If you feel like you have a brown thumb, you are not alone. Thousands of people if not millions of people feel this way. I in fact felt this way a few years ago. The fact is sustaining plant life is not always easy. Learning what each plant requires does not come naturally, it is something learned. To start an herb garden, just start. A lot research before you begin is good, but experience is what will make that old brown thumb green!
Fresh herbs, and even home preserved herbs have 10x the flavor of store bought dried herbs. I am amazed at the difference! If you are a true herb lover like I am you will truly appreciate how flavorful thyme and rosemary are even after dehydrating them!
If you are thinking about starting your herb garden with seeds instead of plants, check out this Seed Starting Class first. It’s a very affordable way to learn about growing from seeds. I took the class myself from the Online Gardening School. The instructor Rick has 18 years of gardening experience! He really knows what he is talking about!
Start an Herb Garden for Brown Thumbs
- Starting with seeds is harder. If you have a brown thumb, start with plants. Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart carry herbs. Once you have gotten the hang of keeping a couple of plants alive you can try seeds.
- Be prepared for things to die. I know, it’s horrible and it might make you think you should give up. The truth is maybe you didn’t do your research, which bring us to the next point.
- Research – Study what herbs do well in your area and what their needs are. Look at the information cards that come with the plant. Make reminders on your phone to water your plants according to their needs.
- Right timing – I bought mint in the middle of summer, peppermint to be exact. Guess what? This kind of peppermint does not really love the heat. Needless to say, it didn’t do very well and towards the end of summer it was looking pretty faint. Now that we are in the “colder” months here in Florida, the peppermint has taken upon itself to start anew. There are new leaves growing at the bottom of the old dying parts and they look happier than ever. Knowing when to grow things can be a big help.
- If it looks like it’s dying, check and recheck how much water and sun the plant likes. Don’t give up on it. Just like the peppermint was surely going to die, I kept watering it and eventually it turned out okay. It will surely suffer this coming summer, but now I know a little more about it.
- Plant only herbs you like, and know you will use. I am a big herb lover, and I am willing to grow any and all of them eventually. However, not everyone feels the same. Some people are just not as familiar with some herbs, or simply do not like certain herbs. Growing the herbs you love is a great way to be more successful with your herb garden.
- Learn how to preserve herbs, freezing, and, dehydrating are good methods. I have an Excalibur dehydrator that I use for preserving my herbs. I found a four tray on sale for cheap. I wish I had the bigger one, but it wasn’t in the budget. Dehydrating doesn’t work well with all herbs though, some do better when you freeze them.
- Plant herbs near your kitchen and in your landscaping. There is a church nearby that has rosemary in their landscaping and IT.IS.GORGEOUS! Their breeze way smells amazing, if you can imagine. #rosemarygoals…
Oregano is one of the easiest herbs to grow. I brought home a couple of plants and even after neglecting them they are still super happy and growing like well… weeds. Here is a picture of when I first got the oregano. (Bottom middle of the image.)
I can’t believe how well it’s doing. It’s very hardy! Here is what it looks like now.
I’ve not had much luck with rosemary. I bought two large plants and a couple of small ones. It seems no matter what I tried with them they did not want to grow. I have one half dead plant left. Crossing my fingers that it will come back full force. I will keep trying until I am successful.
UPDATE: I did more research and realized there was a lot of misinformation that I have read. Apparently, in a hot climate rosemary cannot tolerate the full sun. Placing it in the shade for part of the day will help. Now that I know that, I have purchased more rosemary and placed it in a more shady spot and it is doing fantastic! Another thing to note, many things I read said that rosemary likes to be dry, some articles even said not to water at all because it is prone to root rot. After doing my second research session, I learned that you should water it well, and then let it dry out completely before watering again. So I water mine about every three days, unless it rains of course! The information I got first, was from a reputable seed company, not naming any names, but it goes to show that you’ve got to play with the information and see what works.
Grab our free Seed Starting Notebook. Just a little thank you for stopping by!
Basil, and cilantro dye off in the winter but are easy to replant. Dill will die off if it gets cold and stays cold for a while. Here in Florida, I planted some dill in the late fall, and it is growing really well. Here is a picture of it when I first got it. (Bottom middle is the dill.)
We’ve had a couple of freezing night temperatures, but it’s still doing well.
So the biggest step you can take to start an herb garden is JUST START! Be prepared to fail, kill plants, and mostly learn. You will gain more knowledge just by starting, than sitting by and thinking that you have a brown thumb, you will inevitably kill things, and that all plant life dies in your hands. That’s not true, it’s not true at all! Hey, one more tip before you go… Check out the clearance area. I have had a lot of luck reviving clearance plants with this old brown thumb of mine. I bet you wouldn’t believe it. I wish I had before and after pictures of my old house. I will try to see if I can dig some of them up just to show you my gorgeous landscaping I did with clearance plants. They were grassy not herbs, but still. Anywho, I hope this post helped you, and if it did please leave me a comment!
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