Starting an herb garden is not a difficult task at all once you learn the basics. Herbs are, after all, mostly in the “weed” category, but a few still need something close to their native growing conditions to thrive. It might not be something you understand right away. There are also some mistakes beginners tend to make, which can severely affect the quality of your herbs. Make sure you are avoiding these common herb garden mistakes.
Not Choosing the Right Herb
There are two ways to grow herbs; you can start them as a seed or get a starter plant and get it established sooner. If you don’t have experience growing plants from seed you might want with that latter option. While starting your herbs garden from plants is definitely easier than growing from a seed, you still need to make sure you have chosen a quality, healthy plant to start with. Just choosing any seedling, regardless of its foliage or color, is a very common mistake people make when they are new to growing an herb garden. This plant can make or break the success of your herb.
Placing All the Herbs in One Location
Here is another mistake you need to be careful of. Most herbs will grow good in sunlight, but not all of them grow good in containers, indoors, or in the shade. If your only option is to grow your herbs in containers on the patio where there is more shade than direct sunlight, then go with herbs that are good in the indirect sunshine or shade. This includes parsley, thyme, chives, and mint. Then there are some herbs that grow best in dry soil, like rosemary, you won’t want to put that next to something that needs more moisture, like marshmallow.
Failing to Prune the Herbs
Herbs can be left in your yard for quite a long time, but it does not mean you just leave them alone and let them grow crazy. Some herbs need to be kept pruned and trimmed on a regular basis, so check them every few days and see how their growth habit is coming along. Pruning herbs is simply removing overgrowth and getting rid of dead or diseased stems and leaves. Sometimes, you will prune just by removing leaves that you intend to use for cooking or medicinal purposes, leaving the rest on the plant. If you don’t need them for a while, trim the herbs and dry them so you can preserve them for use in your favorite recipes later.
You should never, under any circumstances, use chemicals on herbs intended for cooking! Many herbs are used to cook or bake with, top salads and soups, and even mix into smoothies, juice, or infused water. If it is something you intend to ingest, never use any type of insecticide or chemicals on the plants.
Even if you plan to use the herbs for tinctures or for infusing in oil, the chemicals will follow them into your jar and into your body. Not good. Avoid these common herb garden mistakes and enjoy a wonderfully productive and healthy herb garden.