How to plan a herb garden

Here are some herbs you may consider:
Actually, there’s a good chance that you don’t need an entire garden devoted to your herbs. If you’re companion planting (such as when you plant certain herbs to repel pests or attract beneficial insects), then plant your herbs among your vegetables or flowers.

Likewise, if you’re just planting a few herbs for kitchen use, you can mix them into your regular flower or vegetable gardens. Some people like to put their herbs on the borders of their gardens (so that they’re easily accessible).

Still other people prefer to create a small herb garden and/or just grow a few herbs in pots on the patios or window sills. Again, this works if you just need a few fresh herbs for kitchen use or decorative purposes. However, if you plan to freeze or dry herbs – or if you make potpourri, then you’ll want to carve out more space in your garden for more herbs.

Here are other factors to consider when you design your herb garden:

•Sunlight: Like many plants, most herbs prefer sunlight. Some herbs do ok in partial sun, though you may find that they grow more slowly under these conditions. Herbs don’t tend to do well in shaded areas, however, so don’t plant them under trees or other structures or under tall plants.
•Accessibility: If you plan to use fresh herbs in the kitchen, then be sure to plant them someplace where it’s easy to reach the plant and snip the leaves. You may also want to put them close to your kitchen.
•Aroma: Some herbs are very aromatic. If you enjoy these aromas, then be sure to plant your herbs in a place where you’re more likely to enjoy the scents, such as near your patio or deck.
•Annuals versus perennials: Know whether the herbs you’re planting or annuals or perennials. The perennials will come back year after year. And each year they’ll likely grow a little more (meaning they should have extra space in the beginning).
•Space requirements: Be sure to read the instructions and spacing requirements on the packaging of the herbs you’d like to plant. Certain herbs spread out quickly and thus need a lot of room.
•Know your herbs: Be sure to do research on your favorite herbs to find out which ones do not grow well together. If you’re planting your herbs among other flowers or vegetables, do note that some herbs don’t work well alongside other plants. For example, carrots and dill shouldn’t be planted near each other.
Again, research is key. Take time to learn about the herbs you intend to plant, plan your gardens ahead of time, and you’ll enjoy a great herb “harvest” this year!

Excerpt from The Organic Gardening Academy at

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