes, they include an extra refreshing flavor.

Herb gardening

Mint leaves induce a fresh breath and cooling of the body. Similarly, other culinary herbs have some special benefits. So people like to grow them in their garden place. Aloe vera is a medicinal succulent herb that is used by people for various purposes. The juice of it is drunk by people, it gives release from various diseases also in cosmetic purposes this plant is used. In the balcony garden, It is a very common thing that people rear aloe vera.

Sowing seeds for herb gardening

Seed soaking in water: After well preparing the land for gardening or the pot for growing the herb plants then the seeds of the desired herb should be sown. The plants which are selected for gardening should be well known. That means the whole growing procedure of the plant should be known well. The seeds should be soaked in water one day before sowing the seeds. It will ensure the softening of the seed coat.

The softening of the seed coat is very essential for seed germination. The embryo of the seeds if not find it easy to rupture the seed coat then the formation of the seedling will be failed. At least 8 hours of soaking should be done if 24 hours is not possible.

Sowing seeds: Different plants demand different sowing procedure. Some need pits for getting sown, some are satisfied with just being broadcasted, again some need a light spreading of soil over them. Flower seeds need 8-15 days to germinate and vegetables need 8-10 days for germination. The culinary herbs have so many propagating organs including seeds. So they can be easily grown by those propagules.

Application of water: After sowing the seeds sprinkle of water should be provided for the appropriate moisture level. The application of water is very necessary for plants that are adaptable to the existing environment of the garden or pots chosen for cultivation. Otherwise, the gardening will not work out.

Caring for herbs

Regular watering the plants: After germination in a few days, the plants will have a height towards the light. If the required thing is supplied to the plants timely they will have a happy face in the garden. Herbs need watering per day to grow well. That’s why watering the plants regularly should be imposed.

Controlling insect pests: Again herbs are very much susceptible to insect pests. As they are soft succulent to some extent the insects find them tasty to eat. If not controlled insects become very much voracious to the plants. and destroy them before flowering and fruiting. Also at the time of reproduction of the plants’ insects are very much active. So pesticides are recommended if the population is not controllable in an organic way.

Controlling diseases: Herbs are so much vulnerable to diseases. They are attacked with fungus, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes very easily. So proper application of fungicide, bacteriocide, nematicide should be emphasized.

Application of fertilizers: Plants in the garden need fertilizer as their food after a certain time. We need to test on soil for gardening before the application of fertilizers. If the soil is not much fertile then the fertilizer requirement is very much on that side.

Regular cutting and sizing

Cutting off tips: Some herbs like cucurbits are very positive in tip cutting off the growing branches. Regular visits and cutting off the tip of the growing branches accelerate the growth of a female flower. That means more female flowers will ensure more fruit production in time. Some flower herbs follow the same thing. The apical dominance if removed more branches and more flowers are induced.

Pruning and training: To make the garden look more beautiful pruning and training of plants are required. Without it, the garden will look like a forest after a certain time. The hedge plants are maintained by regular training pruning practices perfect appearance. You can use the best gas hedge trimmer to perform this work properly. Some herbs are trailing type those plants are to be tied with a bearer. So it can climb up and develop.

Final verdict

Herbs are very effective plants in the garden and also economic. By proper care and management practices, herbs provide the owner with a great environment. The owner can make himself refresh in the garden. Gardening also removes depression. Herbs are eye-soothing. 

Abraham M. Johnson
 

Abraham is a professional gardener and his hobby is indoor and outdoor gardening! He has been gardening for the last 5 years and he loves to decorate the home by gardening as well. Based on his experience with different types of gardens; he is sharing his thought and opinion about various gardens care tips and tools so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on twitter here. Happy reading!

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