Our Second Year With An Herb Garden
Last summer, we completely redid our back porch area, complete with a beautiful herb garden. I do a lot of cooking and loved the idea of being able to step outside for some fresh basil or mint. Even though herb care is relatively simple, we learned quite a few things along the way to keep them looking fantastic through the spring, summer, and even fall. I thought I’d share my tips today for plant care and a few outdoor inspiration pieces in case you’re looking for a little refresh like we were.
Herb Care 101
Sunlight: Most herbs need a good amount of sunlight. Ours receive indirect and direct sunlight all day long and were fine for three quarters of the year. It’s recommended to plant them somewhere with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
Soil & Watering: We went with a basic potting soil at Home Depot and you don’t need anything fancier in my opinion! Fertilizer is also not necessary, so keep it simple for this little project! I watered all my plants every other day last summer but didn’t kick myself if I accidentally skipped a day. Herbs are pretty hearty overall. The only herb that I found really needed that watering schedule was the cilantro and basil (I even watered every day during the peak heat of the summer). Also make sure that your pots or planters have a drainage hole so that excess water can drip out.
Maintenance and Upkeep: The more trimming that you do for your herbs (i.e. plucking a few leaves of cilantro for your Taco Tuesday night), the more your plants will thrive. I tried to take a little bit from each plant weekly, simply because it encourages healthy growth. Try not to let a plant sit stagnant for too long; you always want to trim the growth, especially for fast growing herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint. They can easily run wild if you aren’t careful!
For extensive reading and more tips, check out this article. I found it really helpful when we were starting out!
Other Plants We’re Planting
We got a beautiful hibiscus tree for the back porch and could not be happier with it. These like full sun for a few hours of the day and also like to have their “used” blooms cut off after the prime. Weekly watering will suffice for this plant and I find ours pretty easy to keep up with. Other favorites of ours have been sweet potato vine (for our front porch pot), salvia (deer resistant with purple blooms), and I’m currently waiting on periwinkle flowers for some color (they are also deer resistant). My other recommendation for anyone just starting out with plants are ferns. Get them in hanging basket form and they are so beautiful and most importantly, easy. Be careful though, these like shade and do not appreciate lots of direct sunlight!