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Grow Your Own Herb Garden

Imagine just for one moment having your own 24-hour supply of garden fresh herbs. Even a small herb garden can infuse your kitchen with heavenly aromas and striking flavors.

Herbs are easy to grow and don’t take a lot of space in the garden. They require minimal care and are willing to grow in tiny places. I grow the majority of my herbs all together in a small circle, approximately 10 square feet. But, you can grow your herbs with your vegetables, fruits or other plants. They serve as protectors for other plants, repelling insects and plant diseases. Herbs are attractive in your garden and they smell wonderful. They do not need a lot of water either. Once you discover how easy it is to grow herbs, you will likely collect them passionately as I have. Starting with a few I now grow over 100 herbs all over my garden and some of them are wild.

Digging up a small area in the yard – or filling a few pots on the patio – and planting herbs can be revolutionary in helping you to remain connected.

Find A Location
Find a location first. Some herbs like to grow in a sunny location, while others prefer filtered sunlight, even shade.  Many herbs can be grown in pots, so you can move them around, even indoors during the winter.

Choose Your Favorite Herbs
Start simple and keep it manageable. Choose culinary herbs you enjoy in your kitchen. Freshly snipped chives over just about anything, calendula, rose, or violet petals to brighten up your salads, or a few orange mint leaves in your water, can bring so much variety and joy into your life. You may also want to grow herbs for their medicinal properties, such as echinacea, lemon balm, comfrey, etc.

The design for your garden can include a simple raised bed, a circle made with stones, a wagon wheel shape, ladder, or you can plant herbs directly into your landscape. For example yarrow, valerian and thyme are just beautiful when included in an existing landscape. They can make excellent companions to vegetables or fruit trees, for example California poppies, chamomile, or evening primrose.

Planning your herb garden and the placement of your chosen herbs may take a few days or perhaps weeks. Just go and sit in your garden and visualize your herb garden. Make a drawing on a piece of paper. Then place your little herb pots on the ground in their places you decided on. Leave them there for a few days, of course water them as needed, do not let them dry out, and see how they like it so far. They will tell you one way or the other if they like that spot or not. Then, make some changes if needed. If a plant dies, don’t fret too much, just replace it.

The Farmer’s Almanac calendar can guide you to find the best days of the month to plant your herbs. It may sound superstition, but I always follow their planting time suggestion for the greatest success. It works! I like to improve on our alkaline soil with some peatmoss, vermiculite and compost. After planting, keep a close eye on your little “babies”. Water them as needed, this may be twice or three times a day for a few days. Cover them with cloth or hot caps if they get too hot. Plants are like us, staying unprotected in the sun for the first time and for too long will burn them and dry them out too.

Herbs In Pots
The following plants are best planted in containers, as they either may take over your garden, or they may re-seed in the same pot, so you have them coming up year after year.
  •  Aloe Vera
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Basil
  • Horehound
  • Calendula
  • Marjoram
  • Catmint
  • Any Type of Mint
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Cilantro
  • Sage
  • Ginger
  • Spilanthes
  • Iris
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Jerusalem Artichoke Thyme
  • Lavender Violet
  • Lemon Balm
Leilah's Secrets For Happy Gardening

When you start gardening you notice that there are bugs everywhere, some are good and cute, such as lady bugs and praying mantis, lace wings, but some are not so nice, they sting, bite, or otherwise bother you. So, I go with my ammunition into my garden, Herb Stop’s Natural Bug Spray. This spray contains Canadian catnip, guaranteed to keep those “nasties” away. I have added other essential oils to potentize my spray, lemongrass, citronella; as well as peppermint and lavender to cool the skin (bugs like hot bodies). People who live in the Rim Country know all about the no-seems. You can’t see these little flying bugs, but they can cause a severe reaction in certain people. If I get bit, stung or poked in my garden I use Sting Stop. This roll-on has a soothing effect, helps reduce swelling and takes that itch away.

When I am in my garden I loose track of time, 10 minutes can turn into several hours. To prevent sun damage and overheating, I like to use Derma-E Natural Mineral SunScreen on exposed areas, such as face, hands and legs. 

Remember to drink water. Bring a jug of water with you into the garden. Pick your herb of choice, peppermint, basil, lemon verbena, etc. to turn your “boring” water into a delicious drink. Keep it in the shade. Cooling tea is a most delicious beverage to keep your body cool and hydrated, even your skin. Prepare the day before and cool it overnight.

Just so you know, gardening makes your fingernails dirty, your hands rough (even if you wear gloves), and your body sweaty, but you feel ahhhh so wonderful, uplifted, blissful, renewed, energized, it is hard to describe the feelings that overcome you. A long shower or a refreshing bath with some essential oils is the icing on the cake after your gardening experience. I add 10 drops of grapefruit or orange essential oils to my bath for a fresh, clean feeling, or lavender for a pleasant deep sleep. The Herb Stop makes some incredible totally natural soaps, made from scratch. Epsom salt is great added to bathwater to prevent muscle soreness. To keep your hands and fingernails smooth and hydrated I use the Calendula Body Butter, Exotic Butters, Shea Cream. Use them also on any dry spots on your body and face.

Written By Leilah