Common Mistakes That Novice Herb Gardeners Make – Part 2
Last time we discussed few of the top-most common mistakes a novice herb gardener makes. In this article, I am highlighting the same concerns that are mainly about things that usually go wrong in the herb garden. Growing herbs has a much deeper facet for many people, so when herbs do not thrive, it creates a sense of real distress.
Lack of Planning
This is the most common mistake herb gardeners often make. They start herb gardening without having a plan. A random selection of herbs usually results in an herb garden that doesn’t really meet your expectations, whether medicinal or culinary. Starting off with a large number of varieties of herbs can make herb gardening an imposition and not a pleasure.
My solution to this lack of planning is to decide on a specific theme, beauty, culinary, medicinal etc. Then narrow it down further more by deciding on a theme within the main theme. For instance, if your theme is culinary, select those herb seedlings that can be easily grouped together such as thyme, rosemary, oregano and majoram. For a more comprehensive mix, you can take parsley and bay. Or you chose herbs that are ideal for Italian cuisine like thyme, oregano or sweet basil.
Use a pen and a paper and write down the list of all herbs that are in-sync with your theme. Check their availability in Walmart or local nursery. Then make three columns – ‘not essential’, ‘must have’ and ‘good to have’. In this way you can plan your herb gardening theme and avoid the mistake of starting a herb garden design with too many herbs.
Begin with 4 to 8 herbs – that’s a good number to start herb gardening.
This is another mistake most novice gardeners make. Remember that the ground needs to be well dug over, with bone meal and good-quality compost added before plantation of the herbs. Before planting herb seedlings in the ground, water them well, as dry root balls do not get thoroughly wet when underground.
To encourage the new root growth, make sure that you loosen those dry root balls with gentle hands. Firm the soil very gently around the herb and then water carefully to settle the soil.
Do Not Fall In Love with Herbs
Many people often fall in love with the beauty of herbs and do not cut their herbs. Well, it’s a great mistake too. Don’t be afraid to trim your herbs every now and then, they shouldn’t grow into extensive bushes. It is necessary that you cut the herbs regularly and freeze or dry them.
Try investing some time reading how to make herbal oils, bath oils, vinegars and soaps. In that way you can utilize these herbs while harvesting and they also become a part and parcel of your everyday life. Herbs also are known to be one of the best gifts that you can give to your friend.
Enjoy your Herbs
The best way to learn anything in life is from one’s own mistakes. So whatever happens, just have fun and more importantly enjoy your herbs.