How to Plant a Raised Bed Herb Garden!
This will sound like a complaint but it’s not. We have a small yard…even by Southern California standards. That said, it’s perfect for this time in our lives. When we were younger with many little children we had a house with a big yard and we planted a large vegetable garden. Unfortunately with all the children and their activities we didn’t tend it like we should have and it became an eyesore. So we dug it up, planted sod and were done with gardening, or so we thought.
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Thirteen years ago when we still had five kids living at home we moved to our current home with a mini yard. It wasn’t the most practical situation for a large family, but one by one the kids left for school, marriage and life. Now the yard fits the two of us perfectly. It’s small but pretty, lush and colorful with plenty of room and seating for entertaining and backyard BBQ’s. It also has a spectacular lake view. The irony is now that we have this tiny yard, we actually have the time and desire to garden. But as you can see it has very little room, if any, for a garden. And for 13 years I have let my self believe that. But not anymore. We now have a little raised bed herb garden, and I use those herbs for cooking almost every day!
Why We Chose to Plant Herbs: Easy, Saves Money,Practical!
First, herbs are easy to grow, nutrient rich and add flavor to food. Second, I cook a lot…obviously…and a pet peeve of mine is spending 2-4 dollars on cut organic herbs at the store when the recipe I am making requires only a teaspoon or tablespoon and the rest wilts before I can use it all. Now I can walk into my backyard and cut fresh herbs, and only use what I need when I need it all spring and summer long. No waste!
Why We Chose a Raised Bed:
We have wild bunnies that come into our yard and eat whatever they like. So we decided to plant in an Earth Box Garden Kit that comes with wheels or a stand, but there are more decorative choices here and hundreds of other choices here. I used bamboo skewers and mini clothes line clips to label my herbs (affiliate links), but it’s totally unnecessary. I can easily move this planter about the garden, even placing it in the flower beds above existing plants and the bunnies can’t reach the herbs.
Choosing a Container:
Choose your container, it can be a pot or multiple pots, a basket, or even a flower box. There is no wrong choice, just consider your needs and how many herbs you think you will use and plan accordingly.
The next step is to choose your soil. My nursery recommended I start with organic planting soil or cactus mix and seedlings. Each seedling cost about the same (or less) than one bunch of cut herbs. Such a money saver! I planted the herbs we use most often leaving several inches of space between each plant, you can see they filled in nicely. Now if you are thinking “This is all very lovely but what would I do with all these herbs?” I have you covered! Links are provided below for recipes using each herb.
What Herbs We Planted and Recipes To Use Them In!
Rosemary grows like crazy in California and was already planted throughout my yard but I wanted to mention it because it’s a great source of Vitamin B6, calcium and iron and makes food taste great! For recipes using rosemary click here, here, and here.
Mint smells heavenly, is a natural pest repellant, mouth and breath freshener and helps soothe nausea and indigestion. Click here and here for recipes using mint. Helpful hint: Mint has a tendency to take over. You may wish to plant it in a container of it’s own.
Of course oregano is a staple of Italian cooking but also contains: fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and tryptophan. Recipe using oregano here.
Amazing in brown butter and tea this herb is a natural anti-inflammatory known to improve memory. Recipes using sage here.
Chives are used to garnish many dishes and sometimes may replace onions in recipes. Chives contain allicin, an organosulfur that is being studied for its ability to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Recipes using chives: here, here, here, and here.
Taking care of a raised bed herb garden is a cinch! I water it everyday, trim back as needed and that’s it! And it can pretty much fit anywhere, a small porch, an apartment balcony or a tiny courtyard.
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