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Herb Garden Tips

Here are some herb garden tips in a step by step guide for several beds in one landscape area. Learn simple ways to create beds and plant a variety of herbs. There are all different size herb gardens today, from a container garden to a full detailed landscape area with walkways, complete with other outdoor features.

Several years ago I did a landscape project on planting several herb gardens on one large landscape area. The land was situated in an area on the right side of the house. The property line met with the road. The main focus was to create five different herb gardens with a variety of annual and perennial plants. Natural walkways were created to connect each bed. This landscape article is geared toward someone with a good size area of land.

Complete Herbal Garden Illustration

Complete Herbal Design

Kidney Shape Bed
A. Rosemary -- B. Lemon Balm -- C. Thyme --- D. Oregano -- E. Lavender -- F. Bird Bath -- G. Rocks

First Round Bed
H. Chives -- I. Sage -- J. Orris Root

Second Round Bed
K. Basil -- L. Marigolds -- M. Dill -- N. Rocks

Third Round Bed
O. Parsley -- P. Horehound -- Q. Hyssop -- R. Chamomile

Front (bottom) Bed
S. Bench -- T. Pot of Mint -- U. Pot of Lamb's Ear -- V. Steeds Holly

Other Features
W. Bird Feeder -- X. Sun -- Y. Quarry Stone or Decorative Stone

Your herb garden tips, step by step:

  1. In this particular landscape project, the entire area needed to be cleared. Renting a bob cat or tractor is a good idea. There weren't any big trees but a lot of brush and small scrub trees to take out. If you have some large trees you have the option of keeping them and put a little extra variety of herbs that can take some shade.

    This area had full sun, which most herb plants thrive on. There were about eleven very small pine trees that were transplanted up near the road. Over the years the pines have grown and have created a wonderful privacy shield from the road.

  2. An important thing now is to make sure you get the ground leveled. Create tiers if necessary. If you don't rent a bob cat or tractor, use a tiller to work the ground and loosen the soil. It is essential to remember how critical the prep part is for any landscape garden area.

  3. Once you have worked the entire area, the next step for you to think about is laying out the beds and pathways. You can use garden hoses to design some different size beds.I went a little more simplistic and drew in the dirt what shape each bed would be. I added black edging to begin shaping and defining each individual garden.

    Do the beds first, as you will be able to connect your walkways a lot easier after you visually see the beds in place. Make sure you over-work the soil as it will be a lot healthier for the herbs. I ran the tiller around each bed several times as the soil is a red clay base. Even if you live in an area with a sand based soil, the ground should be worked well.

  4. Step three involves outlining the beds. You can use black edging. Other options are decorative stone or rock, brick, miniature fencing, or digging around the border of the bed with a larger trench line. You can put the black edging in now, but if you are doing the other options, wait until your bed is planted as those type of borders are one of the last steps in the process.

    You can also spray paint the outline of your beds, and that will help you keep a visual. I put a big kidney shape bed in the center of the area and made that the main focal point. Behind the kidney were three good round sized beds.

  5. Now it is time to plant. Here is an extra herb garden tip for you: Keep your annual and perennial herbs separate. Do a few beds of annuals and alternate them with perennials. This works well when the annuals dies out. You won't have to worry about half of the bed coming up next year and half of it not. One option for you is to plant a couple of small evergreen shrubs in the annual beds so you won't have dead spaces.

    There are a lot of herbs that are evergreen. This will help also in decreasing the amount of dead space in the entire gardens. Planting your herbs is like any other plant. Put mushroom compost down throughout each garden and work it into the soil before planting. The mushroom compost is good up to a year, and a wonderful organic fertilizer for all herbs.

  6. An important step is to plant first and get your beds completed before putting the pathways down. Once the plants are in place, finish the beds with mulch or pine straw. Add the border of your choice. The reason you don't put pathways down first is the rocks or stone will get dirty from where you are planting.

  7. Herbee used small quarry stones for this particular project. Consider also doing walkway without cement. Put down a layer of landscape fabric along your pathways as this will help hold down the weeds. You can also put landscape fabric in your beds to help weed control. There will always be some weeds. A garden is never 100 percent weed free. Take the measures now when doing a project to decrease the chance of your beds becoming over populated with those nasty weeds.

    For this area I used 11 tons of stones. It was spread by hand. This can be time consuming but worth it in the end. Put the stone or decorative rocks at least two inches thick. Of course you can hire a contractor or landscaper to help you out.

  8. Once the stone or pathways are done, the final step is to add your favorite figurines or outdoor features. Consider putting a sun dial along as a focal point in one of your pathways. Add a bench, a few bird feeders and baths, and even add a series of natural rocks. A fountain brings a soothing tranquil mood to the gardens. Creating just a few of these items will give you the final touches.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Walkways Without Cement --- Evergreen Plants

Garden Projects --- Flower Bed Ideas to go with Herb Garden Tips

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