Growing Herbs in Backyard of Home Garden
Today, we are into the discussion of growing herbs in the backyard of your home garden. Growing your own herbs is especially great because they don’t take much space & a little will go a long way into food. There are many types of herb gardens, such as a cooking herb garden, medicinal, ornamental, colonial, and fragrant. Growing herbs are the cornerstone of any delectable dish. The right herbs, complimenting the right meal, are often what creates the difference between good cooks and great cooks.
Choosing a location for starting an herb garden:
Most of the herbs grow at home need two things sunlight and well-drained soil. This means that when considering placing in your yard to plant an herb garden, you need to look for a location that gets 6 or more hours of sunlight a day and that is well drained.
Herbs flourish under the same conditions that you provide for a flower or vegetable garden. While most herbs will develop in partial shade, it is better if the herb garden receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. A majority of herbs will grow well under a wide range of soil conditions, with the exception of extremely wet, weakly drained soils. To develop soil fertility and tilth, add several bushels of compost per 100 square feet of soil before planting. Spade it into the soil carefully.
In general, herbs do better in soils of low to medium fertility, so extra fertilizer applications are not needed. Soils with high fertility tend to make lots of foliage that is low in flavor. Where can I Grow Herbs? Natural light: South-facing windows have the brightest light & most hours of sun during the short, cool winter days. Good choices for these locations are plants that come from tropical & semi-tropical climates, such as rosemary, thyme, basil, bay laurel, and oregano.
East- and west-facing windows receive bright sun for about 6 hours in the morning or afternoon, but east windows remain cooler. Good choices include mint, parsley, chives & chervil, which thrive with less intense light and choose the cooler temperatures.
Grow lights: Full-spectrum grows lights are perfect for all herbs. Place plants within a foot of the bulbs or follow the instructions given by your lights. Start by having the lights on for 12 to 16 hours a day for bright-light plants & adjust as necessary.
Classification of herbs:
Herbs are classified either as annuals, biennials, or perennial herbs. Annual herbs are generally grown from seed; they grow, flower, and produce seed during one season, and then die. Biennial herbs develop for two seasons, flowering the second year only. Perennial herbs, once established, over-winter & flower each season. Some herbs are tender perennials; these do not survive severe winters & are best grown as annuals or over-wintered indoors.
Soil requirement for growing herbs in the home backyard:
Herbs require a well-drained soil that is not too rich. The soil must have a pH of 6 to 7 and contain a moderate amount of organic matter. Herbs are fast-growing, so your customers won’t have to wait very long to get the tastes & smells they crave. Depending on the type, herbs can thrive in the sun or shade, but the majority of them will need at least 6 or more hours of sunlight a day.
Once the location is decided upon, it’s important to verify the surrounding soil. Be sure that wherever these herbs are planted that they have well-drained soil, a good watering practice & either a bit of compost or fertilizer around them.
If the soil is heavy with clay or is sandy, add an ample quantity of compost to the mix. If the soil is in fairly good condition, working a bit of compost into the soil will help provide it the added nutrition the herbs will need to grow.
However, be sure to avoid composted manures when raising an herb garden. Typically, these are high in nitrogen, which can help create herbs grow more quickly, but it can reduce the flavors they produce.
Some herbs are propagated, easy to start from seed, but others take a long time to germinate. Buy slow-growers at a nursery or divide existing plants. In some cases, you can develop new plants from cuttings.
Before sowing any herb, whether in seed-starting trays or directly in the garden, read the seed packet, which will give important information. Herbs that are easy to grow from seed will include:
Basil, Borage, Calendula, Chervil, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, and Sage.
Perennial herbs can be divided very easily. Use a garden fork to dig up the plant’s root system & either pull the roots apart by hand or cut the root mass into several pieces & replant them elsewhere in the garden. You can also put small divisions in pots to grow indoors through the winter. If the divisions are to be used outdoors, the best time to split falls when they are winding down for the year. When divided & replanted in autumn, plants get established faster.
Perennial herbs that respond well to division include:
Bee balm (monarda), Chives, Garlic chives, Marjoram, Oregano and Thyme
Stem cuttings of suitable herbs must be taken in spring or summer when plants are healthy and growing vigorously. Rosemary & tarragon tend to root better in the fall, so use them for cuttings at that time and grow them indoors over the winter. Herbs that are good for cuttings include:
Lavender, Mint, Oregano, and Sage
How to Take Cuttings:
Select stem segments that are tender & about three to six inches long, with at least 5 leaves along the stem. Create an angled cut, just above an outward-facing leaf node. Remove the lower leaves on the stem, immerse the cut end in rooting hormone powder, and plant it about 2″ deep in a 4″ pot of moistened potting soil. And also use vermiculite or perlite.
Cover the cuttings loosely with a plastic bag to create humid conditions & place them away from direct sunlight. Water the plants & water if needed; remove the plastic bag if there seems to be too much moisture. After a few weeks, confirm for new leaf growth, which indicates that the plants are rooting well. Report the plants into larger containers filled with regular potting soil & gradually expose the plants to full sun.
Watering: How to Care for Herbs
Many herbs, particularly those native to the Mediterranean climate, must have loose, fast-draining soil. Soggy soil, mainly in cooler winter temperatures, can be fatal to these plants. Plant rosemary, thyme, oregano & bay laurel in a blend of equal parts of cactus mix & regular potting soil. Allow the soil dry a bit before watering. Other herbs develop well in regular potting soil. Maintain soil slightly moist, but not soggy. Fertilize herbs once or twice a month with a liquid houseplant fertilizer.
Some herbs can easily grow at home backyard:
Coriander /Dhania, Spear Mint/Pudina, Curry Leaves/ Kadi Patta, Dill/ Sowa Bhaji, Rosemary, Basil, Peppermint, Chives, Sage, Dill, Fennel, Mint, Parsley, and Sage
Herbs respond well to harvesting, and will actually grow thicker & bushier with frequent snipping. For best results, harvest in the morning time using a pair of garden shears or kitchen scissors. Never remove more than one-third of the plant, so that it can recuperate & continue growing throughout the season. And, know that herbs taste best before flowering. By pinching back basil as soon as you see blooms beginning to form, for instance, extend the herb’s harvest life.
There are a few different drying processes that can use before storing your herbs. The drying process is just as important as the cultivation of the plant as much oils & flavors can be lost during the process.
Air drying involves simply hanging the plants upside down for about 1 to 2 weeks and is the traditional means of herb drying. This process is favored by most people because as the plant hangs upside down the oils & flavor are pulled into the leaves by gravity.
Place the harvested plants in a paper bag will help them retain their oils while gradually letting unwanted moisture evaporate. Placing them in the dark while the dry will ensure a high flavor herb.
Oven drying can be completed using either a conventional oven or a microwave oven. This is done by cooking the harvested leaves for a short period of time, for a conventional oven this is done on a low heat for 2 to 4 hours, for a microwave oven, they are cooked for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Salt drying involves placing harvested leaves in a tray of non-iodized table salt for about 2 to 4 weeks. This process can only be used on “non-hairy” leaves but can result in a uniquely flavored herb. After drying, the herbs are then clean, free from any remaining salt, and are then stored in a glass container.
After the drying process, all herbs must be either ground down to fine powder or they can store in air-tight containers.
For about the first week of storage, it is very important to inspect the stored herbs daily to see if there are any signs of moisture, such as water droplets within the container, or at worst, growing mold.
That’s all guys about growing herbs in backyard of your home garden. Keep gardening!.