Herbs are one of the most satisfying things to grow, but deciding where to put your herb garden can be a challenge!
Below you'll find the 6 factors I considered when deciding where to plant a herb garden - the beginnings of which you can see in the picture on the right.
#1 Does it get enough sun?
I thought this spot would be a good one as it gets a reasonable amount of sun, in summer and winter. Generally, herbs need around 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, I think in winter this spot gets 4-6 hours of afternoon sunlight, but in our generally subtropical climate I think this will be fine.
#2 Environmental considerations: Slope? Wind? Rain? Drainage?
Steeply sloped ground can allow rain to wash your herbs away and make it difficult to access what you need, unless you terrace it of course, but may also mean that your top herbs get very dry while the bottom ones get waterlogged.
|Italian Basil Baby!|
Most herbs need moderately rich, well drained soil - so clay soil or boggy areas won't work. It helps to use a spot where the plants will get rain when it does rain. Forgetting to water my plants is a big weakness of mine - I like to let nature help when it can! A spot that is too windy will stress your plants, and dry them out - so take that into account too. It's customary to dry herbs for storage only once you've picked them, not while they're still in the ground.
You may have more than spot that could be used for a herb garden, but if one of those spots would work particularly well for another function, then it would make sense to put your herb garden in the other spot. In our case, that ground was just an odd corner of lawn that was just begging to be made into some kind of flower bed anyway. I love digging up useless bits of lawn and replacing them with productive patches of green goodness!
#4 Will your animals or kids have access to it?
|Italian Flat-Leaf |
#5 Will you have access to it?
There is no point in growing gorgeous herbs that you have to trek through the wilderness to find. Try to plant them in a spot close to the kitchen, perhaps even in view of your kitchen window. You'll be far more likely to go and fetch what you need if you can get to it reasonably easily! Having said that, a good position for growing is more important than a good position for harvesting!
#6 Will it add to the aesthetics of your garden?
|Pelargonium / Geranium bush|
I currently have the following plants in my herb garden:
- Rosemary (donated)
- German Chamomile (from seed)
- Flax (from seed)
- Burdock (from Peter's Gate)
- Yarrow (from Peter's Gate)
- Mint (from cuttings)
- Lemongrass (planted in a submerged pot - from Peter's Gate)
- Curry Tree (from Peter's Gate)
- Lemon Tree (from local nursery)
- 'Dog Gone' (Plectranthus caninus - from Peter's Gate)
- Calendula (from seed)
- Lovage (from seed)
- Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (from seed)
- Melissa / Lemon Balm (from the nursery)
- Lettuce (from seed)
- Marigolds (from seed)
- Pelargonium / Geranium (donated)
|Echinacea Daisy just peeking out|
- Sage (donated seed)
- Thyme (donated seed)
- Marjoram (donated seed)
- Stevia (Seeds for Africa)
- Echinacea (Seeds for Africa)
- Oreganum (Green Guy seeds)
- Bronze Fennel (donated seed)
- Chives (Green Guy seeds)
The 'must-haves' that are absent from this particular spot - my lavender, sweet basil, perennial basil, chives, comfrey and nasturtiums - all have spots elsewhere.
|'Dog-Gone' - I sprinkle leaves from this |
deter my dogs from going into particular beds -
it does seem to have helped!
What are your 'must-haves' in your herb garden?