Before You Start Herb Garden Planting, the 4 Essentials – Sun, Water, Earth and Herbs
The fundamental, elemental and essential “4” of: Starting an herb garden
As we begin this exercise, just how basic should our four elements be? Am I talking about what pots to use? Where to buy herbs? No, even more basic than that. The four elements are contained in the title of this article.
Sun – Where our garden will be Water – The care of our home herb garden Earth – The type and quality of the soil Herbs – The goal or end point. Our reward
Sun – Tips for providing perfect light for herb garden plants
Herbs grown at home require plenty of exposure to the sun, and this is also true for indoor herb gardens. If you have a south or a west facing property, you will have many choices of where to start herb garden planting. You need only to provide the room for your herbs to grow tall without interference or crowding from other plants and shrubs.
For a north or east facing garden, choose a plot for your herb garden that is away from the shadows of your house, fences or large trees.
For indoor herbs grown in pots, a southern or western window will provide your herb seedlings the energy to germinate and grow to maturity. If there is not a suitable source of natural light indoors, a small fluorescent desk light is perfect to germinate and take your plants to healthy seedlings. At that point, a more powerful grow light may be needed to take the herbs to maturity.
Water – How often do herbs need to be watered?
How much water you give your herb garden plants really comes down to the way you prepare the soil where are planted. It is very important for herbs to have soil that allows moisture to travel the full depth of the soil and disperse naturally and not pool or accumulate around the roots.
This well drained environment for the herbs will be helpful to the gardener as well in judging how much and when to water their herb garden. If the surface and first two inches of soil seem dry, you can be confident in supplying water. On the other hand, if the soil does not have enough drainage, the gardener may provide to much water because of not seeing that the roots and deeper part of the soil was already saturated.
Earth – More tips for preparing the soil for planting herbs
Although we have talked about soil preparation in previous articles, there are additional tips that we can cover here. In our efforts to create a well drained garden for our herbs, we discussed placing fine gravel at the base of our indoor pots as well as creating holes in the bottom of the pots or containers. Another tip is to mix sand with our soil to create a lighter and less dense soil when we start herb garden planting. This applies to the outdoor herb garden as well. As you dig holes for planting your herbs, place the removed soil into a wheelbarrow as you dig. Add sand and compost to the garden soil and mix well in the wheelbarrow. Replace your new mix into the holes and begin planting your herb seeds or seedlings.
Herbs – Focusing energy into healthy growth
You have methodically traveled through the “elemental 4” of starting an herb garden and you are now ready to harvest your rewards. It is important that you realize that harvesting herbs is not only beneficial to the gardener, it also focuses the energy within the herb garden plants towards creating even more leaves or foliage.
However, too much of a good thing can injure the plant. Remember to remove no more than approximately 30% of an herb plant’s foliage at each harvest. Because its leaves are like solar panels, removing too many leaves in a harvest can prevent the herbs’ ability to gather and store energy for new growth.
Congratulations are due as you start herb garden planting armed with the confidence building technique of the “fundamental, elemental and essential 4.” I recommend trying this technique in other parts of your life that seem daunting, and I hope it helps you reach, and fly, a little higher.