February 17 2016
herb garden

Start Your Own Herb Garden in NJ

Fresh herbs are a savory and healthy way to turn simple home cooking into gourmet deliciousness. And, they’re easy to grow virtually anywhere, even with limited space.

If you’ve ever considered starting your own herb garden in or outside of your New Jersey home, here’s a brief guide to help you get started.

Things You’ll Need (Besides Herbs)
Before you go out and buy your herbs, you’ll want to make sure you have the essentials for your garden, including:

Soil
There are many different types of soil to choose from. As a general guideline, try to use a rich soil with 50 percent solids and 50 percent porous space so that your herbs have adequate room for water, air and roots.

Space
The beauty of herb gardening is that you don’t need more than a few feet of space to grow fresh, aromatic herbs. Even in densely populated areas, there are all sorts of cool and creative ways to start your own herb garden. If you already have a spacious garden outside, even better. You can also grow your herbs indoors, perhaps in the kitchen for a quick snip while cooking.

Pots (Optional)
Herbs love to grow in the ground. They also integrate beautifully with vegetables, flowers and even shrubs. Nevertheless, it’s totally fine if you prefer to keep them in separate pots. Just be sure to get pots with enough depth to allow for the herbs’ roots to grow.

Choosing Your Herbs
Now, the fun part. For beginners, it’s best to start with two or three herbs until you get a feel for how much space and time you want to devote to the project. Pick your favorites:

  • Basil (the consensus best starter herb)
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Chives

Tips
Here are a few herb gardening tips to ensure that you have an enjoyable and successful experience:

Use seedlings rather than seeds.
Herbs from your local gardening center will be much easier to work with than delicate seeds.

Plant your herbs when there is no danger of a frost.
In NJ, mid-May is usually safe.

Assess sunlight carefully.
If you’re planting indoors, be mindful that herbs do require adequate sunlight to grow healthily. On the flip side, you also don’t want them to bake in the hot summer sun for 12 hours a day, so try to pick somewhere that gets shade either in the morning or afternoon.

Water them consistently.
Unlike many houseplants, herbs should be watered pretty much daily.

Cut from the top.
When it comes time to savor the flavor, always cut leaves from the top and allow smaller leaves at the bottom to grow into your harvest. That said, don’t be afraid to harvest frequently. You don’t want your herbs to grow out of control and become top-heavy.

Learn More About Herb Gardening
There is much more to learn and love about herb gardening. For more tips and advice, call on the professionals at High Tech Landscapes to help you start the herb garden you’ve always wanted. Click here to contact us today.