How to Design an Herb Garden and Plant it for the Best Results

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If youíve always desired a garden filled with fragrant herbs, but havenít made one because you're not sure how to go about it, here are some handy tips on how to design an herb garden and Resources to help you get the best results from your plants.

 It's actually a fairly easy process.

To start a basic herb garden, first find a good growing spot. The area where you make your garden should get full sun for at least six hours a day.

The soil should be rich and dark and filled with nutrients. If you have heavy clay soil, you will either need to make a raised herb bed or augment the soil to make it better. Augmented soil is simply soil with a lot of compost mixed into it.

Once you have a location for your Herb garden, it's time for the fun parts of herb gardening - designing, planting, using -      
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Designing an Herb Garden.

attractively designed outdoor herb gardenMost herb garden designs are laid out in geometric shapes. If you prefer a formal look, you may want to edge your garden beds with boxwoods. For a country look, you could plant your herbs in an old wagon wheel, instead.

Selecting the plants for your basic herb garden.

If you plan to use a favorite herb heavily, you should purchase three to five plants. If you are just buying a plant because you like the way it looks or smells, you may only want to buy one to three plants.

One of the most important tips to remember when planting an herb garden is to plant your herbs in groups of three, five, seven or more. For some reason, odd numbered groups of plants seem to look the best.

Of course, knowing how many plants to use in each grouping doesnít help you design a herb garden if you arenít sure where to place the plants. Take a look at nature. Plants donít grow in tidy rows. Instead, they grow in a curve, with some plants jutting forward and others hanging back.
hedges protecting a formal herb garden
You probably donít want your herb garden to appear unorganized. Easy fix - take a look at each herb plant's growth habit. Most tall herbs should be in the back of the herb bed, while low growers should be in the front. Occasionally, you might place a taller plant in the front of the bed for a bit of variety.

Purchasing your Herb plants

This is probably the most enjoyable thing to do as you design a herb garden. If possible, go to a plant nursery and actually touch and smell the different herbs and herb gardening products. Place herbs beside each other to see how they look together before you take them home.

After you know what the different herbs look and smell like, decide which ones you want to plant in your garden. Keep in mind as you design your herb garden that you want to make it functional as well as fun.
If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs, you may want to use plenty of culinary herbs in the design. If you want to grow a basic herb garden for the kitchen, consider parsley, chives, rosemary, fennel, and sage.

For all year round cooking, dry and save in well marked containers. Your family and friends will be envious of your home grown herbs and spices.

Herbs will keep best in bottles of darkly colored glass, but if they are stored in a dark place, you can use any colored bottle you have on hand.

Spices dried and saved in jars

For people who rarely heat up the stove, herbs that have healing properties may be a better choice. For a healing garden, try coneflowers, pot marigolds, aloe vera and feverfew.

lavender plants in bloomIf you love scents, herbs used to make essential oils are ideal. For an aromatherapy garden, lavender, lemon grass, and rosemary are popular choices.

Of course, if you like all of these things, you can always mix them up in your Herb Garden.

Planting an Herb Garden.

Once you have all of the plants for your basic herb garden, you will want to be sure they are planted properly. Pull each plant out of the pot and check to be sure it is not pot bound. When a plant is pot bound, the roots start to grow up around the sides of the plantís root ball. Spread the roots at the bottom of the root ball out to keep them from continuing to grow in a circle.

Dig a hole and place the plant in it so it's growing at the same level as it was before. When all of your herbs are planted, water them to remove any air pockets.

herb plant in a container gardenOutdoor herb gardens provide a wonderful opportunity to plant a wide variety of herbs. But if you can't find a suitable location outside, you can still have your fresh and organically grown herbs by creating a patio herb garden or an indoor herb garden.

 Container and windowsill herb gardens work quite well and there are many herb garden kits to help you get started.

You have now designed and planted your first herb garden that will bring you much pleasure and a full sense of accomplishment. Enjoy!

                              >> MORE HERB GARDEN TIPS

At Sage Hill Farms, organic herbs grown by safe and natural methods of farming produce healthier and better tasting products and give the satisfaction of giving something back to Mother Earth. From acres of land to a small patio container garden, there is something each of us can do to improve the earth around us. Subscribe to  FREE Newsletter and receive herb gardening tips from the dedicated Sage Hill Farm family.

Visit the Sage Hill Farms web site and read "Bea's Beatitudes on Herbs" blog.
Bea Kunz's monthly posts are warm and informative with herb growing advice, great recipes and helpful tools - like the "Herb & Spice Chart" in her October, 2006 post.

2. Natural Herbal Remedies

Patio Herb Garden. If you donít have any room outside for a garden, you can still grow some herbs. Instead of planting an outdoor garden, simply start a container garden or patio herb garden.

4. Plant a Windowsill garden for year round Fresh Herbs If you donít have any room outside for a garden, you can still have fresh herbs from an indoor windowsill garden, maybe right in your kitchen.

5. Indoor Herb Growing Kits - . Grow your own fresh cooking herbs! Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Chives, Savory, Garlic Chives, Mustard, Sage.

6. Identifying and Choosing Herbs for Cooking and Medicinal Purposes. Learn more about 24 of the more popular herbs and the many ways they can be used.

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