Summer gardens flourish in South Carolina. If you love the idea of having your own garden but the work and the yard space are holding you back, consider starting an herb garden. Herb gardens are easy to establish and maintain. Fresh herbs not only elevate your favorite recipes but they are also lovely to look at.
There are many creative and attractive ways to set up an herb garden, but let’s start with the basics. Herb gardens need sunlight and well-drained soil. Find a place in your yard that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day in a location that is close to your home or, even better, close to your kitchen. This will make gathering herbs as you need them much more convenient.
Check the soil in the area you’ve chosen. If the soil is very compact or consists of clay you will need to improve drainage by working in compost or peat moss as well as some gardening soil about one foot in depth. If you don’t want to dig up your yard, you can choose several attractive planters to group together. We have seen herb gardens thrive in everything from an antique wash tub to an old-fashioned wooden yard cart. It all depends on your personal aesthetic and the proper planter. Your planter must be deep enough for roots to expand and small drain holes need to be included to prevent flooding during heavy rain.
Choosing which herbs to grow depends mainly on your personal taste. Local home and garden stores and nurseries have a variety of choices. Some of the most popular herbs are basil, oregano, rosemary, dill and sage. Think about your favorite recipes and chose the herbs that you would use most.
Harvest your herbs throughout the season by pinching off the tips; this will encourage new growth. At the end of the season you can bring in the abundance and hang them in bundles to dry or freeze so you can enjoy them all year.
A little bit of effort to set up an herb garden now will add beauty to your home and flavor to your life.
Watch for our upcoming seminar on herb gardens. Your family will love their taste and you will love the convenience of having your own personal herb garden within steps of your kitchen.