Anleolife Garden View: So Wonderful to Grow Herbs in Raised Beds for Gardeners(II)

Anleolife Garden View: So Wonderful to Grow Herbs in Raised Beds for Gardeners(II)

In the last blog post, we dived into some first-to-do tips on how to grow herbs in raised garden beds(Right Place and Size/Soil and Drainage/Pick Your Herb Varieties). This article will continue to discuss how you can enjoy the fresh flavors and aromas of homegrown herbs by using raised beds in your garden.

Get Herb Plants

Some herbs are easy to start from seed, but others take a long time to germinate. Buy slow-growers at a nursery or divide existing plants. In some cases, you can grow new plants from cuttings.


From Seed:

Before sowing any herb, whether in seed-starting trays or directly in the garden, read the seed packet, which will give you important information. Herbs that are easy to grow from seed include: Basil, borage, calendula, chervil, cilantro, dill, parsley and sage.

From Division:

Perennial herbs can be divided easily. Use a garden fork to dig up the plant's root system and either pull the roots apart by hand (as with chives), or cut the root mass into several pieces and replant them elsewhere in the garden. You can also put small divisions in pots to grow indoors during the winter. If the divisions are to be used outdoors, the best time to divide is fall, when they are winding down for the year. When divided and replanted in autumn, plants get established faster. Perennial herbs that respond well to division include: bee balm (monarda), chives, garlic chives, lovage, marjoram, oregano and thyme.

From Cuttings:

Stem cuttings of suitable herbs should be taken in spring or summer, when plants are healthy and growing vigorously. Rosemary and tarragon tend to root better in the fall, so use them for cuttings at that time and grow them indoors over the winter. Good choices for cuttings: Lavender, mint, oregano, sage and thyme.

Select stem segments that are tender (usually green and not woody) and about three to six inches long, with at least five leaves along the stem. Make an angled cut, just above an outward-facing leaf node.

Remove the lower leaves on the stem, dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder, and plant it about 2" deep in a 4" pot of moistened potting soil. You can also use vermiculite or perlite.

Cover the cuttings loosely with a plastic bag to create humid conditions and place them away from direct sunlight.

Water the plants and water if needed; remove the plastic bag if there seems to be too much moisture. After a few weeks, check for new leaf growth, which indicates that the plants are rooting well. Repot the plants into larger containers filled with regular potting soil and gradually expose the plants to full sun.

Some herbs—such as basil, mint and sage—will form roots in a glass of water.

 Planting and Caring for Herbs

The best time to plant most herbs in the garden is in early spring, just as the warm weather starts. Some herbs like lemon verbena and mint family plants prefer to be planted in late summer. For any herb, check the local garden center or the plant’s instructions for the best planting times for the area.

Look at the plant tag to learn how much space to leave between each plant for best growth and good airflow. Dig a hole, then plant the herb to the same depth as it was in its original container. Fill in around the plant, gently pat down the soil, then water well. With any member of the mint family (including lemon balm), you'll want to plant it in its own container to keep it from spreading and taking over the garden. If you're growing in a raised bed or in the ground, simply nestle the container into the soil.

Pamper: Watering and Pruning

Regular watering is essential for young plants. Check daily to see if they need watering, especially during the summertime or if you're growing in containers, which tend to dry out more quickly than in-ground herb gardens or raised beds. The amount of water varies for different herbs. For instance, lemon balm likes moist soil, while woody herbs like rosemary need less watering, as they prefer drier soil.

Water thoroughly if the top inch of soil is dry. Then, to keep herbs growing strong throughout the season, be sure to feed them with every week or two with a liquid plant food.

Some herbs thrive in different soil types, but they all need well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. Sandy soils tend to dry out faster, so you should add more compost to those.

Pest Control

There are several all-natural methods you can employ to keep your garden (mostly) pest-free:

Companion planting: Certain plants have natural repellent properties that can deter pests. For example, planting marigolds, basil, or mint around your herb garden can help repel pests like aphids, beetles, and mosquitoes.

Neem oil: Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and is an effective natural insecticide. It can be used to control a variety of common garden pests, including aphids, mealybugs, and caterpillars.

Homemade sprays: You can create homemade sprays using ingredients like garlic, onion, hot peppers, or soap. These sprays can help deter pests when applied to plants. For example, a mixture of crushed garlic cloves, water, and a few drops of dish soap can be effective against aphids.

Handpicking: You can physically remove slugs and caterpillars by hand.

Beneficial insects: Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, or praying mantises to your garden can help control pest populations by feeding on common garden pests.

Crop rotation and intercropping: Rotating your crops and intercropping herbs with other plants can help disrupt the life cycles of pests and reduce pest problems. Pests often target specific plants or families of plants, so diversifying your garden can make it less attractive to pests.


Herbs respond well to harvesting, and will actually grow thicker and bushier with frequent snipping. For best results, harvest in the morning using a pair of garden shears or kitchen scissors. Using a gentle touch when harvesting any herb is important to prevent damaging plant materials.

When harvesting your herbs, take care not to remove more than a third of the plant, for it can recuperate and continue growing throughout the season. Also, know that herbs taste best before flowering. By pinching back basil as soon as you see blooms beginning to form, for instance, you'll extend the herb's harvest life.


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