Here’s The Proper Way To Create A Herb Garden

Eva Monning Eva Monning

Fresh herbs from the planting bed are simply a must in a garden. We can help you to plan and create your herb garden.

Herbs

Fragrant herbs for the kitchen - they are simply most delicious when you grow your own

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Herbs and spices are a pleasure to behold with their variety of colors, a delight for the senses with their fragrances, and they alleviate some physical ailments with their beneficial active ingredients. As a spice or decoration in delicate meals they add a finishing touch to the most delicious dishes. No wonder that the trend of cultivating these healthy herbs directly in your own herb garden is becoming more and more popular. This can be done successfully even in the middle of the city, as fresh herbs also thrive on balconies. But there are some rules to follow when planning and creating a herb garden.

Where is the proper place to create a herb garden?
  • Do not mix annual and perennial herbs. Group together herbs that work well together
  • Combine kitchen herbs as a mixed culture with vegetables and other plants
  • Herbs can be grown in limited spaces using a herb spiral
  • Do not spray herbs and only use organic fertilizer or compost

Creating and planning herb gardens: The proper choice of herbs

Certain factors play a role in planning when creating a herb garden. The first question you should ask yourself is: Which herbs do I want to plant and what are their requirements? Because it makes a difference whether you want to grow warmth-loving rosemary or thirsty watercress. Sage and oregano need a place in the sun and drier soil, while parsley, borage, and chives require plenty of water. While coriander and salad burnet prefer lime-rich soils. And not all herbs enjoy being next to one another. Peppermint and chamomile, for example, do not tolerate each other particularly well. Dill, tarragon, marjoram, and thyme do not like to be side by side in the herb bed.

Half-height herb bed

Decorative and snail-free: A half-height herb bed in a wooden frame decorates the lawn

As a rule of thumb: Do not mix annual and perennial herbs, instead, form groups of each. It’s best to do this by making a list of your favorite herbs and their substrate, location, and sunlight requirements. Then group all the herbs that go well together (for example, oregano, thyme, and savory or with lavender) and then choose a good location for your herb bed based on your observations.

The Shape And Location Of The Herb Garden

Herb wheel

Plants are more easily reached from all sides in a herb wheel

Next, you should think about what you want your herb garden to look like and where it should be. If you don’t want to plan your herb garden yourself, you can go for tried and tested types of bed. For example, elegant herb spirals with herbs cultivated in a helical shape are popular. You can easily construct a yourself. In a herb wheel, plants are spread out in a circular shaped bed, similarly to in between the spokes of a wheel. Kitchen and medicinal herbs can also be readily combined in mixed cultivation with vegetables and other plants, organized strictly according to a in rectangles or arranged according to the style of the Far Eastern harmonious teachings of "Feng Shui".

If you want to handle the planning yourself, you can design the shape of your herb garden completely individually, depending on your personal preferences and the space available. You can also create your herb garden intuitively, for example by taking inspiration from the various herb colors and then combining these with one another according to visual aspects. However, you should observe the intolerances of some plants to one another, so as not to get an unwelcome surprise.

Raised herb bed

Round herb bed with dry-wall partitions made from gray wacke stones

Only plan a herb bed that is manageable in size both from a gardening and culinary perspective and not so that at the end half of the spoils end up unused in the compost. Small name plates help to keep an overview of the individual varieties, particularly during the sowing period. Also be aware that many herb plants, such as sage and chives, are particularly appealing to bees during flowering. If you are afraid of the buzzing insects then you should not plant these herbs directly next to seating areas on the patio or balcony.

The classic: The herb spiral

Herb spiral

A completed herb spiral planted with herbs

A herb spiral is a real eye-catcher in the garden and a good opportunity to cultivate different herbs. However, you need to plan plenty of space and some labor time for this type of herb garden. A properly laid, walled herb spiral stands out because a single herb bed can simultaneously fulfil various location requirements with different moisture zones - from humus-rich, moist soil to dry warm substrates: Each level of the spiral provides its own micro-landscape. This means every herb has its perfect planting space and the plant selection is not only restricted to like-minded plants.

Creating a herb garden: Advantages of a raised bed

Raised herb bed

The garden can be so beautiful: Raised herb bed with clay pot figures and an insect hotel

When laying a herb bed, in addition to low cottage and vegetable garden beds, you can also consider a herb spiral or raised bed. Raised beds are particularly suitable for Mediterranean species, as the soil there is drier and warmer than in a normal bed. A raised bed has the further positive feature that you can harvest comfortably without bending over, and that the delicious fragrances waft directly into the nose when strolling by. And best of all: Snails have no chance with a raised bed! Hanging plants such as nasturtium also enjoy a raised planting position from which they can let their long tendrils hand down. If the raised bed is intended for planting exclusively with herbs, you can make it particularly narrow, for example along a patio, and design it as a decorative and fragrant visual screen element.

How can I make a creative herb bed?

A herb garden in itself is already a diverse, creative garden component. And herbs do not always need the classic garden shape. The half-height, clump-forming herbs are perfect for decorative planting, so, for example, you can use time to create a living bed border. Or you can use herbs which like dry conditions for adding greenery to dry stone walls. Be creative and plant your herb pots in wooden boxes, old containers or a discarded wheelbarrow (don’t forget the drainage holes!). Small name plates made from enamel, wood or slate are not only practical, they also look pretty.

A small herb garden on the balcony

Wall rack with plant holders

Space-saving ideas for balcony herbs: A wall rack with pot holders

A herb garden doesn’t need much space. You can even create smart herb pot arrangements by skillfully positioning boxes and pots on the balcony or patio. Determine the proper corner for your herb garden based on the amount of sunlight and create a flower step or easel to populate with several pots or boxes. Hanging baskets perfectly showcase the creeping types of rosemary and thyme. The advantage of a pot garden when planning a herb garden is that every plant has its space. So the individual substrate, watering, and space requirements can be met perfectly, and the various herbs will not grow into one another. If a plant dies back or is fully harvested, simply swap the pot for a new one - easy peasy.

What else should you be aware of when creating a herb garden?

Herbs are delicious and particularly effective due to their concentrated ingredients. So don’t only plan the planting when cultivating herbs, but also the care for these precious ingredients. The herb garden should be as far away from traffic as possible so that the harmful exhaust fumes are not absorbed by the plants. Moreover, you should not use synthetic herbicides, insecticides or fungicides and only use organic fertilizer or compost. It is best to water the herbs with fresh, lime-deficient water. Water from a water butt is not suitable for herbs and vegetables due to the lime content that will be consumed raw.

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