Keeping a herb garden is not hard, and the rewards far outweigh the effort, especially when you set yourself up for success by using raised garden beds and selecting easy crops!
Raised garden beds can easily fit on a small balcony, a yard, a large plot of land, or an indoor room as long as you follow proper planting guidelines and give the herbs the right conditions to thrive.
1. Why should you have a herb garden?
Create simple dishes
Sparkle more fun into your kitchen with dishes like pesto, chimichurri, Caprese salad, pico de gallo, herb butter, or a rosemary marinated stake, tzatziki, and fresh cilantro tacos, among thousands of other recipes.
Convenient and cost-effective
An herb garden is practical and helps you stay on budget and avoid last-minute purchases of spices. You can also let the herbs dry and then store them in your spice cabinet.
Caring for plants and immersing yourself in nature has proven to be therapeutic. Gardening allows you to escape the stress of everyday life and reset your senses.
Educational and engaging
A steady supply of herbs can lead to discovering new uses. You can also discover how different cultures use them creatively and how they have healing and cleaning properties.
By reducing your dependence on store-bought herbs, you reduce the carbon footprint created by transportation and packaging. In addition, herb gardens can attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies that help with pollination and contribute to a healthy ecosystem.
2. Easiest Herbs To Grow in Texas
Below you’ll see a list of herbs that thrive and are easy to grow in the lone star state.
Basil prefers warm weather and plenty of sun, which is perfect for the Texas weather. It's also versatile in its culinary uses and comes in different varieties, such as sweet basil and Thai basil.
Rosemary is a resilient herb that can tolerate Texas' heat and dry conditions. It requires well-drained soil and full sun. Once established, rosemary is relatively low-maintenance and grows fast.
Thyme is a favorite because it is extremely aromatic and can thrive in Texas' hot and dry climate. It prefers well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.
It can handle high temperatures and requires minimal care. Oregano prefers well-drained soil and full sun to grow in abundance.
Mint prefers partial shade and moist soil. However, it's important to contain mint in a pot or a defined area, as it tends to spread rapidly and can become invasive.
Chives are easy to grow and thrive in Texas' climate. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Chives add a mild onion-like flavor to dishes and can be a great addition to salads, soups, and other recipes.
Cilantro grows well in fall and spring when temperatures are milder in Texas. It prefers well-drained soil and partial shade. Cilantro is a staple in international dishes, so that you can try foreign recipes on a whim.
3. Secure a location for your garden bed
Consider factors such as growing conditions like sunlight, soil type, watering requirements, growth habits, and their compatibility with each other. Now that you've chosen your seeds, we can move on to the next step: raised garden beds.
For beginners, raised garden beds are the best alternative. They can be on balconies, in small yards, on long lots, and even in your house. Most herbs thrive in full sun (6-8 hours per day), but some can tolerate partial shade. Ensure the spot is easily accessible for care and harvesting.
4. Prepare your garden bed
To ensure that you have a hassle-free experience gardening, use the Hugelkultur method on your raised garden beds. The Hugelkultur method consists of trapping moisture on the bottom of your Metal Raised Garden Bed, creating a water source that keeps your soil moist despite the hot temperatures. Here is an example of how to fill up your raised garden bed from bottom to top!
- Add a first layer of cardboard to cover the bottom of your raised bed.
- Add large decaying logs from hardwood trees. An example of hardwood trees is oak, poplar, ash, acacia apple, beech, alder, and maple.
- Add a layer of woodchips, sticks, and smaller branches.
- Add a layer of mulch, grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps.
- Add organic and nutrient-rich compost.
- Add organic and nutrient-rich topsoil.
- Plant your seeds!
5. Tips to succeed
Use quality soil
Worm casting is also known as vermicast. Vermicast is earthworm manure that acts as a soil fertilizer. Worm castings enhance soil aeration, water retention, and drainage, resulting in nutrient-rich soil that will yield organic, delicious produce.
Don't forget to water
Even though the Hugelkultur method helps keep your soil moist, it's not a substitute for regular watering. If you're unsure when to water your plants, get a soil moisture meter to help you navigate your plants’ water needs.
Pests and intruders
Monitor your herbs for signs of insect damage or disease. To keep your garden pest-free, hand-pick the larger pests and use biological control methods. Also, use Vego Garden's Modular Cover System to protect your raised garden bed from intruders.
Some herbs are best harvested in the morning before the heat of the day, while others can be harvested throughout the growing season. And since these herbs grow in abundance, you can learn drying techniques to add them to your spice cabinet.
Maximize their use
Once stored, you can use your dried herbs for herbal teas, medicinal pomades and mix them together to create your own seasoning.
Which herbs are you planting in your garden bed?