Planting an Herb Garden

The Newly Added Herb Garden

I have been growing my herbs in containers near my back door but, recently I built a new raised herb garden. I have a new sunny spot on the side of my yard that would be perfect for an herb garden. The site is irrigated by gray water from my clothes washing machine. I do not use commercial clothes detergent; I make my own from ivory soap, washing soda and borax. I only use 2 tablespoons of this homemade clothes detergent per large load of clothes washed.
The Site for the Herb Garden

I built the raised herb garden out of retaining wall stone that I got from my local Home Depot. For a raised bed you can practically use any material you want but, I have found that stone last a lot longer, can easily be dismantled and reused without much effort. The herb garden is in a rectangular shape and is 3 retaining walls high.
The Raised Herb Garden

Once I had the shape of the herb garden I filled the raised bed about 1/3 with soil from another part of my yard and another 1/3 of shredded bark. I get about 5-10 truckloads of shredded bark for free from my local tree trimmers. When I see the tree trimmers in my neck of the forest, I ask them if they mind delivering some of the shredded bark to my house and always they are more than willing because they would rather drop them off locally then to drive to the landfill and pay to have them disposed of. That is how I get all of my mulch for free. Lastly, I top off the raised bed with a mix of compost and soil.
Dig a Hole Twice the Diameter of the Root Ball of the Plant

Since I just added soil to this raised bed I will dig the hole for my plants that I’m planting just large enough to add the plant. If you are digging a hole in an existing garden that has not been recently tilled you will need to dig a hole twice the size of the diameter of the root ball so that the roots will have uncompacted soil to grow into easily.
This is an example of a root bound rosemary.

When removing plants from containers you may notice that some of the plants may be root bound. Root bound means that the roots have essentially grown in a circle and are compacted. If this has happened you will need to gently squeeze and ruffle up the root ball a bit so that the roots begin to extend from the dirt a bit.  If it is so compacted you may have to use a sharp knife to cut a slit into the bottom 1/3 of the root ball. This technique will help the plant to extend its roots into the nearby soil instead of continuing to grow in a circle.
You can use your hands or a sharp knife to aide in helping to unbound the roots before planting.

The roots to this rosemary are not so root bound and is ready to be planted.

Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is even with the surrounding soil level. Finally, water the herbs thoroughly. Keep the newly transplanted herbs moist so that they can easily recover from the shock of being transplanted and adjust to their new home.
Transplant the plant evenly to the existing soil line.
I am transplanting a container grown basil plant to my larger raised herb garden.

I bought 2 large rosemary plants to add to my herb garden. I have rosemary growing in another spot but, chose not to transplant them. I transplanted basil and dill that were growing in my smaller containers that I kept near my back kitchen door. I will mulch around the herbs with the shredded bark to aid in the retention of moisture and cut down on weed growth. In the spring I will add more herbs such as thyme, oregano, sage, cilantro and mint to my new raised herb garden. It is going to be so delightful to pick fresh herbs to flavor my cooking!
A Newly Transplanted Rosemary
Newly Transplanted Basil Plants
Newly Transplanted Dill



Comments

  1. I'm excited that you made an herb garden. I'm ready to come and pick some herbs and help you make a tasty meal. We should plan something.

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