Belgian Nursery Blog

May 24, 2024
Herb Flavour Pic

Herb Gardening: Planting and Caring for Flavour

Looking for a way to expand your taste buds in your own garden? Try growing fresh herbs! They are perfect in the garden bed and will also thrive on your balcony and patios in pots, planters, window boxes, and even hanging baskets. Choose a sunny location with easy access to water; even better, keep them close to your door so you can add fresh herbs to all your meals with little effort!

Herbs are super easy to grow from pre-potted plants, or you can try growing your own delicious flavours from seed. Once the dangers of cold and frost are behind us, and the days/nights stay above 10°C, both of these options are good to go outside and into your pots and gardens. You can create your own mixed herb planters or seed them directly outside. You can even mix herbs in with your annuals and perennials; try Lemongrass in the centre of an annual planter, low growing Thyme in your borders or rock gardens, or Basil as a companion plant with your tomatoes.

Easy Herbs to seed directly outside in summer include: Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, and Oregano

– Make sure your growing location has at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight and rich, well-drained soil; most seeds do not germinate well in boggy conditions.

– Before seeding, amend your by garden soil (if you haven’t already) by mixing in compost or manure. Be sure to break up any clumps.

– If seeding into containers, only use potting soil – garden soil is too heavy for such a confined space and will crush their tiny roots.

– Gently water your intended growing location and wait for your soil to soak up the moisture.

– Follow your seed packet’s instructions for planting, paying special attention to seeding depth and spacing. This is also where you’ll find out if your seeds need to be covered with a light layer of soil, or if they can be left to germinate on the surface.

*Tip: keep vigorous spreaders (i.e. Mint!) in their own pots to help keep them controlled.

New seeds and seedlings need to be watered often, and should never be allowed to dry out completely. Check your soil often by inserting a finger down an inch or so, and watering well when it feels slightly dry. Keep up the daily plant checks and water deeply when needed throughout the growing season, especially through the summer heat. Some herbs like Basil are very “vocal” about getting too dry and will visibly droop and look, well, sad. Use an all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks during the summer to give your herbs valuable nutrients to help them thrive.

Some herbs, like Basil, are very quick growers but aren’t meant to live as long as, say, Thyme or Rosemary; these types of quick herbs are great for “succession planting” or planting/seeding new crops every 2 or 3 weeks. This way, you can have a continuous supply of fresh tasty herbs!

Fun Herb Facts!

– Ancient Greeks and Romans thought that Basil would only grow if you screamed wild curses while sowing the seeds. But please, warn your neighbours before testing out this theory.

– Speaking of Ancient Greeks, they referred to Rosemary as the “herb of remembrance” and students would braid it into their hair to help with studying and writing exams.

– Cilantro is actually a member of the Carrot family, and was one of the plants growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon over 2,500 years ago.

– Planting large patches of Thyme is an old English tradition, as they believed fairies would come and use the areas as a playground.

– Oregano is known as the “bringer of joy” and was often given to newlyweds to wish them future happiness.

– Mint was once believed to cure hiccups…and also heal wounds caused by sea serpents.

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