A little sprinkle of fresh herbs on a meal can mean the difference between flavours that are just nice, and flavours that are just spectacular.
And when you have fresh herbs growing in your own backyard, porch planters, or window box, this makes it even easier to boost the flavour of your homemade meals.
Before you get started though, you’ll want to learn about the best growing conditions, decide on a gardening method that will work for you, and think about whether you want to start with seeds or live plants.
Before you pick out a selection of your favourite herbs, make sure you have the right growing conditions available to help them prosper.
Most herbs need full sun, so pick the right location – one that receives at least 8 hours of direct sun per day.
Sometimes a spot in your yard can appear to have full sun – until later in spring when the trees finish leafing out, and the same spot is suddenly plunged into shade for most of the day.
Make sure you pick a spot that will have enough sun available for your plants, even once your trees finish leafing out.
If you have the perfect spot for your spring garden project but it is located in partial shade, be sure to check the sun requirements for each of your choices – some may work in partial shade, such as bay laurel, lemon balm, mint, and parsley.
In addition to requiring full sun, herbs need soil with good drainage.
If your garden soil doesn’t drain well, you can amend it – or consider going with raised beds or containers instead of putting your herbs directly into the ground.
Most herbs prefer soil that has organic matter such as compost incorporated into it, and a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
If you decide to start your spring herb garden in raised beds or containers, you can use potting mix.
Some types, such as basil, require more water than others.
If you want to locate your spring herb garden in a dry area, such as near the curb or around a mailbox, you may wish to choose options with lower water requirements, such as sage.
Seeds or Live Plants
Many herbs can be started as seeds. Some can be started indoors and then transplanted to the garden, and others can be sown directly into your soil.
While growing from seed is more cost efficient overall, be aware that if you start your new spring herbs this way, you may not be able to harvest them until next year.