The best time of year to start an herb garden is fall. This is because some of the tastiest and most interesting herbs thrive in the fall. The reason for this is that the lower temperatures and higher level of humidity makes it very easy to start and maintain an herb crop throughout the autumn months. Planting herbs makes a fun way to continue enjoying your garden after summer is over. You are sure to be pleased with the great herb harvest you will reap by planting an herb garden in the fall.
Don’t underestimate perennials in making your gardening life easier. Perennials will continue to come back every year and will only require minimal maintenance such as weeding and fertilizing. You’ll save time by not having to plant and care for seedlings or starts. Different perennials will perform better in different climates, but sorrel greens and horseradish should work almost anywhere.
Attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Certain plants are highly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds due to their nectar. Hummingbirds tend to favor any flower that is shaped like a trumpet, especially if it is pink, red or purple. Examples of these are honeysuckle, fuchsia and monarda. Butterflies like flat, daisy-like flowers, such as chrysanthemums, asters and coneflowers. Choose a sunny position, as both butterflies and hummingbirds appreciate the warmth.
Pass on the gardening love. Once you have a great crop of vegetables, be sure to share some with friends and family. This simple act of kindness can be a huge motivator for you and a big act of generosity to those around you! Plus, you may inspire others to start a garden of their own!
Consider using your garden to grow some kitchen herbs. Herbs such as basil, mint, parsley, coriander, rosemary and dill, are essential to many dishes, but they can be very expensive to purchase in the shops. These culinary herbs, however, are very cheap and easy to grow in your own garden.
One of the best ways to maximize the benefits of a garden is to learn how to can. Water bath canning is an effective way to store fresh vegetables for a very long time and is not that difficult to learn how to do. It involves submersing jars of the gardens home grown goodies into a bath of barely boiling water. This will preserve the vegetables for up to a year or more.
If you are introducing children to gardening, start them off with an herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow and you can start them in containers, which are easier for children to handle. When children see that the herbs they grow can be used in your cooking, they will be very proud of their accomplishment.
Make sure your plants are always evenly spaced by turning your rake or shovel handle in to a measuring stick. Simply lay a yardstick next to your shovel and copy the markings to the handle with a permanent marker. The next time you’re ready to put in new plants all you’ll need is your shovel.
Plant things that will give you color for the fall. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. When it comes to brightly colored foliage, fall is an amazing time of year. Maple trees come in a variety of fall colors ranging from yellow to deep crimson, as do Beech trees and Dogwood. Some vibrant shrubs include hydrangea, barberry, and cotoneaster.
To keep cats, snakes, and other critters out of your garden, use moth balls. Moth balls may not smell pleasant to us, but they smell even worse to most animals, and they’ll easily scare them away. Simply scatter a few moth balls at the edges of your garden. Moth balls can be obtained very cheaply from drug stores and dollar stores.
Try to avoid using pesticides in your garden. Pesticides can get into your food easily when you spray them on your edible plants. These pesticides can make you sick, and have been linked to greater health issues. There are many organic alternatives to pesticides that are safe to you and the environment.
For those new to gardening it is suggested to experiment with annuals. The following varieties are hardy, thrive in average soil, and take minimum care: sweet alyssum, marigold, zinnia, sunflower, nasturtium, petunia and verbena. Just remember to deadhead them frequently to encourage new flowers to grow.
At the end of autumn, get your herbs ready to go dormant for the winter. Cut back herbs with woody stems, such as Rosemary, and bring plants that will not survive the winter indoors or into your greenhouse. Add some fresh soil or compost to your garden and then mulch your plants to protect them from freezing. Now you can enjoy your wonderful, fresh autumn herbs throughout the cold winter months ahead.