Make your own herb garden in four simple steps – but take care with mint

By Staff

The convenience of stepping into your garden to pluck fresh basil or oregano for your home-cooking is something that appeals to most of us. And with Spring now finally here why not create your own herb garden

Nothing complements home-cooking quite like the taste of fresh herbs – and growing them in your own garden is a cinch!

There’s a real appetite for herb gardens at the moment, with internet searches rocketing up some 200 per cent over the past three months alone. The convenience of stepping into your garden to pluck fresh herbs for your culinary creations is something that appeals to most of us. Plus the simple act of tending to the plants serves as a real stress-buster, promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and a sense of accomplishment.

So whether you want a steady supply of basil or would like to try your hand at growing mint, Lucy Rhead – gardening enthusiast at Gtech – has provided the following top tips of how best to achieve this.

1. Choose spring-friendly herbs

Much like with certain fruits and veg, herbs are at their best when grown in-season. That means your first task when creating a herb garden is to, well, choose the right herbs!

Don’t worry, though, as there are plenty of amazing herbs that are excellent choices for spring planting. We’re talking about the likes of parsley, chives, mint, and thyme – the linchpins of many herb gardens across the country. These seeds are resilient, versatile, and will flourish in the milder temperatures and increased sunlight.

2. Pick out the perfect spot

Next on your herb garden to-do list is to find the perfect spot for your herbs to thrive. As a general rule, your herbs will need to be placed in well-drained soil and receive at least six hours of sunlight every day. That means you need to avoid the corners of your garden that are always cast in shadow throughout the day, picking a potential suntrap instead.

You also need to think about your own convenience. For example, you won’t want to pick a spot down the bottom end of the garden, meaning you’re constantly traipsing up and down to tend to them. If possible, try placing your herb garden close to your kitchen for easy access while cooking.

3. Partner up your planting

With your herbs at the ready and your location finalised, you can start to think about actually planting the seeds. But first, let’s quickly touch upon companion planting and how it can impact the health of your herb garden.

Essentially, companion planting is all about how you place certain plants together to enhance growth, as a result of each plant’s complementary characteristics. For example, planting rosemary with basil actually encourages the basil to grow, while sage can promote the growth of oregano.

On the other hand, there are also herbs that should not be planted together. For instance, mint is an aggressive spreader (they grow fast and wide), which means they can steal water and sunlight from nearby herbs. So, research your chosen herbs carefully to find the best and worst planting partnerships.

4. Consider container gardening

The beauty of a DIY herb garden is that you don’t need acres of space to get growing. Even if you only have a balcony, you can still bring the seeds to life.

Instead of growing in the ground, you can add your herb seeds to a container, such as a planter or a window box. Not only does this method take up less space – making it perfect for small gardens – but containers also offer more flexibility, allowing you to freely move your herbs into optimal conditions. Just ensure your containers have proper drainage and you use high-quality potting mix for your herbs.

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