Herb gardens

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by caroline00, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    I have tried several times to start an herb garden but have failed...

    the weeds take over before the plants are well started... and I have trouble figuring out what are keepers and what are not.

    the chickens have gotten into it while they are still seedlings (that has been solved)

    the herbs I started inside have not been strong enough to transplant (poor inside lighting?

    so what are good herbs to start with?
    Is there a good planting plan available on the net?
    can I cover the ground in plastic and then cut away where there will be a plant put in? then plastic covered with wood chips?(my husband is resistant to this suggestion)

    I will be using part of a meadow for the herb garden, so the existing weedseeds are prolific

    What has worked for you?
  2. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 31, 2002
    No. Cent. AR
    What has worked best for me was to plant herbs intermixed with the veggies they are going to season. I always plant my basil in between the tomatoes. They do well together. I plant dill near my cukes. Summer savory with my green beans. Formalized herb gardens really take a lot of time to get started and maintain. I just don't want to spend that time right now. It has been my experience that herbs are usually not all that hardy especially where I live.

  3. Aohte

    Aohte Guest

    Planting herbs in the vegetable garden would be your best bet for the coming season. The plants would be in soil that has been cultivated and you would have a better idea of what would grow in your area. The potage gardens of the French chateau's are famous for this. The book " French vegetable Gardening" has beautiful photo's and layouts.

    If you still want to have a seperate herb garden after reading that book, you'll need to destroy the weed seeds. This could take 2 years or more doing it organicly. First place black plastic over the area where you want the beds. Anchor it so it stays put for the summer. Don't put mulch over the plastic. You want the temperature to get hot enough to kill the weed seeds. In the fall, pull off the plastic and till.Replace the plastic for the winter. The following summer, you need to remove the plastic, till and replace the plastic every 4 to 6 weeks. You want to bring as many weed seeds to the surface as possible. In the second fall remove the plastic and replace it with at least 4" of mulch. Next spring watch it carefully for sprouts. If it seems the weeds are still in control, repeat the process. An alternative would be to remove the sod containg the weed seeds. This also removes the tilth and you would have to replace it with well rotted compost.
  4. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    The herbs we planted last year seemed to grow best when we had both warm days and nights. We planted from seed we ordered from Pinetree. Make sure they have lots of good organic soil and water deeply to leach out the salts(we have pretty bad soil). You can also get starts from Home Depot and they guarantee their plants for a year.
  5. gardencatz

    gardencatz Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    I plant my perennial herbs in my perennial flower beds and among my roses, or (for the invasive ones, like mint) in pots. Annuals, like basil, I plant with my veggies.

    Have you tried starting your seeds outside after the weather warms up in pots? Use a good quality potting soil, throw in some seeds and keep the pots well-watered. This way, they'll already be acclimated to the weather and you won't have to figure out what's a weed and what's a plant. After they're big enough, you can plant them where ever you want, leave them in the pots to grow and either transfer them to larger pots when they outgrow the one they're in or find a permanent location for them.

  6. jessandcody

    jessandcody Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    You can also try an herb garden in a small raised bed. It's easier to keep track of them. I've noticed that certain herbs look a lot like weeds and tend to get "lost" in a big garden.
  7. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2003
    NE Ohio
    Like Cindielynne, I have my non-invasive herbs in the perennial garden. All of the mints, including lemon balm and bergamot, have their own bed. Chamomile can also self seed like wildfire here in zone 5, but I love it so much that I just pull the little ones up and plant them in a clump wherever I find a place, or toss them to the hens. I usually buy mine as plants. Our garden center sells little pots for $3, and if they are perrenial, they will get big in no time and last for years. Having a few gardener friends helps as well, as most of us are happy to share when we divide in spring or fall. I've seen people grow container herb gardens, but you have to water religiously (I never remember). A meadow will be difficult. Anything that mother nature plants in a place is bound to take over the things we put in! So many herbs have beautiful textures and colors, and only add to the flower or vegitable garden!
  8. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    The Ozarks
    I do mine in pots as well. In fact, nearly the entire 70 foot length of our back porch is lined with pots, all full with herbs. Every spring, as soon as it's warm enough, I put fresh dirt in the pots, dump my seeds in, and they do beautifully.
    I love having them in pots because there's no weeding, and they're just a step outside from the kitchen. They're wonderfull fragrant as well.
    Our back porch gets morning sun, til about noon, that's it. It's been my personal expereience that herbs don't like the full sun you're always told to plant them in. We live in zone 5.