One of the greatest joys of my life is walking out the kitchen door to my DIY herb garden to collect what is needed to make recipes come alive with flavor. I’m lucky to have a bed in close proximity to the kitchen that’s been expanded numerous times over the years and now encompasses a fairly large area. I like to grow lots of tomatoes, squash, peppers of all varieties, and of course plenty of herbs.
Planting a kitchen herb garden is a rewarding task. We are already into June but, if you start now, fresh herbs can be enjoyed through the first frost this winter.
Planning a viable garden is simple with these 3 things in mind:
- Sun/Space- You will need a small to moderate-sized bed that gets full to 1/2 day of sun exposure for your herbs to thrive. A raised bed is the very best option. Not only do raised beds have excellent drainage they also keep unwanted critters out. If you don’t have a raised area, consider a small low fence around your budding crops to keep pests out.
- Soil Quality- I think this is the most important component to consider while planning an herb or vegetable garden. If you have poor soil quality, plants won’t thrive. One option is to remove poor soil from the bed and bring in a mixture of garden soil, compost material, or peat moss and worm starts, this combination works well for me. Another option is to amend the soil over time by adding compost and worm starts and tilling it into the existing soil. Amending the soil won’t produce immediate results but over time your plants will be healthier and more vibrant. As soil components rot, the soil will become lighter and more nutritious for the plants growing there.
- Water- Herbs need to be watered regularly to thrive. Once your garden is planted you will want to water it every day or every other day until the plants are fully established. As the weeks go on to the hotter months, I find that my sunny garden needs to be watered daily. Once fall arrives, the garden only requires water a few times a week, depending on rainfall and temperatures.
My most used herbs include thyme, basil, flat-leaf parsley, mint, and rosemary. If space allows, be sure to add chives, dill, tarragon, and lemon verbena.
As I always say, a little bit of greenery on the plate always makes your dishes pop, and flat-leaf parsley chopped with a shape knife will do the trick! If you grow parsley, you might like my Parisian Bistro Ratatoulie Tart recipe.
There is nothing like the fragrance of fresh basil. I love to harvest basil and make pesto to be frozen and used all winter long or for my favorite sandwich Caprese Panini.
Sprigs of rosemary can be used as beautiful skewers like in my Apple Rosemary Martini recipe. This traditionally fall flavor profile is a good idea anytime if you ask me!
I hope you’re feeling inspired to plant a DIY kitchen herb garden. Having a few fresh herbs will brighten the flavor of all your dishes. Not up for the task of planning an entire bed? Consider planting a large pot with several of your favorite herbs. A small garden will be easy to tend and yield so much flavor this growing season.
Need some inspiration in the kitchen? Join me for the first time ever as I teach classes this summer and enjoy fresh herbs and produce right out of my garden! CLICK HERE to see summer classes.
See you soon! Lorie