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Top 10 Tips on Growing Herbs Print E-mail
Megan Saurus   
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Top 10 Tips on Growing HerbsGrowing herbs is such a wonderful hobby - these extraordinary plants can spice up our food, beautify our garden, scent our homes, and some can even deter pests and have healing power. Want to start your own herb gardening right away? You may find the following tips helpful.

1. Sun. Almost all herbs love a sunny location, and some prefer full sun. Therefore, when choosing a home for your herbs, be it outdoors or indoors, please make sure that there will be at least six hours of good sunlight.

2. Water. Similar to most plants, herbs thrive on water, but not too much! Over-watering will lead to root decay, a "death sentence" to the herb. Having said that, please note that when growing herbs in pots it is necessary to water more regularly to compensate the loss of water from evaporation.

3. Soil. Herbs prefer light, well-drained soil for the healthy growth of their roots. For potted plants, you may want to mix two-parts of potting soil with one-part of sand, with gravels placed at the bottom of the container to ensure good drainage. For herb gardening outdoors, simply mix in some compost if you find the soil in your garden too heavy or compact.

4. Fertilizers. You may be surprised that herbs need little fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer will weaken the plants. For example, if basil is given too much nitrogen-heavy fertilizer, its leaves will become less flavorful... the last thing you want do do!

5. Sowing
. Just a quick tip: If the herb seeds are small, you can mix in some sand to help sowing the seeds evenly.

6. Check for Pests. While the strong flavor and scent of the herbs serve as natural repellent against many insects, some herbs do succumb to particular pests, notably Dill, Fennel and Caraway to Aphids; and Mint to Rust. For any herb gardening, the best way to contain the damage is to remove all infected leaves and stems immediately.

7. Harvest Regularly. You may know that regular pruning encourages a plant's growth. Similarly, periodic "pruning" i.e. harvesting will actually make your herbs grow stronger and healthier.

8. Replanting. Annual plants such as Basil and Cilantro cannot survive the frost. Therefore, growing herbs in pots has to be the solution during winter, but they can be replanted outside next spring.

9. Companion Plants. Check out the best friends for your favourite herbs! Did you know that certain plants help each other grow healthier? They are called companion plants. Classic examples include Garlic and Rose; and Basil and Tomato.

10. And last but not least... Plan Ahead. Growing herbs has never been easier in a well-planned herb garden: it is not only beautiful, but also functional with little maintenance. A bit of organization goes a long way. Have fun!

Megan Saurus is a dedicated herb gardener and author, and someone who is passionate about quality cooking, health and life. Besides growing herbs, she enjoys cooking, making potpourri gift bags for family and friends, and reading with her children. To learn how Megan enjoys herb gardening, please visit her website at

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