Herb Garden Site Preparation
drainage is one of the most important aspects of growing herbs.
Most herbs will survive in poor sandy soils, but few are able to
cope with water-logged soils. Herbs hate wet feet caused by poor
drainage and will show their discontent by growing poorly. Ask
your local nurseryman to advise you on your type of soil and how
to improve it if necessary.
preparing the soil for planting, get rid of all the weeds. Those
that have tap roots need to be lifted, taking care not to break
off any pieces as they will almost certainly sprout again. The
time and trouble you take at this stage to rid the area of weeds
will be well rewarded in the future. Remember not to throw the
uprooted weeds on the compost heap – you’ll only transplant them.
prefer a slightly alkaline soil. If your soil is acidic you can
add a sprinkling of lime. This will act as a catalyst to help your
herbs make optimum use of the nutrients present in the soil.
will definitely benefit from the addition of compost of kraal
manure. Apart from improving the texture of the soil it also helps
to retain moisture and nutrients. A layer of 5 cm worked into the
top 30 cm of your soil will be sufficient in most cases. Although
this can be an expensive exercise if you have a large garden, it
will be worth the expense in the long run. Another beneficial
addition at this stage is bone meal. If you know your soil is poor
or lacking in minerals, you can add a sprinkling of 2:3:2 or an
whole area to a depth of at least 45 cm, adding the compost etc.
Rake to a smooth level surface. You are now ready to proceed with
the planting of your herbs.
buy herb plants in a nursery, water them well and let them stand
for half an hour or more before planting. Dig a hole twice as
large as the pot. Remove the plant from the pot by holding it
upside down and tapping the edge of the pot against a table.
Loosen the roots at the bottom of the root ball slightly. Set the
plant in its hole and fill it up with soil to the same level as it
was in the pot. Water the entire area thoroughly after planting.
will help to prevent the soil from drying out and it can also
supply nutrients. It also helps to control weed-growth by blocking
out sunlight. Mulching material can be bought at your local
nursery or you can use material from your garden. The
Mediterranean herbs, such as sage and rosemary, will benefit more
from a mulch of gravel if the soil is very moist.