Home herb gardens are a fun, affordable way to bring natural flavor to your kitchen, and growing them is easier than you might think. Michael Bewick of Roxbury Farm and Garden Center in Fredericksburg and Jack Greenfield of Meadows Farms Nurseries and Landscape in Annandale share their tips.
Planter box or pot: Be sure it has ample drainage and is at least 8 inches deep.
Soilless mix: These mixes are lighter than soil and easier to drain. Try a peat moss mix.
Herbs: Rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano are perennials. Basil and cilantro must be replanted every year. Seeds are cheaper than grown plants but may take several weeks to grow.
Water: Watering every other day is a good rule of thumb, but you can also check moisture by digging your finger a few inches into the soil, which should be moist.
Sun: Direct sunlight is usually best, but check the plant tag.
• Move your outdoor herb garden indoors during the winter or on hot summer days to keep them growing year-round.
• When cilantro plants start flowering, they yield coriander seeds.
• Herbs that are well cared for can survive for years and are generally easier to maintain than flowers.