Tips for Maintaining an Herb Garden

Whether it's adding the perfect flavor to your favorite dish or curing minor ailments, growing your own herbs provides a variety of benefits for day-to-day living. While growing herbs can be easy, many can cause more work if not properly maintained. Here are a few herb growing tips to help keep your garden under control.

Location

It doesn't matter if you plan to have an outdoor garden or are enjoying the convenience of an indoor herb garden, location is key to herb control. Where you plant your herb garden does affect its growth and survival. Herbs in a dimly lit environment with irregular temperatures won't thrive as well as herbs in an ideal growth environment. Growing herbs in containers allows your herbs to be transplanted indoors during the winter for year-round harvesting. When growing a variety of herbs, be aware that some herbs like mint, can overpower other herbs causing root damage to plants growing nearby. Protect your other plants by giving your plants sufficient space to grow without interfering with one another.

Harvesting

Harvesting herbs regularly is essential to the growth and care of plants. However, before reaching for your clippers, make sure you're aware how to pick and prune specific herbs to protect growth patterns. Clipping leaves too soon or not often enough can stop your herbs from growing. When harvesting, clip the tips of each stem just above the leaves to keep new stems growing. Picking stems from the base of the plant can also slow down or stunt growth. Herbs like parsley and mint grow fairly quickly so be sure to harvest their leaves regularly.

Maintenance

Adopting the right plant maintenance practices will keep your herbs growing all season. Like many plants, herbs require regular watering. Whether potted or outdoors, herb soil should be moist but not overwatered. Some plants like oregano and rosemary are drought-resistant and can fare well with little water. Herbs like basil produce abundantly with the help of a balanced liquid fertilizer. Indoor herb gardens need to be placed in an area of the home that receives the most sunlight. In these instances it is also a good idea to invest in gardening lights if your home doesn't receive much natural light.