Have you decided what herbs you would like to grow this year? Or perhaps you are looking at your garden space, wondering where to start.  These 7 top tips will make planting your garden a whole lot easier.

1. Remember Your Herbal Allies

Think about your herbal allies: which herbs do you use in your cooking most often, which are your favourite herbal remedies, do you have a condition (e.g. IBS, needing to relax a bit more) where you would like to grow herbs that can help with that?  Are there herbs you would like to grow simply because they’re beautiful and would look lovely in your garden?

Write down all the herbs that come to mind right now. Don’t worry about constraints like how much space do I have or is it easy to grow. That comes later. Try to think about herbs that are good all-rounders such as peppermint, thyme, yarrow or chamomile.

2. Make Planting Easier In The Years To Come

Have a mixture of annuals, biannuals and perennials in your garden. That way you’re not starting from scratch each year.

  • Annuals go from seed to flower in one growing season and die at the end.
  • Biannuals do this over 2 growing seasons, often flowering in year 2.
  • Perennials last a number of seasons

3. Contain Your Enthusiastic Herbs

Some herbs are difficult to get rid of once established or they like to make the most of your wonderful garden space and turn up in unexpected or unwanted places.  For these, consider planting them in a pot (either submerged in your garden or on a patio, windowsill or inside).

Herbs that like to stick around or take over your garden include the mints, lemon balm, horseradish, comfrey and valerian

4. Make It Easy For Your Herb To Grow Big and Strong

Now that you have your list of ideal herbs, think about how they like to live. Some prefer full sun, some shade, some damp, some dry conditions. Write down their ideal growing conditions and start grouping them together. If you’re not sure, check out my notes on various herbs as I include ideal growing conditions.

5. Map out your garden.

This is something to do over the year as the seasons change.  Map out the areas in your garden that are in sun, partial sun, shade. Are there parts of your garden that are naturally damp or naturally dry?  Go herb walking in your garden. Do you already have some herbal allies growing in your garden?  If they are happily growing, notice the environment that they are thriving in and write it down.


6. Create Specific Environments

If you have a herb that likes a particular habitat, you can recreate that habitat in a pot. For example, for years I couldn’t grow marshmellow, and I really missed it because it’s a great tummy herb and is amazing as a base for cough syrup. I ended up planting one sad little stem in a pot filled with heavy compost that was well watered (marshmellow likes things to be damp).

Althea officinalis

Here she is today growing in her pot, happy and vibrant. (You can just see the rim of the pot in the bottom right of this photo).

Now I keep all my marshmellows in a pot. My garden is simply too dry and the soil is too arid (a perfect combination for thyme but not for marshmellow).

7. Discover the Joy of Container Gardening

Container GardeningDon’t worry if you don’t have a garden.  Herbs can easily be grown in containers.

Check out this eBook on Container Gardening, no outdoors required!