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Gardening Tips For Beginners

  1. Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: The Basics of Planting & Growing | The Old Farmer's Almanac
  2. How To Grow
  3. How to Grow an Herb Garden

Were any of our tips useful? Please share your experience with our community members below. Any feedback you have on our article is welcome as well! Like This Article? Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

Amy grew up in England and in the early 's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet. You should also keep in mind that some plants are easy to transplant and some will resist it will all of their heart.

For example, dill is difficult to transplant but easy to start from the seed. Chives, on the other hand can be cut and transplanted to spread out your crop every year. Marjoram and similar herbs fall somewhere in the middle: they can be transplanted, but the entire plant must be moved and they do best when they are grown by the seed indoors for a while and then carefully moved outdoors.

Some herbs, like rosemary, are grown primarily from cuttings simply because it takes a long time to grow a plant up from a seed and people tend to get impatient. While it is unpleasant to think about, your plants may not be safe outdoors from wild animals. While some herbs are unpleasant to some animals because of strong smell and taste, there is typically some species everywhere that is willing to eat anything. Deer, for example, may feel like grousing around your new shoots. Chipmunks and rabbits alike may try to sample your herbs as they grow.

If these animals do not like your food, they may choose to uproot their sample rather than just leave it alone. Birds also may be unintentionally destructive. Even cats may be tempted to gnaw on some of your herbs.


Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: The Basics of Planting & Growing | The Old Farmer's Almanac

If you already have a flower garden or have tried to grow in the past, you probably know what types of animals to expect. If not, then try to put your garden somewhere out of reach or cover it with netting, fencing, or other protective materials. Window space is not necessarily required even for sun-loving herbs. There is a wide variety of grow lights on the marker, and while many of them are used for less legal types of herbs, they can still do an excellent job of supplying the right wavelengths for a miniature indoor herbarium.

Some kits even come with a light, timer, and growing station all packaged together. This is an ideal option if you live in an apartment building or do not have the space in your yard, too. Because herbs tend to stay small and can be easily harvested for meals, deciding to keep your garden indoors may be a good choice.

If your live in a rough climate, you may find that growing indoors changes some annual herbs into perennials, since they can now survive freezing winters inside. In my own experience, the only trick of growing any kind of plant domestically is making sure to find the best mixture of sunlight exposure and watering and stick to it religiously.

I have made the mistake of overwatering plants and under exposing them to sunlight, and the results were not good. I more or less have just figured this out through trial and error, but an article like this could help a great deal. Thanks for writing it! Kids who grow their own herb garden are going to want to take the next natural step, which would be to actually make use of their herb garden. They can do lots of things with their herbs, and my even want to start cooking with them.

I only know this because I have a teenage daughter who has no interest at all in cooking until she grew her own herb garden. Then she wanted to know what each herb was good for and how it tasted. Eventually, she started using her herbs in cooking. That is something I never thought I would see, but it just goes to show how one positive activity can lead to another. Now I can hardly keep her out of the kitchen. She has made some interesting dishes so far and I look forward to what she may do with her herb garden next.

My suggestion is to go into your spice cabinet or rack and make a list of what you have in there. If you actually use the herbs that you find in there, you can start by growing those. As you get more comfortable, start adding more herbs to the garden. I would say to maybe add one or two at a time as you experiment with new recipes and so on. A great advantage of growing herbs is that they grow fast! Certain herbs can grow and be picked 2 or even 3 times a year.

Compare that to flowers which typically require a whole year for you to really see the fruits of your labors. I certainly love instant gratification! This article really provides a lot of great pointers for the beginning herbalist for lack of a better word. The basic steps are all included, like where you will grow the herbs individual pots or in a dedicated garden , how to test and prepare your soil very important and more. The first step is to really decide how to begin.

This means determining whether you will grow the herbs in individual pots or in a whole garden. This really depends on how much space you have and your own personal preferences. The next step is to have your soil tested. This is very important since many parts of the country will be lacking in at least one of the vital nutrients that herbs need to grow.

This will also determine if you need to add anything to the soil. Then, pick which types of herbs you want to grow. Number one was what kind of herbs is the person most likely to use. In the case of my friend, I knew they used basil in a lot of their dishes and if I was able to provide them with the additional motivation to grow the plants by wanting to use them, it would be that much more of a success.

Number two, was the ease of which the plant would grow. Herbs are generally more simple to grow than other flowers and plants, but there are still degrees of difficulty that must be considered. The other thing is that since you can use our herbs for cooking, it is really easy to impress people with your potential cooking skills.

After all, if you are growing your own herbs, you must know how to use them, right? That may not be true, but apparently people think it is so they are prepared for an awesome meal. Even if you just know how to cook a little bit, the mind matters. I found that one out on accident the last time I had guests over. I actually suffer from a purple thumb right now. I am very good with domestic things however; I just really do not try when it comes to plants. I have always lived with other people and never really had my own space.

Now that I know that I will have my own space soon, I am planning to get into gardening. I love cooking and having fresh herbs is something I have always dreamed of.

How To Grow

I was also planning to get some of those upside down tomato and berry plants too. I am looking forward to growing several things for both personal and family consumption, so this article is a great resource. After reading through it, I actually feel like I have the confidence to start a healthy garden. Sometimes when you live with controlling people, it just takes all the wind out of your sails. It definitely makes you feel less creative and less motivated. I think fresh herbs are one of the best things you can grow to encourage healthier eating.

Being able to season dishes with fresh chives or rosemary gives you excellent flavor without the need for high-sodium seasonings or butter. Dried herbs are concentrated in flavor, which means you need a lot less. You can find charts online that will tell you how much dried herbs equals fresh herbs, which makes it easier to convert your recipes to use fresh herbs. However, even more important than this shadow factor is the type of climate that you live in. Many climates will support herbs…in the mild parts of the United States. Other locations will not be so friendly.

Herbs tend to suffer in hot, dry conditions. You may get some naturals like sage to appreciate a desert condition such as that spreading across most of Arizona, but basil will not last more than a few weeks even with the most careful protection. Herbs simply cannot survive that sweltering heat, they are largely not designed for it. So if you live in an arid region, keep the herb indoors and next to windows rather than trying to transplant them outside.

If you live high in the mountains, take equal care. Often the summers are too hot and the winters are too cold for herbs to survive very long outside. You may be able to encourage a brief crop in late spring and early summer if the herbs are hardy enough, but do not aim for more than that. Herbs such as parsley love wetter climates, but if you live in an area that receives a lot of cloudy weather, you may not have enough sunlight for other types of herbs.

Likewise, living on the seashore is rarely conducive to growing herbs, since the salty water transmitted by wind and air will be too much for many varieties. Also, as your herbs continue to grow well, keep cutting them and using them in cooking. Number one, this is why you should be growing herbs in the first place! And number two, continual cutting your herbs during growing season will encourage them to continue growing. When you cut your herbs, wrap them in a damp paper towel and store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

If you have any doubts about what herbs may grow in your climate, take a trip to a local nursery and see what they have growing there. One of the most basic things to do to keep a plant alive is to water it. However, there is definitely such a thing as over-watering a plant. I gave a potted flower to my girlfriend once, I forget what it was, but it was potted in small rocks rather than soil. She watered it about three times the first week and it promptly wilted over and died. Lesson learned, do not water a plant until you know that it needs it.

You can do that by either researching what a plant typically needs, or by keeping tabs on how the plant looks and how moist the soil may be. A few times a week, I will usually stick a fingertip into the soil of my plants, just a little bit below the surface and feel how much moisture is still trapped inside and against the roots. Based on what I feel, I will either water accordingly or let the plant be for a little while.

The other, and really only other, thing I can think to tell you about keeping plants alive is to make sure they are in the right place in your house. Plants need sunlight on a regular basis in order to grow and be healthy. However, just as water is a good thing but not in unlimited quantities, so too is sunlight. Plants need sunlight in order to photosynthesize light into food and without it they will die in pretty short order. If they get too much, they can dry out too quickly and die as well. A place that has some shade and also some good exposure to natural light will give a plant the opportunity to find its own best position.

Leaves and branches will naturally crane themselves into position to get the best amount of sunlight to sustain their growth. My vines are really fascinating as they move themselves around my sun room getting themselves situated. I believe in a more naturalistic approach to raising my plants and I would suspect that doing so with an entire garden would produce good results as well. I am really looking forward to giving it a try. To begin with an herb garden, you do need to take some planning steps before digging and dropping seeds.

The first step is to decide whether to begin with individual pots a single herb per pot or to actually create a full garden. Then, decide where to place the pots or garden. As the author correctly points out, how you begin really depends more on your personality and situation; both methods are equally easy, although they do present different challenges and opportunities. Also, do not forget to test your soil for the proper minerals. This article was an eye opener for me. I think that possibly the idea of actually starting to grow vegetables or even flowers may have been too ambitious a project for me.

The author points out the fact that maybe taking a step back and then considering an herb garden would be an easier goal. I also really enjoyed the explanation of the various types of herbs which can be grown in such a garden. There are also a number of excellent tips and ideas for how to be successful with such a garden. For example, when combining various herbs in the garden, be sure to place them strategically. So, my solution is going to be to create a sort of greenhouse in my window. I want to have about ten plants that can produce enough to serve my cooking and basic medicinal needs all year round.

Wish me luck on my project and thanks for the advice on the various herbs! I live in the north and we sometimes have long cold seasons. In the winter, I start feeling edgy and cooped up. I would rather be outside working in the yard on a hot day than stuck in the house with no plants to tend on a cold day.

So for me, an herb garden offers numerous benefits. One thing that people have to remember if they are going to raise medicinal herbs is that herbs can have some powerful side effects and may interact poorly with medication. You have to be responsible and educate yourself or you will end up putting yourself and loved ones in danger. You also need to make sure your herbs are out of reach of your animals. Some animals might try to taste them. I am not sure which herbs are dangerous to animals, but it seems like I heard that there were a few that were dangerous to cats.

I have a tray I put my plants on. I just have seeds in there now and I will do more research before the plants get too big so I can keep my animals safe, but I am very much looking forward to enjoying my plants in the window. Of course, once you start using your own herbs, you are probably going to want to grow your own food to use the herbs with.

But, once you have an herb garden, you at least know that you can grow something that you can use in your own kitchen. Doing something like starting a vegetable garden would be the next logical step. When it comes to herbs, you can just pick a few leaves and let the plant continue to do its thing. The most important first step, after deciding where your garden will be, is to take some soil samples and have them tested. The reason this is important is that many times the soil is lacking some important minerals or other ingredient.

Not having this could cause your garden to have big problems. Knowing the conditions ahead of time can allow you to get the proper supplementation to make your soil healthy and ready to grow all your herbs. Take soil samples from different areas within your garden in order to get a good overall feel for the conditions. You may be able to find a soil testing lab in your area, but if not, then go to a garden store. Basil is one of the most commonly grown herbs.

This guy grows best in direct sunlight and takes around 30 to 60 days to fully mature. The author indicates that such a plant should be around 10 inches tall at this point. Chives are also a nice addition to a herb garden. They are also very useful since it can be used in a number of dishes as well.

This one also requires direct and full sunlight. It should take between 80 and 90 days to mature and be ready for harvesting. Twelve to eighteen inches tall is a normal size for this plant. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon. Amy Brannan. September 30, pm. Jeff Butler Admin. March 7, pm. While soil is important, make sure that your herb garden is also very well-drained. A poorly drained herb garden will soak the roots and quickly kill your plants.

You can also take care of this problem when growing plants in pots by making sure you only use pots that have holes in them and being careful to never overwater. May 11, pm. I recently just bought an herb gardening starter kit for my sister on her recent birthday. She is actually a very educated biologist and a bit of a foodie that has made a strong emphasis on eating more healthy in the past several years. All of those facts together made me think that a small set of potting plants with some herb seeds would be a perfect gift for her and she loved it.

She has not potted the seeds just yet but now that I have found this article I will definitely forward it along to her. July 2, am. Kathy Faust. I think an herb garden is one of the best ways to introduce kids to the world of gardening. They are so easy to grow and can be used for so many different things that a parent can use one without worrying about the child experiencing failure. It also provides the perfect preface to teaching children about good nutrition and cooking.

July 5, pm. When I did my first herb garden, I got a little carried away because it was so easy to do and there were so many benefits.

How to Grow an Herb Garden

I made the mistake of growing too many varieties of herbs and found that I would gave been better off just starting with the herbs that I commonly use. It was nice to have all the plants, but since I was not familiar with all of them, I did not use them like I should have.

I also ran out of the ones I commonly use. July 9, pm. As someone interested in starting their own garden, you have lots of choices about which direction to take. You could choose to grow flowers or vegetables, or specialty plants or even herbs. Given all of these choices, the best for a beginner may just be to start a herb garden. Flowers and plants can be very complicated, difficult and time consuming. On the other hand, with just a little bit of basic knowledge which this article can give you!

July 10, pm. One of the best and easiest types of gardens to grow is a herb garden. This is a great place to start for an absolute beginner, since it requires just a little bit of effort and the herbs grow very quick. This means that you will be able to see the results of your efforts quite fast. This alone beats vegetable and flower gardens; I am too impatient to wait a whole year to see if what I did actually worked!

July 15, am. When I went out on to the web to look for a good starter kit, I was almost overwhelmed with the options I had before me. Trying to select the right one was a little challenging but ultimately, I just had to think about a couple things that lead me in the right direction. July 22, am. I love the way they are marketing herb gardens now. They sell these little packets so that everything you need to start an herb garden is right there for you. They are really easy to use and are a great way to get someone started who does not have anything to start with.

Ok, perennials will go dormant while means they are in a period of rest. They may look dead, but the roots are still alive. If you water them once or twice during the winter, they will suddenly sprout new growth in the spring! If you are shopping for seedlings at the home improvement store or the nursery, check the plant care tag. It will tell you a lot about the plant, and you can decide whether it will work in your garden or not.

Plants may require no sun, partial sun, partial shade, or full sun. The tag will tell you how often to water the plant, and usually it will state whether the plant likes consistently moist soil. Some plants prefer to dry out before the next watering. Believe what the tag says! Somewhere on the tag, you will find the information as to how high and wide the plant will grow.

This is important to remember.

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Bee Balm, for instance, will grow to be three feet tall. Fennel, however, will reach six to eight feet. Herbs are amazingly resilient, and can often continue growing even after a freeze! Even perennials will die if it gets colder than that, which leads us to Zones. The United States is, horticulturally speaking, divided into zones. These indicate the hardiness necessary for plants to thrive. There are 11 zones in the U. So, a plant that is hardy in Zone 2 up in Michigan will die a thousand deaths in Zone 7 in Texas. Trust the Zone. Feel the Zone. Honor the Zone, or plan for even perennial plants to die.

Use this map to determine your gardening zone in the United States. If you plant outside, you may need to amend the soil in your garden with something that has compost and peat moss in it. This will keep the soil from packing down and smothering the roots. If you bring soil in for your flower pots, bake it in the oven, in a pan. Sprinkle cinnamon in the soil, and it will help keep fungus from growing. Growing herbs can be a very rewarding pastime. And remember, a little dirt is good for the soul. Last updated by Virginia Dodd at February 12, One of my favorite books on culinary herbs.

Thyme is a perennial herb which will come back year after year. For someone with a green thumb who is confined to urban settings, the herb garden may be the answer Having your own culinary herb garden is something every home cook or chef should include in their bag Hydroponic Systems are a great way to grow herbs indoors. The basic principle is you grow your herbs Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and Disclaimer-Terms of Use Affiliate Disclosure.