Herbs arranged on a countertop with fresh and dried varieties, 5 tips for growing your own herbs

5 Tips for Growing Your Own Herbs

Growing your own herbs at home is an easy way to support your well-being as well as your healing or spiritual journey.  Living close to Mother Earth is an essential aspect of nature based spiritual beliefs held by many of us in the pagan, shaman, and witch communities. These 5 tips for growing your own herbs will help get your herb garden off to a great start.

Even if you’re thumb isn’t very green.

You might choose herbs for cooking and a little kitchen witchery, but there’s also many herbs you can grow at home to use for healing, as natural medicine and for magickal purposes too.

No matter which varieties you decide on, you’ll be saving money and ensuring you have the most organic herbs possible. This is especially good if you’re growing culinary herbs since knowing where your food comes from and what has happened to it before you consume it is an important aspect of living well today.

1. Make a plan for growing your own herbs

While this isn’t a very exciting step, it’s an important one. The first step is the prep stage. Consider these things:

  • where you will place your herb garden?
  • what you intend to grow
  • ways you’re going to use them
  •  how much room you’re going to need

This research comes in handy so that you know exactly what supplies you’ll need to begin your herb garden.

Read: How to Start Your Home Apothecary 

2. Decide Between Seeds or Started Plants

Next, decide if you’ll start from seed or buy plants instead.

Each of these has merits. If you enjoy the nurturing aspect of watching things grow and can devote the time and effort it takes, you might opt for starting your own seeds. If you don’t have the time or energy (or patience) to begin from scratch, then go with plants.

If you’re new to keeping herbs, the already started plants are going to be much easier for you. This option is recommended for most people who are starting their very first herb garden, since it means you can ease into caring for herbs, without having to start them from seeds. Later on, when you’re more experienced, give starting seeds a go.

Starting seeds and nurturing them can be a very satisfying activity for gardeners who are ready to expand their knowledge base. With a little time and patience, you can do both confidently!

(In my own garden, I often do both, since it can be hard to find started plants for the less common types of herbs.)

 

chamomile plant on a white weathered wooden surface
Chamomile

 

3. Learn about Each Herb Before You Decide to Plant It

Before you start planting your herbs, understand what type of care each herb needs. Every herb will have different guidelines, such as how much water it needs, whether or not it thrives in full sun, and whether it needs to be in a container or in the ground.

Also, be sure to check whether your chosen herbs are perennial or annual.  This can make a difference in how you’ll want to grow them. I usually opt to put annuals in large pots.  The perennials generally go in the ground in my garden. Of course, feel free to experiment with what works for you.

Be sure to check the growing habits of each type you plan to grow since some herbs will spread out and take over your garden space!  I keep oregano in a pot for just this reason. It has a tendency to just take over if you don’t keep it contained. Same with mint. Given the chance, it will spread everywhere.

Don’t overlook safety, either.  Not every herb is safe to consume.  Some are poisonous. For some herbs, you can use certain parts of the plant and not others. So do your homework and be sure you know what you’re growing.

Here are two examples:

  • Mint grows very fast, and works best grown in a container by itself (because it spreads quickly). It grows well in sunlight, but it can also take a bit of shade and still grow well.
  • Rosemary grows better in cool climates that have sun, and it needs to be brought indoors during the winter. You can also grow rosemary as an annual in colder climates.

Once you know these things about your chosen herbs, it makes your job of caring for them much easier. Plus, you’ll feel more confident in your gardening skills.

I’m sure that you’ll find that you have an easier time growing certain herbs than others.  Most gardeners have at least one thing that doesn’t seem to do very well for them. My thumb is pretty “green” but I have difficulty growing rosemary but can grow just about all other herbs easily.

4. Caring for Your Herbs

While many herbs can be grown indoors in planters, they still need to be close to a window. Some plants may need to be moved outdoors for at least a few hours, as most herbs should get 3-4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Again, this will depend on the herbs you’re growing and what your indoor growing location is like.

Remember that care includes sunlight and temperature control, watering, and using the right soil. Each of these will contribute to the success or failure of your plants.

5. Harvest When Ready

Now this seems like it’s obvious, but plants have a way of being ready when you’re not.

Something to keep in mind when harvesting your herbs is that the more often you do it (when they are ready), the healthier the herb plant will continue to grow. Again, look at each variety’s instructions to understand harvesting guidelines.  Some herbs dry well, while others do best as a tincture made from the fresh herb.

The wrap-up to growing your own herbs….

Like most things, just get started!  “Start before you’re ready” is my favorite bit of advice for everything in life. Gardening is no different. You’ll make mistakes. Everyone does. That’s part of the process with gardening.

Experience is really the best teacher!  Enjoy your journey with growing your own herbs!

 

Bright blessings and happy gardening. See you next time!

 

You might like these too:

Garden Planner 

How to Start Your Own Home Apothecary:  Tools & Methods

What is a Green Witch?