How to Grow Herbs the Easy Way

This is a no-brainer really! Instructions on how to grow herbs are documented on the back of every seed packet. Usually it's basic stuff like making sure you plant in shade or sunny spots, what the soil composition should be, and noting the planting seasons.

You may be thinking of a very simple basic garden indoors. The same planting principles will apply. But more is involved after you plant the seeds be it a large herb garden or small, for culinary or cosmetic, or for a herbal poultice to cure your Aunty's carbuncles.

If your just beginning herb gardening there are some simple guidelines for you to get started. You will encounter some common mistakes but not to worry, they can be overcome when herb planting for the first time.

By comparing each herb's likes and dislikes you will be able to group plants together that like similar conditions or are a help to each other such as good shade givers helping herbs that need the shade. That makes for successful growing!

But before we do some grouping, check out my hints and tips on how to grow herbs.

 How to Grow Herbs List

The following paragraph is for the newbies!

Four basic plants to start a herb garden are Genovese Basil (Mediterranian), Coriander or Cilantro, Chives, and Mint.

Later one can get a bit more adventurous and add other herbs as you become confident in your horticultural skills.

baby nasturtium plant

One of my favourite is Nasturtium (Tropaeolum Majus) that really earns its place on this page.

You'll b happy to know it does really well in poor soil, oves a sunny position, is a climber, growing up to 10 feet.

Nasturtium does well around cabbage and beans for deterring some garden pests if you have a vegetable patch. At the same time it attracts the good predator insects which will bring a sigh of relief to all fellow herb gardeners out there who suffer occurring nightmares about aphid and spider mite invasions.

See more on how to grow the much appreciated Nasturtium herb.

Another herb that keeps a check on wee beasties is my all time favourite.Bring on the Allicin! Grow garlic all around your garden and it`ll ward off more than the vampires.

Hot Chillies. Hot to eat but not too hot to handle. Chilli peppers are a world favourite in the pot but they also have great health benefits too. Get going and see how to grow a chilli or two even when the weather can get a wee bit "chilli". ;-)

But how to grow herbs when the weather really gets chilly and there`s no crispy greens to be found anywhere? Pop in a few lambs lettuce!

The list of herbs for the garden is extensive. Here are some more for you to start planting.

Angelica can be exciting to grow. Try it! But not with the Lovage. It needs some space!

While on the subject of space, may I introduce Arugula the rocket!

Ground cover with rock cress and chase the snails away.

No garden is complete without a lavender bush.

Nobody has learned how to grow herbs yet without starting with this famous quartet. Reminisce with a song from the sixties when you grow parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Protect yourself against mosquito bites by growing your own catnip. Cats won`t bite or scratch either on this stuff.

...or protect your herbs from swarms of aphids with a glorious profusion of yellow, orange and red French Marigold.

Enter the dragon! No not Bruce Lee but French tarragon with its serpent-like roots.

You won`t put out the fire with home grown Watercress. Use it as a tasty and spicey hors d'oeuvre to stimulate the appetite.

Lemon Verbena is a refreshing and gorgeous plant to have in the herb garden. But watch, it`s a prankster! It likes to pull off an April Fool and play dead.

After the shock you will need Lemon Balm to calm the nerves and lighten your mood.

...or Chervil to make your face look good!

Let the genie out of the bottle when you grow borage.

Or even better, put something in the bottle when you grow Hyssop!

The Importance of Grouping Herbs

Choosing the right herbs to plant together is important because if you get it wrong they can cross pollinate when species are close relatives, or some that need sheltering from the sun suffer because sun loving plants that need the heat have been planted along side them.

The following plants are herbs I grouped together which had conflicting needs.

Dill likes a sunny spot but it wilts when it is too hot. What a cry baby!

Have you heard of English Mace? It was a well used culinary herb in the old days. It loves the sun not the shade.

Another ornamental herb I planted in this pot was blood sorrel It also wilts when the temperature rises above average. You will see red when you pick it but don`t worry you`re not the one who is bleeding.

Lesson learned!

Growing Wild Endangered Herbs

Another area I am interested in is how to grow herbs that are wild and have become endangered due to being overly picked and damaged.

Growing them alongside your cultivated types will keep some species from going into extinction and attract gorgeous butterflies and bees.

What are these herbs? Some of them you will already know like eyebright, bloodroot, and echinacea. You also can have a part in preserving these plants if you live in the US and you have the funds to fund them.

Go to the website United Plant Savers and download instructions on how you can adopt an "at risk" healing herb.

But don't worry if you're skint. My upcoming list will help you grow, write, and post about your own efforts to keep them growing.

Plantlife is a good source for getting a list of UK endangered species.

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