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Keep Your Herb Garden Alive

A freshly planted herb garden is a beautiful thing. Keep the dream alive and ensure your plants stay in tip-top condition throughout the seasons with a few simple tips and tricks.

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Watering your herb garden

In Spring: After planting your herbs in spring, make sure they get off to a good start by watering them when the top of the soil is dry. If you have herbs planted together, they will require less watering compared to those in individual pots or in the ground.

In Summer: As your herbs thrive in the summer, add the occasional dash of plant fertilizer to your watering can to ensure their leaves remain healthy.

In Autumn & Early Winter: Reduce the amount of water you give your herb garden as the plants start to go into hibernation during this period. They will require little water, especially considering the increased likelihood of rain. Avoid watering them if the weather has been wet.

Pruning your herb garden

In Spring: Trim woody Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, and sage in spring. Snip the stems back to a pair of leaves on around a third of the plant to keep them tidy and encourage fuller growth.

In Summer: Continue to pick the leaves of your herbs throughout summer. The more leaves you pick, the more leaves the plants will produce. However, be careful not to remove more than a third of the leaves at once. Leave some reserves for the plants to keep growing.

If you forgot to prune your perennial plants in spring, you can do it in late summer after their flowers have withered.

In Autumn & Early Winter: Harvest and dry or freeze annual herbs like basil and coriander, as they start to die back in autumn. Cut back these annual herbs once they have reached the end of their lifespan.

Dealing with pests and diseases

Herbs are generally resilient to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for aphids on basil plants and rosemary beetles on woody shrubs. Also, be mindful of grey mould if the herbs are in a humid spot.

Avoid overpotting and overwatering

Do not put plants in pots that are too big for them, as it can stunt their growth and lead to overwatering. Repot a plant into a container that is only one or two sizes larger. Pay attention to yellowing leaves, wilting, or drooping, as they may indicate overwatering.

Other ways to keep a herb garden alive

Having multiples of each herb is a clever strategy. If a plant dies or you harvest too much, you'll always have a replacement to fall back on. Additionally, when sowing herbs from seed in spring, grow a few extras to keep as backups.

Autumn is the perfect time for taking cuttings. Simply cut a handful of stems below a pair of leaves, remove the bottom sets of leaves, and plant the stems in a pot of compost mixed with sand. Keep them in a warm place, water regularly, and soon you'll have a whole new herb garden.

By following these tips, you can keep your herb garden thriving and enjoy the fresh flavours they bring to your culinary creations.

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