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Do you know you can convert some of that extra space in your backyard into a magnificent herb garden? Yes, planting a simple herb garden only a few steps away from your kitchen is a possibility if you know how to go about it. The best herbs for planting in limited space such as backyards include basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, rosemary, lavender, sweet marjoram, common thyme, oregano and sage.
There is nothing like adding some freshly chopped herbs such as cilantro to a bowl of guacamole or even some black bean dip to bring out the flavors. The green parsley-like herb is increasingly gaining popularity in American cuisine, and is one of the best to plant in limited spaces like backyards. Like so many other herbs, cilantro offer many benefits when consumed.
For instance, it is quite effective when it comes to removing heavy metals from the body. Moreover, the herb has been shown to lower blood sugar and effective for regulating diabetes. It also has antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Let’s explore some tips on how to go about creating a simple garden to grow this herb and others in your small backyard.
Picking a suitable location
Start by selecting an appropriate spot in your yard for your herb garden. A perfect site would be a few steps from your kitchen. However, any location that gets approximately seven hours of sun a day is okay. If you have some space in front of your kitchen window, you can also plant some herbs in small containers meant for indoor gardening.
Preparing your spot for planting
Your spot must be properly prepared before any kind of planting could commence. Start by loosening the soil. If your soil consist of heavy clay or is heavily compacted, you can improve drainage by adding some course sand, peat moss or compost. Work the material into the top foot of soil prior to planting your herbs. To prevent the transplants from wilting in the midday sun, it is recommended that you plant early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Digging holes and planting your herbs
Since you are starting herbs from bedding plants, dig some large holes for planting your herbs. Each hole should be dug approximately twice the width of the root ball of the new plant. Space your plants around 18-inches apart to give them room to spread out and grow. Short growing herbs such as cilantro and parley must be planted at the front while taller ones such as marjoram, rosemary and sage toward the back of the garden.
Labeling and watering your herbs
Adding labels to each of your freshly planted herbs is a great idea to make it easier to identify them when harvesting. Furthermore, it is advisable to give new transplants plenty of water for optimum growth. When your herbs become established, ensure they get an inch of water each week throughout the growing season.
Harvesting your herbs
Start harvesting from the herbs as soon as they are mature. However, make sure to take only a little bit each time you harvest. Note that each time you remove more than a third of the plant, it takes longer to recover and produce new foliage. Keep the tops of the plants pinched back in early summer to promote healthy branching. A large majority of herbs can be harvested multiple months with judicious picking. Harvest your herbs early in the morning for enhanced taste. Remember also that fresh herbs are most flavorful if harvested just before they bloom.
For more information on how to grow beneficial herbs such as cilantro and others, why don’t you consult specialists based in reputable garden centers in NYC? Not only will they offer great information on how to start a herb garden in your yard, they will also advise you on the best tools and supplements you need to maintain the garden well.