How to Care for your Herbs : an Introduction
You have taken the trouble to either grow from seed, or to buy, your beautiful herbs. So now we need to care for them to ensure their survival and wellbeing! All herbs have cells which behave like incredible chemical factories, producing a range of specific molecules which we can make use of. Some might flavour our food or drink. Some may help us to keep healthy, providing us with vitamins and minerals. Some may be oils with particular aromas and qualities which can be used in many ways.
What to they need from you?
There are a couple of key things you may like to know which will help you when caring for your herbs.
Find out what conditions they like to live in such as:
Gritty well- drained soils, acidic soil conditions, or unfussy!
Full sun or shady positions
If you have planted your herbs from seeds or bought them from a garden centre it will tell you what they like on the label!! Caring for them is a lot easier if you read the label … some herbs can be fussy about where they have their roots.
Oh yes! … please remember that these plants in their native habitat do not have kind caring people giving them a dose of fertiliser to make them greener, bigger, flower better and so on. So caring for your herbs does not need you to be ‘kind’ to them. Many a herb owner has “killed their herbs with kindness”. I hear it in the questions I get asked over and over again.
It also helps to know whether your herbs are Annuals, Perennials and are tender (die if exposed to frosts) or Hardy (may survive the winter outside!) Caring for them so that you can have more pleasure from your herbs in the following years is easier if you know. Again it tells you on the seed packet or label. But you can also find this out if you know its name by clicking HERE.
I’ll look at this in more details elsewhere. There is a free download called “Caring for your Herbs” which gives more specific advice on topics such as how to prune lavenders and rosemary and what to do with your sage plants.
You can download it by clicking HERE