Is This the Reason Your Herbs are Dying?

The reason your herbs are not thriving might not have anything to do with your thumb. We have six things to look for when planting and caring for your herb garden to ensure that you end up with a bountiful garden.

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As easy as herbs are to grow, they're just as at risk as other plants to fail if not given proper care. Not all herbs like the same sunlight and growing conditions, so do some research before planting. Giving your herbs the love they need will result in garden-fresh flavorful additives to your favorite recipes.

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1. Drainage

Most herb varieties do best in well-drained soil, which is why container herbs do so well for so many of us. When potting your herbs, don't skip the step of adding a drainage path at the bottom of your pot by using small stones under the soil. And avoid planting your herbs in a container that does not have a bottom hole. Root rot will set in quickly if there is no drainage at all.

2. Sunshine

Sun exposure is always key when growing herbs. But not all herbs like the same sunshine. Some prefer morning sun when it is softer, others prefer daylight sunshine when it is the most direct. Rather than clumping your herbs together, plant them in locations that fit their sun needs. Six to eight hours of sunshine is a common need among herbs, so whenever possible, position them so they get the sun they need to thrive. If you are planting them inside along your kitchen window, remember that the glass creates a warmer surface and may burn your leaves if left exposed to sunshine too long.

3. Harvesting

Are you harvesting your plants too much or not enough? A thriving herb does best with frequent harvesting after it has reached maturity. For basil, that is 6-8 inches tall. I suggest pinching off the tips of stalks to encourage plant growth and to keep a watchful eye on the main stalk so other stalks can grow to create a bushy herb.

4. Zone

Knowing your Zone will make a big difference for how you manage your herb garden—you'll know which herbs will thrive and which ones will never work.

5. Overcrowding

Really just a fancy way of saying too many herbs in one pot. When planting your herbs, read the growth charts on the markers and start with a pot that will allow them to grow into. Under the right treatment, what may look like a large pot with a tiny plant, will soon look like the perfect fit.

6. Fertilizing

Fresh soil and fertilizer are a gardener's best friend. Make a batch of egg shells, coffee grinds, and compost to liven up soil and to give your plants a much-needed boost.

Plant Your Best Indoor Herb Garden

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