Small Side Garden Idea – Creating a Herb Garden

Small Side Garden Idea - Creating a Herb Garden

After two years of cultivating nothing but weeds down the western side of my home, I decided to take action and plant a small side garden, but what to grow! After some deliberation, I decided the spot would be ideal for an herb garden, not only as most herbs are lower growing plants, but most have shallow root systems, so I wouldn’t have to ‘wheel barrow’ too much additional soil in.

Steps to Creating a herb garden

Step 1: Building

I bolted some sleepers against the fence line with cement to create a raised garden bed. Therefore making it level and decreasing the possibility of soil being washed away during heavy rain.

NOTE: make sure when you use timber or sleepers in your garden that they are treated against termites. Alternatively, you can purchase sleepers made of concrete or plastics.

Step 2: Adding soil and compost

I filled the raised garden with bags of Searles Garden Soil. Alternately, mix into the existing soil bags of 5IN1 Organic Fertiliser and leave the soil to rest for several days before planting.

 Small Side Garden Idea - Creating a Herb Garden Searles 5IN1 Organic Plant Food

Step 3: Planting

I elected to plant seedlings over seeds for faster results. It is easy to grow herbs from seed using biodegradable pots made of newspaper or toilet rolls for germination. 

Before planting seedlings, check the plant tags for information on the herbs growing requirements, such as spacing and sun. Lay your seedling pots out in the garden BEFORE planting to get an idea of were everything should go. Placing your seedlings this way, whilst a little more time consuming, will decrease plant shock, which can be the reason why your newly planted seedlings can unexpectedly die. 

Using a trowel dig the holes deep enough to fit the entire root ball and move soil around to secure the seedling into place. 

Step 4: Watering

Once the seedlings were planted, following seed packet guidelines, I gave them a good drink of SeaMax Organic Fertiliser. This product assists with decreasing ‘plant shock’ aka plants suddenly dying after planting due to root damage.

Step 5: Mulch

After watering, I generously spread a layer of sugar cane mulch (approx. 4cm in depth) around the seedlings. Mulching is very important. WHY? Because mulch provides a barrier for the plant to keep the root system cool during hot summer days and also assists in retaining moisture, therefore you don’t need to water as frequently to have your plants looking healthy.

This herb garden has been an amazing provider of fresh herbs to our kitchen table. I’ve found parsley, rocket, thyme, rosemary, sage, chilli’s and lemon grass grow particularly well. I generally allow my herbs to flower, seed and self germinate in-situ, enriching the soil with 5IN1™ Organic Fertiliser Pellets and the occasional drink of SeaMax Organic Fertiliser Liquid. Overall, this works well, however every 12-14 months I have a little ‘dig around’, loosen the soil and add in a little more compost and another layer of sugar cane mulch.

Grow Herbs in a Container What Herbs to Grow Each Season

Renee Nugent writer for the About the Garden magazine and funmarkerHi, I’m Renee and I’m a self confessed fun maker. Whilst I’m not the world’s best gardener (I’ve killed cactus), I believe that getting my kids gardening is one of the most important experiences I can give them as a parent. It’s my way to teach them about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. I love that they are willing to taste our garden produce and that we incorporate many of our garden ‘treasures’ into our craft activities.

So don’t let past gardening failures burden you, we’ve all killed plants and that’s OK. Just get out there and garden with your kids, because….. well….. it’s fun :-)

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