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Planning & plants for an herb garden

basil clusterIt's fun and easy to add an herb garden to home landscapes. Choose an area that is easily accessible and gets at least a half a day of full sun. Amending the soil before planting a herb garden is essential. Make sure the area drains well -- mints can tolerate wet feet, but others can't.

A basic culinary garden contains garlic, chives, basil, Oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. A tea garden might have spearmint, peppermint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, chamomile and catnip. A garden for potpourri may have lavender, scented geraniums, santolina and rosemary. herb scene with violas

The plant's mature height is very important in deciding its proper placement in the garden. Tallest plants go to the back of a garden, or center if the garden is accessible from all sides. Consider whether the plant is annual, biennial or perennial. Plant perennials at least 18 inches apart to allow for future growth.

scented geraniumOnce planted, water herbs well and continue to water them deeply when the soil dries throughout the first growing season. Once established, most herbs require little water, but annual herbs and mints will require a bit more water than other herbs. Watch closely for insects and use an organic pest control, such as soap or garlic sprays, or wash insects off with water if they begin to be a problem.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013