Herb Gardening for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Fresh and Flavorful Herbs at Home

Herbs have been used for their medicinal and culinary properties for centuries. They not only add flavor to dishes, but also have numerous health benefits. Growing herbs at home ia sustainable and cost-effective way to get fresh herbs. However, for beginners, it can seem like a daunting task. Which herbs should you grow? How do you care for them? What do you need to get started? Join me, as we I will provide you with guidance on how to grow herbs for beginners. We'll cover everything from selecting the location, planting the right herbs, choosing the right containers, how to care for your herbs, and how to harvest them.

Choose the Right Location

Herbs need plenty of sunshine to grow well, so it's important to choose a location for your herb garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day. You can grow most herbs outdoors or indoors. The kitchen window is a great place for a few herbs, especially ones you normally cook with. Outdoors also works great for herbs, just make sure you choose your spot carefully. How much sunlight does it get? Will you need to move containers if there is too much sunlight? Do you have pets to consider? If you are having trouble choosing a location, ask me! Join my Facebook Group, Beginner Gardeners Start Here

To show plants in a window.
Plants in a windowsill.

Decide Which Herbs to Grow

There are many different herbs to choose from, so it's important to think about which herbs you'll use most often in your cooking. Some good herbs for beginners to start with include basil, parsley, thyme, chives, and mint. Personally, I would start with basil, parsley, and chives. I have a great track record with growing them, and they fit easily into many dishes when cooking.

Quick Question: My basil plant has flowers on it, what does that mean?

Do not let this happen or your plant won't last very much longer. Make sure if you see white flowers on your basil, snip them off immediately. Your plant will have a longer life and you can continue to harvest longer.

Choose the Right Soil

Herbs need well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. Do not choose soil that has fertilizer already in it. A regular bag of potting mix will do just fine for your needs. In my experience, herbs don't usually need a lot of fertilizer. Use a water-soluble fertilizer in the beginning when you plant the herb. As a suggestion, you can also improve the quality of your soil by adding compost or other organic matter, such as aged manure or leaf mold. However, this step is not required, I have had great luck with just a water-soluble fertilizer.

Choose How to Start: Seeds or Young Plants

While you can certainly grow herbs from seed, it can be easier for beginner gardeners to start with young plants. Some herbs that are a good choice for growing from seed are basil, dill, chives, oregano, and parsley. It seems that prices on young plants these days has risen about $2-$4 per plant. Growing from seed may be a better option for you. You can join me, I'm starting herbs with seeds this year. You can follow my garden journey in my Facebook Group, Beginner Gardeners Start Here. You can also purchase beginner plants at your local nursery or garden center.

Water Regularly

Herbs need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. You have to be careful with herbs and not overwater. Be sure to water your herb garden deeply, but don't overwater because this can lead to root rot. I recommend using the finger test. Poke your index finger in the dirt. If it is dry all the way up to the first knuckle, then you can water. If it feels damp, then check back the next day.

Harvest Your Herbs Regularly

 To keep your herbs healthy and encourage new growth, it's important to harvest your herbs regularly. Be sure to check on them every day. As a rule of thumb, I check on all of my plants twice a day. In the mornings, while having my coffee, and in the evenings when I get home. You can harvest your herbs by snipping off the tips of the stems, being careful not to remove too much at once. You can use your herbs fresh or dry them for later use.

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