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Herb gardens are great for a variety of reasons including the culinary and medicinal value of such plants. Certain herbs can season food, help you sleep, and may even help to cure colds. The good thing about herbs is that most are relatively easy to plant and will thrive in different types of soil. Herbs are defined as plants that lack a woody stem, and die back at the end of each growing season. While herbs can be purchased at the grocery store, it is often much less costly to grow your own in a home herb garden. Herbs can be grown either indoors or outdoors.
Growing Herbs Indoors vs. Outdoors
Herb gardens can be grown inside or outside depending on you needs, space available, and climate. There are advantages and disadvantages to both indoor and outdoor growing. When you grow herbs indoors they are often easier to access and you can grow them year round. On the other hand, herbs grown outdoors tend to result in higher yields, and have more flavor. Regardless of whether you choose to place your herb garden indoors or outdoors, it is important to keep in mind that all herbs need moderate temperatures, plenty of sunlight, and soil that drains well.
Indoor Herb Gardening Tips
If you plan to create an indoor herb garden, the most important thing is the location of your plants. Herbs need to have at least 6 hours of sunlight and should therefore be placed in windows that offer the most light. Another option is to use grow lights if you don't get enough natural sunlight in your house. When growing herbs indoors, you should ensure that the plants are getting enough water without over watering, which can cause roots to rot, especially in containers. Many herbs can be started indoors and then transferred outdoors.
Outdoor Herb Gardening Tips
Location is also important when planting an outdoor herb garden as sufficient sunlight is important for plant health and growth. Herbs tend to do well in several different soil conditions but you do want to ensure that you have soil that drains well while still retaining nutrients and moisture. With outdoor herb gardens, it can be helpful to group plants together that have similar watering needs to ensure that all your plants thrive.
Many herbs can be started with seeds but some such as mint and oregano tend to do better when they are transplanted. If you are starting a garden with seeds, it can actually be started indoors and then when the weather permits, the seedlings can be transferred outside. Before transferring plants outside, you want to ensure that frost will not be an issue. Herbs should also be watered approximately one to two hours before transplant.
Choosing Herbs to Grow
There are many different types of herbs and what you include in your garden will depend on your specific needs. While herbs tend to be a bit easier to grow than other types of plants, certain herbs are recommended for beginners. Chives, basil, cilantro, mint, sage, and lemongrass, are among some of the easiest herbs to grow in either indoor or outdoor gardens.
Once herbs are harvested, they will need to be stored. The majority of herbs will taste best when they are freshly picked but depending on your yield you may need some long term storage options. Most people either dry or freeze their herbs for long term storage. Dried herbs will be best when used within a year but many can actually be stored for two to three years. Herbs can also be frozen and stored for later use. Freezing tends to be the easiest method of storing herbs and in most cases the plants will retain their color and flavor.
Written By Ava Rose.