Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Caring for your herb garden

Water newly planted herbs regularly but once they are established, they are naturally drought resistant.
Watering and drainage goes hand in hand. Rather give your herbs too little than too much water. After a good soaking, allow the water to drain away and the soil to dry off. Water again when the top 2 or 3 cm of soil is dry to the touch.
Mulch your herbs once a year with bulky organic material, such as shredded bark.
Fertilizing is very important, especially if you intend to use your herbs on a regular basis. During the growing season fertilize at least once a month. During the winter months one or two doses will be sufficient. Use any balanced fertilizer like 2:3:2.
Always half the dosage given on the packaging. The reason for this is that the essential oils of herbs that ‘suffer’ a bit are more concentrated, increasing their flavour, aroma and medicinal value.
If your herbs get too much fertilizer they will grow scraggly and be more susceptible to pests and diseases. Do not use artificial fertilizer - Use organics.
Pruning is essential to encourage healthy, bushy growth. Remove dead leaves and flowers on a regular basis. Should you frequently use your herbs, pruning may not be necessary as you would be pruning automatically.
Re-pot them yearly with fresh soil

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