Herbs gardening can be seen as a multipurpose activity, that also serves as a relaxing routine to pass time as well. The output adds flavor to our cooking, improves aroma in the surroundings and can provide for medicinal value as well.
Herbs rightly defined as (often) aromatic plants used especially in medicine or seasoning forms a vital part of our life. This includes the soap that we have used this morning or the sweater that has been done with organic dyes, the aspirin that we often use, which is again an extract from plants, not to mention the dinner that we relish is also garnished with tarragon and rosemary in the form of potatoes and carrots.
Herbs go a long way in garnishing our salads and to pep up those bland vegetables or bring in flavor to the stews and meats for which one just has to nip of few leaves from the kitchen sill or the backyard as and when required.
Few of the herbs that can be home grown would be the following: chives, basil, chervil, marjoram sweet, thyme, sage, savory summer, mint, sesame, lavender, borage, chervil, and parsley.
Now let's take a quick look at herbs gardening, their preferred pH balancing, soilless cultivation, watering requirements, impending pest problems, so on and so forth:
• Herbs can be grown in a formal herb garden, as pot plants decorating your patio, amongst the ornamental plants in a bed or as a hanging basket plants. Be it a spacious outdoor garden or just your window sill, all they need is sunshine in plenty and well drained soil.
• Choosing a healthy herb plant – making the right choice is that extra step to invest in buying healthy herbs rather than wasting time and effort in infested herbs gardening.
• The best growing grounds for herbs would be in pots, in soilless mixture of perlite, peat, and vermiculite with a cup of ground limestone to each bushel of soil to keep it non–acidic. Normally best results can be obtained from a soil that is close to neutral with a pH value of 6.5 to 7.0.
• It is also imperative to keep in mind that the soil in pots dries faster than the soil in ground, so herbs grown in containers require frequent watering especially during summer.
• Watering – as much as it is vital to water the herbs periodically it is also necessary to make sure that the pots have drainage holes thereby keeping them moderately moist and not sopping wet or extremely dry making them wilt from lack of moisture.
• Fertilizing – overfertilizing of herbs results in over growth decreasing the concentration of essential oils turning it bushy prolific and less in flavor.
• Pests – aromatic herbs are not bothered so much by pests as are vegetable gardens. Few remedies for the same would be Garlic, Calendula, Mint, Lavender: Garlic works against Japanese beetles and aphids, calendula daunts pests above and below ground, mint keeps away aphids and flea beetles, lavender is well known to keep away moths.
• Finally, freezing your hard harvested herbs is your best bet to help keep their flavor fresh.