Grow a Bed of Fresh Herbs

How to grow a fresh herb garden using raised beds

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When I transformed our garden 4 years ago to raised beds the herbs were established first and if you can believe it this was in the fall when things were a bit wet and messy on the farm.

Now a few years later I’m reminded that growing a bed of herbs offers great value towards healthier living.

Since that first bed was established I later moved it to a new location in the garden and finally decided the perfect spot would be the center, right next to my sitting space. The lighting is perfect here for all types of perennial and annual herbs.

This time of year most of my annuals have already been harvested leaving plenty of room for the others to sprawl.

Beginning an Herb Bed

Growing a bed of herbs begins with a good foundation; decide on a couple things first; this would include location and your bed frame.

Materials can be anything from wood, large galvanized tubs, rock or even landscaping timbers. Once you choose the materials it’s time to put them in place.

Building raised beds is easy – check out this tutorial here. 

Many times before securing the raised bed, you’ll want to break the ground first.  This can be done with a shovel or tiller and once finished just set the frame on top.

Filling in the Raised Bed

Herbs are very forgiving and quite honestly your soil doesn’t have to be amazing in the beginning stages to experience great results.  Establishing a new bed includes three simple ingredients.

  1. Natural matter and Direct Compost
  2. Lots of Dirt
  3. Animal fertilizer.

More details on beginning a raised bed can be found here.

Adding Herbs

If you’re beginning this bed in the fall then focus energy on perennials.  Herbs like, thyme, rosemary, oregano, peppermint, sage, parsley and lemon balm are easy to find in 4 inch pots at most nurseries.

Planting is a matter of digging a hole and adding your plant, it’s that simple!

Before you know it your herb garden will be full of lush beauty, especially if you live in the southern states.

If you’re starting this bed in the spring the same plants apply and even more will be available because you can expand with annual herbs.

Annuals can be added by seed or 4 inch plants.

Things to Remember

  • Allow plenty of space between plants because herbs grow fast and large.
  • Growth is slow during the fall and winter.
  • Growth will explode in the spring and summer.
  • Cover the base of the bed with a nice mulch to keep weeds away and protection from harsh temperatures.
  • Water when necessary.
  • Naturally fertilize the soil at least twice a year in the winter and late summer.

If you have an existing space in our yard that needs a little something think about adding herbs, these plants are easy to care for and you’ll definitely enjoy their healthy goodness year round.  I LOVE cooking with fresh Herbs.

To learn more about growing herbs visit my Herb and Flowers link under Gardening on the Tabs bar.

 

 

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17 comments

  1. Tammy says:

    Carol,
    What type of lavender is best in North Texas? I live in Mansfield and I haven’t had a lot of luck with lavender. My bed gets morning shade/ afternoon sun . Part of the bed, a very small part, gets dappled shade in the afternoon too. Have I confused you yet? ( As God as my witness I will NEVER have a house that faces east, west again! LOL) It is next to the house so heat may be a factor. My herb bed is a combo of in the ground with raised pots. I have bee balm, mint, strawberries, rosemary, sage ( which did not do well) and thyme. I am gradually adding more plants as I figure out what works best. Any input you could give me would be awesome. I know that you said that you have book coming out… did I miss it? Can’t wait to get it!
    Thanks ! So glad I found you, girl!

    1. Carole says:

      Welcome Tammy – I’m going to send you to this Lavender Ridge Farms for types of Lavender in Texas. These people grow it as a business and could answer that question best. I’m thinking it’s the shade that’s causing problems because lavender LOVES direct sunlight. I wrote a small post last summer that may be helpful. Another thing is how often do you fertilize the soil. Check out, Dirt Simple here for tips. My book, Startle Garden comes out in February the middle of the month unless I get anxious and decide to launch it a week early. Thanks for stopping by love hearing from new readers and I hope I’ve helped.
      Lavender Post>> https://www.gardenupgreen.com/2016/08/gardening-with-lavender.html
      Lavender Farm>> http://www.lavenderridgefarms.com/

  2. I just cleaned out my herb pots and this post is timely as it reminded me that fertilizer is necessary. Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Jane says:

    Hi Carole, I love your herb garden. Once I get my new flower bed growing I think my next step is a raised bed of herbs and lavender. You should do a couple of herb wreaths if you have time.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you! I do want to make an herb wreath – after we get this farm listed (This Week!!) I think that may be on my project to do list sometime before Christmas.

  4. Dolly says:

    What a beautiful Herb Bed!

  5. Patti says:

    Hi Carole,

    Everyone should have an herb garden. Herbs were my first love in gardening after planters. When I first became a stay at home mom I could not get enough. Often I would be obsessed and buy several varieties. Thyme was one that I bought way too many of, lemon thyme, woolly thyme, minus thyme…. Then it was basil, Genovese, thai, purple, lettuce. I bought all kinds of books and my sister and I even opened an herbal theme gift shop. There’s so much you can do besides the obvious culinary uses for herbs. I know many of your readers will benefit from your wonderful tips and details on how to get started with herbs.

    1. Carole says:

      I completely agree herbs are so wonderful especially when they bloom. My favorite this time of year is the peppermint because with the cooler temperatures the scent just drifts in the air. I agree herbs add that something special to life and I really believe it’s where gardeners should begin because they’re easy to grow and they help build confidence. Thanks for stopping by Patti hope you have a Great weekend.

  6. Jemma says:

    Carole,
    Your new site is amazing, definitely a sharp format. (you know what I am thinking)

    Okay, among the beauty of your acreage I know I saw some lavender as well…and my heart skipped a beat!
    I really need to get going with my herb garden, I do have some nice basil and I did have some gorgeous dill and lavender.
    I am going to focus more on growing my herbs in pots where I can control the moisture and light. I just think that having them in the vegetable garden they were too exposed to nature.
    Just got the grand-girls off to school, it was crazy hair day so we added strains of gold and silver faux hair! Oh to be a kid again!
    Happy Friday!
    j

    1. Carole says:

      I do have one plant of lavender, oh goodness I started with a 4 inch plant last spring without thinking when I planted because it grew much faster than I expected which tells me if it would have been in the ground it would have been even bigger. You can take some cuttings if you like when you’re here and hopefully they’ll sprout to help you get started. 🙂 Herbs are the best my grandma always cooked with them and I just followed that example. They also happen to grow fantastic down here. I love having them in a raised bed, some though I have moved to containers to keep them from taking over spaces and just add a little dimension to the garden. So glad you like the blog – Love positive feedback make me happy when others enjoy their time here.

  7. Cecilia says:

    I love cooking with fresh herbs too! They add so much flavor!

    1. Carole says:

      Yes they do, as a kid I always wondered why Grandma’s food was so good and it was because almost every dish had fresh herbs added and of course garlic..

  8. Karen says:

    Herbs are my favorite plants to grow and really the only established bed I have right now. It does need some attention though and these cooler days make it really inviting. Since I transplanted, the catnip has nearly taken over! It’s doing fantastic. The sage has grown – which I’m really excited about since I can expect many, many years from that one – and the tarragon is so lovely and blooming a bit now. I still have the mints in pots – not sure I want to give them room to roam in the same bed.
    I hadn’t considered adding some new herbs, but you’ve inspired me! We still have plenty of time to get them established before cold weather arrives.

    The site looks amazing! Love the new format.

    1. Carole says:

      Can I say first I’m loving WP and yes add some new herbs don’t you agree they’re the easiest plants to grow? I saw someone share a sage wreath the other day it was beautiful. I may do this once the house sells.. We hope to list in a week if Robert has this weekend off. I bet your herb bed looks awesome – I think what I love most about this bed is the scent when I walk past. It’s so wonderfully healthy.. Hope you have a great weekend.

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