Know Your Flora:
What Every Beginner Should Know About Gardening Herbs
The subject of gardening herbs is simple and tricky at the same time. The most important rule is that you have to know your herbs. Think about what you will be using these herbs for, and how often you will be using them. Answers to these questions will help you figure out which herbs to plant and in what quantities.
If you're just starting out, choose herbs that are easy to grow and can be used for cooking. Successfully growing herbs will give you a sense of accomplishment, and being able to use these herbs in an everyday activity will help you get into the spirit of gardening herbs. Try planting some basil, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage, tarragon, and mint for starters. These herbs are often used in cooking, and they don't require a significant amount of attention.
When selecting herbs for your garden, also consider soil and water. Gardening herbs successfully can depend on the quality of your soil, and how easily water is drained. You never want to flood your herb plants because no herb grows well in wet soil. Check on how rich your soil is. Don't worry about it not being extremely fertile, you can always add fertilizer or compost. If you're worried about the soil in your garden, have it tested and look into what you will have to do in order to create a good home environment for your herbs.
While this sounds fun and easy enough, the tricky part comes in when working with many herbs in a large garden. There is such a thing known as companion planting. This means that certain plants work well together. Living side by side, some plants are mutually beneficial to each others existence. This is the same with herbs. Some herbs work very well together, while others try to claim the spotlight. While most herbs like a lot of sunlight, some herbs need a bit less, need cool temperatures, and do not withstands the night time chills very well.
A good way to figure out which herbs go well together is to look at dishes. For example, most Mediterranean dishes have rosemary, oregano, and basil in them. These herbs are native to that area of the world, which means they naturally grow together. This means that they will also grow well together in your garden. Other herbs do very well when planted next to certain flowers or vegetables. Ask your local gardening supply store for a list of herbs that go well together, and which herbs will do well in your local climate.
Also be wary of herbs that tend to take over your whole garden, like mint. If you want to contain your herb garden plants, then keep it neat by planting them in pots and then placing the pots into the ground (more details on this in further sections.)
At the end of it, when gardening herbs as a past time make sure you are having fun and that it relaxes you, and that the herbs are of benefit to your household too!