Whether your herb garden is in the ground or in containers, it needs good, rich soil with plenty of moisture. It is best located in a sunny area, but herbs can grow well in partial shade too.

Herbs prefer to be moist but not soggy, and the best way to test the soil is to stick a finger in it. Most herbs are fairly drought tolerant.

Easy to grow

Herbs are very easy to grow, whether in-ground or in a container. They only need a little sunshine, well-draining soil and regular watering to thrive.

Most herbs are fairly drought-tolerant and prefer to dry out between waterings, but not to the point of being soggy or powdery mildew-prone.

If starting with bedding plants, dig holes that are twice the size of their root ball and space them accordingly to give them room to spread out.

Culinary uses

Herbs grow well in most sunny spots, whether in a suburban garden or an apartment patio. Most require 6 to 8 hours of sun a day, but some, such as cilantro and parsley, thrive in less.

Many herbs have a pleasant aroma that works well in potpourri. Perennial herb plants, such as thyme and lavender, are also popular in flower gardens to deter pest insects.

Medicinal uses

Many herbs offer medicinal benefits. For example, oregano is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal; peppermint can soothe your stomach; and chamomile is great for insomnia.

Herbs need lots of sunlight to thrive, so plant them in a sunny spot that gets at least six hours of sun per day. Keep in mind that some perennials, such as geranium and tarragon, can grow well from cuttings.

Attracts pollinators

Many herb plants produce beautiful flowers that attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. They also attract beneficial insects that either eat or parasitize the “bad” bugs that can harm your garden.

Herbs are a great addition to any garden. They are easy to grow and are a natural source of health benefits. In addition, tending to the herbs is good exercise.

Saves money

Herbs are easy to grow and are a great addition to any garden. They can be grown from seeds or plants that are already growing.

When growing herbs, be sure to provide them with plenty of water (as needed) and nutrient-rich soil. Regularly amend the soil with compost, peat moss and sand to keep it healthy. Most herbs prefer not to be over-fertilized.

Small space required

Herbs thrive in sunny locations, whether you live in a suburban neighborhood with a large backyard or an urban apartment balcony. Some herbs, such as cilantro and mint, even do well with just 3 to 4 hours of sun each day.

Choose low-maintenance herbs, and use a good-quality potting mix in your containers. Herbs like a soil that drains quickly, and adding a bit of aged compost or worm castings helps.

Sunlight needs

Most herbs need full sun, but some can tolerate partial shade. For best results, choose a sunny location that’s easy to access for watering and harvesting.

Some herbs, like thyme and rosemary, need soil that dries out slightly between waterings. Others prefer to remain moderately damp at all times, like basil and mint. Choose a soil that drains well or improve it with compost and perlite for aeration.

Container growing

Herbs do well in a variety of containers. Locate them near the kitchen, and keep herb cuttings at hand so they can be trimmed and used right away.

Perennial herbs like anise hyssop and bee balm come back year after year. They can be propagated from cuttings in late summer or divided from existing clumps in spring. Many herbs can also be grown indoors in a sunny, unblocked window.

Planning herb garden

Herbs can be a delightful addition to any garden, both for their fragrance and flavor. They also offer a host of health benefits.

Many herbs are easy to grow in containers and look fabulous when grouped or wall-hung. Some, like chives and mint, grow as spreading plants while others, like basil and thyme, produce clumps. Most herb plants do well with moderately damp soil, but avoid overwatering.

Basic herb care

Whether growing herbs in containers or outside, always start with the best soil possible. Amend the planting area with a product like Scotts Performance Naturals Soil Improver or Organic Vegetable and Herb Mix before planting.

After the herb is planted, thoroughly hydrate the roots. Regular pruning will encourage growth. Avoid removing more than a quarter of the plant at a time and pinch off flowers to keep plants looking full and neat.

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