Monday, November 30, 2009

Inside Herb Garden Secrets

Herbs are a tremendous gift to mankind. they are a lot more than flavorings for your favorite Italian recipe. Lot's take a look inside herb garden secrets. In addition to being the catalyst that unlocks flavors of incredibly delicious foods they provide us with medicinal remedies, fragrant aromas, beverages, ornamental beauty, pest controls and industrial solutions.

The first question surrounding these plants is precisely what are they? The dictionary definition is that they are plants that do not form woody tissue and are referred to as "herbaceous." In its practical everyday usage the word herb is attributed to any plant that evidences herb qualities. This practical definition includes trees, vines, shrubs and others including mosses, fungi, ferns, algae and lichens. The product of the plant is the determining factor in whether a plant is included in the herb botanical family.

Consider this about medicinal herbs they are mother nature's pharmacy. Over 60 million people in the U.S. take some form of a herbal remedy for curative relief. In excess of 175 herbs are sold to the public in the non-prescription medicinal market. There are literally thousands of plants that provide some type of medicinal relief for injuries, illness and general health maintenance.

Another member of the herb family are the aromatics. They don't get as much attention from the herb gardener as others but they are a wonderful plant that yields the most pleasing fragrances. The aromas come form the plant's oils so it is not necessary to wait on blooms for the enjoyment as with other plants. Since the herb plant's oils carry the aroma they can be successfully preserved and used in other products and applications.

Products such as cosmetics, bath mixtures and shampoos are produced by major commercial producers using herbs that are both commercially grown and collected from natural sources. Upscale boutiques sell such items as potpourris, pillows, wreaths and sachets that incorporate aromatic herbs. Home herb gardeners can enjoy the wonderful delights of these herbs in their own homes.

Probably the biggest insider secret about herb gardening is that its so easy especially when compared to conventional vegetable or flower gardening. Herb plants are a hardy class and require little maintenance. A rosemary plant can thrive for years on a cliff side overlooking the Mediterranean Sea so growing one in your garden can be easily accomplished.

Another great thing about growing herbs is that they are very productive. The gardener can reap ample quantities of the plant's product from a small space. A mini garden in a pot can supply a family for months.

Give herb plants the two things they demand and they will grow just about anywhere in or out doors. They must have well drained soil in which to live and plenty of sunlight. Both these requirements can be easily supplied to the plants. To determine drain ability of soil put water on the proposed location and observe how rapidly it soaks into the ground. If it does not immediately disappear it is not draining sufficiently for herbs. One solution is to raise the area to planted about eighteen inches with potting soil mixed with a little coarse sand. Another is to remove eighteen inches of the topsoil and lay down a three inch layer of gravel. Combined the removed soil in a two part soil and one part sand mixture and replace it over the gravel base and you are ready to plant.

Herb plants need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day to prosper. Ten to twelve is better so this is a prime consideration in the location of a her garden.

These are some of the inside secrets of herb gardening. Now that you know more about this wonderful group of plants it is time to start you own herb garden.

SONNY CHENOWETH is a herb expert. For more information on inside herb gardens, visit

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