Herbs are hardy and require little maintenance. With a small amount of work, some soil, a little moisture, and sun, you can grow herbs for whatever you need – seasoning for a dish, protection from soil erosion, or just aesthetic looks.
Planting Herbs Outdoors
When you are planting your herbs outdoors, location is important. Choose a place that is mostly sunny. If you are planting mint or chamomile, choose a location that gives them some shade during the hottest part of the day. Most herbs need well drained soil for their roots to grow properly. To prevent the soil from retaining its moisture, turn over the soil to a depth of about a foot and break up any clods. You can add substances such as peat moss, leaf mold, wood chips or compost to lighten the soil so it drains better. Also, check the pH of the soil with one of our employees at Jericho Nursery, who can consult you on the proper pH for your herbs.
Planting Herbs Indoors
If you are planting your herbs inside, the soil also needs to be well-drained. Use a potting soil mixed with a bit of bone meal for best results. Or you can make your own mix of equal parts topsoil, sand, and ground bark, leaf mold, or peat moss, combined with 1 teaspoon of bone meal per 6-inch pot. Fill the pot so that, when the herb is planted, the surface of the root ball will be an inch below the rim of the pot. Make sure the soil is packed firmly around the root ball and water until the soil and root ball are equally moist. For the first few days, leave your herb in the shade so it can adjust to being inside.
When transplanting your herbs, plant your hand on top of the container with your index and second finger on either side of the stem. Turn the pot over and tap the side lightly until the root ball releases. Lift the pot away from the plant while steadying the plant with the other hand spanning the stem. Replant your herb in its new home, indoor or outdoor.
Watering your Herbs
If your herb is in a container, water until the excess runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom. Make sure to empty the dish with the excess water to prevent oversoaking. You can also set your container in a dish of water to let the soil absorb the moisture. When the soil is damp, which is usually after about an hour, take the container out of the water. For plants in the ground, make sure to thoroughly soak the ground, but do not to use a strong spray from a hose, which will pack the soil and prevent proper draining. Check plants every day in hot weather, and every other day when the temperatures are mild or low. Water whenever the soil just beneath the surface is dry.
Fertilizing your Herbs
Having soil that is properly fertilized is important for the health and flavor of the herbs. Choose a well-balanced fertilizer and use it in moderation. Soil that is too rich will cause the herb to grow very large, but will not produce large concentrations of oil, which will result in a weak flavor.
Visit Jericho Nursery today to select your herbs and learn more.