One of the most vital aspects of horticulture comes from learning how to cultivate herbs at home for your personal use. Not only do herbs provide unmistakable flavor to your favorite foods, many are filled with hidden health benefits that you can use.
The best start to a herb garden at home is a rich supply of naturally made compost. Even if you are planting herbs in the ground around the house, compost will give the soil a rich blend of nutrients that will allow your little plants to thrive. In addition to rich soil that is able to drain well, herb gardens need a healthy dose of daily sunlight, so make sure that you choose a sunny spot in your garden for your new venture. This should be a spot where the sun hits for at least six hours a day.
Soil Preparation for a Herb Garden
Once you have found the right spot for your herb garden, turn the soil and mix in your home-grown compost. For this purpose you should never work with composted manures of any kind. These are very high in nitrogen, and while nitrogen does make plants grow quicker, it also causes them to lose some of their natural flavor.
Choosing Your Herbs for Your Herb Garden
The easiest herbs to start with are sage, chives, basil, oregano, rosemary, mint and dill. Some of these will only last a season, but others are perennial and will come back year after year.
Seeds or Plants?
Of course it is easier to start any type of garden with a plant that has already begun to grow, but there is something special about planting seeds and seeing them sprout from the beginning. No matter which method you choose, make sure that you harvest your herbs frequently to encourage new growth. You may end up with a surplus, but there are plenty of ways you can use herbs to make sure that they don’t go to waste.
Herbs can enhance the flavor of any recipe, and give it added color and vitamin content. You can also learn plant oil extraction techniques and use your herbs to make your own essential oils. Essential oils from a plant like rosemary for example can be used inside of essential oil diffuser jewelery like a necklace to make a lovely smelling and natural perfume. Oregano has been known to help with stomach ailments, and can be used to make a tea for pain relief. The uses are endless and go far beyond an addition to your spaghetti sauce.
With a little hard work, and a bin full of natural compost, you can create your own fresh spice rack right in your backyard. Choose your herbs to suits your tastes, and don’t be afraid to put them to work at other aspects of your life.