What Herbs Do You Use Most in the Kitchen?
There are so many different herbs that you can plant in your kitchen herb garden, so a great first step is to think about what herbs you like to cook with in the kitchen. A good place to start is herbs like basil, oregano, sage and parsley.
Think about what dishes or types of cuisine you cook most and what herbs you might need to prepare those dishes. Make a shopping list and head off you your local nursery. Our local Walmart also has a great selection of herbs for around $3 each!
Consider the Final Height of Herbs
Make sure that you look at the labels and tags that come with your herbs. There are height ranges for each plant, and you want to make sure that you plant the taller herbs in the back if your garden is located or on the side of your home (like mine!). If not, you may still want to stagger the plants according to height for a visually appealing garden.
Some Herbs are More Invasive Than Others
Certain types of herbs like mints and lemon balm are EXTREMELY invasive–they will take over your herb garden if you let them! You may want to think about planting those herbs in separate pots or planters. You can also plant them in the ground in a pot to prevent them from spreading.
Think About Color
Most people just think of herbs as being green. While they are nice and green, certain herbs can also produce very colorful flowers. For example lavender and chives will produce vibrant purple flowers. Pineapple sage is great for bright red blooms.
If you select herbs that aren’t flowering, you can also choose to add color through annuals like petunias, impatiens or marigolds. I like to use marigolds because their scent also helps with keeping away garden pests, including bunnies!
Not only does mulching look nice, it helps prevent weeds from popping up all over your herb garden. There are a number of different options for mulching including all different shades of wood from black to red. I love to use cocoa shells for mulching in my herb garden. They add a nice warm brown color and smell heavenly!
If you use cocoa shells, know that they can be toxic to pets. If you think your dog would try to eat them, it’s best to choose a different type of mulch!
Natural Pest Control
I try to keep everything as natural as possible in our herb garden, but it’s not immune from garden pests, so I have to find ways to keep them away from my plants! If you like to grow basil, you may notice that slugs also like it (yuck!)! An easy way to keep them away is to put a small bowl of beer close to the basil plant. Slugs love beer and will be happy to indulge in it and leave your basil plant alone.
If a certain plant is getting a lot of insect bites/damage, you can also cover it with a large mason jar to give it some extra protection. This approach also works well for delicate plants in early spring– it creates a sort of mini greenhouse!
If you have bunnies that like to munch on your herbs, you can create a solution of water, a squirt of dish soap and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix well and place the solution in a spray bottle and spray the affected herbs. The dish soap helps the solution adhere to the leaves of the plant. The bunnies will stay far away from your spicy plants (just make sure you wash the herbs well before using them in your cooking!).
Do you have a kitchen herb garden? What are your favorite herbs to grow?