Sarah in Illinois is back today with more gardening plans. This time, she’s focusing on herbs and the ever popular herb garden.
I was hoping that this blog post would be pictures of all my plants that I started from seed under my grow light.
I have started a poultry mix (a mix of clovers and alfalfa that chickens like to eat), and I have started some dill and cilantro from seed. Both instances I used my grow light and warming mat and the seeds broke through the dirt and that was it. I think that even though they are on a heat mat, the room is too cool for them to get a good start. So I will keep working on this project and report back later.
What I have been thinking about is what I plan to do with my herb garden this year. I am not sure if I have shared a picture of my herb garden before. Right now it is just brown sticks with that little patch of chives that I showed in my last post.
It is fairly small only measuring 9 feet by 3 feet. For the past two years I have grown chives, salvia, oregano, lemon balm, lavender, peppermint (all perennials), and I usually add in dill, basil, and sometimes cilantro.
I decided that since I have so many perennials that have filled the small garden, I need to set aside a larger and more planned out garden just for my herbs. Of the herbs that I currently have, I mostly use the chives and oregano. But when I look in our kitchen at the herbs that we use constantly, I realized that I really need to add more dill and cilantro and, although not technically an herb, I really need to be growing garlic.
The thing with perennial herbs is they spread. A lot. So if I am going to make a larger garden I need to make sure that I designate an area for each herb to keep any one herb from over taking the garden. Ever grown mint? It spreads like crazy!
One option is to use different sized pots stacked up like seen here. This would be good for someone with a small backyard or maybe just a deck or patio.
Here is an attractive container garden that uses cinder blocks to prevent the herbs from spreading. It has a modern look, and I am sure it needs watered often.
I am leaning towards creating a more formal herb garden, similar to the one seen here on Better Homes & Gardens. I have recently received my grandma’s birdbath and I need somewhere to display it. Surrounding it with herbs in a tidy layout sounds like something I would like.
However, I can’t help but be drawn to this beautiful herb garden. There is just something about the checkerboard pattern and every herb having its own little square that I am really admiring,
So what style herb garden do you prefer? Any suggestions on taming out of control mint? What are the most used herbs at your house?
Those are some neat ideas, Sarah. Rather than set up a dedicated space for herbs, I’ve spread them around our garden in the raised border beds. The one that’s spread the most is thyme, but we have so much space that I don’t worry too much about it taking over. I did plant mint for the first time last year, and I sunk a large pot in the ground first and then planted the mint in that. It looks like it’s part of the garden, but I’m hoping that the pot helps to contain it.
I love that checkerboard garden! It’s modern yet feels very classic. Our flowerbeds were overrun with weeds, mint, and strawberries when we bought our house. I would have liked to have kept the mint and strawberries, honestly, but our flowerbeds were so horrifically overgrown with waist-high weeds that pretty much everything had to go that wasn’t lilies, irises, or rosebushes. Two years of ruthless weeding eradicated the weeds, but the mint and strawberries were casualties of the war.
Isn’t it appealing?
That’s unfortunate that you had to sacrifice your mint and strawberries. Especially the strawberries since they take time to become productive, but I understand. Sometimes you have to keep your eye on the big picture and make sacrifices!
Julia, I have heard of sinking a pot to contain mint, I will consider that in the new spot.
Sinking a pot will certainly slow the mint down, but a couple times a year you’ll need to pull it up and check because the mint will go out the drainage hole, and then it’s off and running! Also, if you let it sprawl over the top and down the sides, resulting in contact with soil, it will root. And of course, if you let it flower and set seed to drop, all bets are off as far as control. Best of luck!
Thanks for the tips. I appreciate them.
I did landscaping as a teenager and redid one garden that had been completely let go for years. The only traces of any previous landscaping were some half-rotten wooden retaining walls and… mint. We had to use herbicide to get rid of it. I’d leave the mint in a container, preferably sitting on pavement or a large flagstone, and put the herbs that stay put in the ground. It sounds like you want the mint to look like it’s in the ground like everything else but is it really worth the risk? I also weeded a rundown bed of thyme (if I remember right the thyme was a ground cover under and around a few rose bushes) for a different client. It was really tedious trying to get established weeds out of thyme without removing the thyme, too, but at least the thyme itself wasn’t part of the problem.
So after the apocalypse, we’ll be able to survive on mint. 🙂
Thanks for suggestions, Chad!
I also like the chequerboard pattern. Could you perhaps incorporate your grandma’s birdbath into a chequerboard garden?