Gardening Vivian | 05 Nov 2010 07:13 pm

What You Need to Know About Herbs and Growing Them

Growing herbs is not as difficult as some would think. While many may have a green thumb that turns everything brown, herbs are quite forgiving provided you don’t forget about them.

Herbs and growing them is a very relaxing hobby. In fact research has shown that gardening has beneficial effects on both the mind and the body. Planting herbs and growing them burns about 125 calories per half an hour, and the same research has also found that outdoor activities such as gardening have helped people recover from serious illnesses such as cancer.

When planting herbs and growing them, it’s important to plan your herb garden well. Depending upon the variety of herbs you are planting, your herbs could require very different growing conditions. Some herbs are low and bushy plants, like Rosemary, and some are tall and grass like, such as Dill or Cilantro. Some herbs will require a lot of sun, while others will need more shade. So planning your herbs and growing them in the proper environment will ensure that you have the best possible yield from your garden.

What kind of herbs will you be growing? This is an essential question when thinking about herbs and growing them. Will these be culinary herbs? Will you plant medicinal herbs? Since some herbs, like Lavender, are both culinary and medicinal herbs, they essentially do double duty. What you will grow is entirely up to you, but be sure to plan accordingly.

Next, when planting herbs and growing them, you’ll need to look at soil conditions. If you are planting herbs and growing them in the ground then you will likely need to use a fertilizer or compost to enrich the soil. Most soil doesn’t have all of the nutrients that plants need to grow well. If you are planting herbs and growing them in pots, then be sure to use a high quality potting soil. There are many varieties on the market that include plant food, fertilizer, and even special fibers that absorb water to keep plants watered more evenly and allowing you to water less.

Now that you know what you are going to grow and what soil you will plant them in, it’s important to make sure that the environment that you plant them in is ideal. Most herb plants do not like cold weather, so when the weather cools off, before the first frost or freeze, you will need to bring your herbs inside to keep them from being killed by extreme cold. For this, it’s always easier to move a container garden, but you can dig up herb plants that are planted in an outdoor planter as well, it just takes a little more work.

Herb gardening is both relaxing and rewarding. It can lower stress levels, provide a healthy dose of vitamin D from the brief sunlight expose that so many of us lack in our everyday lives, and provide some delicious herbs to add to your favorite recipes, adding flavor instead of unhealthy fat and sodium.

Fresh herbs really are the key to a healthy body and a healthy mind.

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