The 1-hour herb garden

Why spend a small fortune on fresh herbs (that often don’t stay fresh for very long) from the supermarket when you can grow a vibrantly flavored bounty of your own right at home? No need for a large yard or even a green thumb when you can turn to Gardening the Easy Way, a new publication from Hearst, that goes on newsstands March 6, 2012. Here’s a sneak peak from the new publication to give you the confidence to plant your own herbs.
Why spend a small fortune on fresh herbs (that often don’t stay fresh for very long) from the supermarket when you can grow a vibrantly flavored bounty of your own right at home? No need for a large yard or even a green thumb when you can turn to Gardening the Easy Way, a new publication from Hearst, that goes on newsstands March 6, 2012. Here’s a sneak peak from the new publication to give you the confidence to plant your own herbs.

Tips on planting an herb garden

Herbs are perfect for growing in containers, making this project ideal for apartment-dwellers and experienced gardeners alike. Keep herbs near the kitchen door, and you’ll have a steady supply all summer long.

Step 1: Prepare your garden container

Cover the pot’s drainage hole with a terracotta shard or a coffee filter. No drainage hole? Drill one in the bottom of the pot. For smaller pots, the hole should be a half inch in diameter; for larger pots, 1 inch. Fill the container about two-thirds full with your potting mix.

Step 2: Map the layout of your herbs

Before you take small herb plants from their containers, arrange them in your garden container. First place trailing herbs (which will grow over the pot’s side), such as thyme, oregano, and chives, around the edge. Medium-height herbs such as tarragon, sage, and marjoram fill in the next section. The tallest herbs (lavender, fennel, rosemary) go in the center. Lave 3 to 4 inches between plants. Five to eight herbs will fit in a larger pot; three to five in a smaller one.

Step 3: Remove herbs from their original pots and place them in the soil

If the roots are tightly bound, use your hands or a fork to gently loosen them so they can spread out and make themselves at home in the new soil.

Step 4: Cover the roots of the plants

Use a spoon or your hands to fill in the soil around the seedlings, leaving 2 inches to the top of your container so there’s enough room to water. Herbs shouldn’t be planted too far beneath the surface—where the soil gets compacted—or their roots will suffocate.

Step 5: Pack the soil very firmly around the plants

You want your herbs to feel secure, so the tighter you pack in the soil around them, the better.

Step 6: Water immediately

Herbs do best outside (and love full sun), so don’t start your garden until the daytime temperature is consistently 65 degrees F.
 
Gardening the Easy Way
 
This timely spring-focused publication not only shows you how to grow herbs, it provides beautifully-illustrated pages that offer tips on choosing the most reliable plants, starting an organic veggie garden, window boxes and container gardening, growing flowers, and so much more. Make this the year you succeed in the garden with expert advice and inspiring photographs harvested from Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Country Living and Woman’s Day.
 
Get this special edition for only $6.99, soon available at your supermarket or bookstore, or as a digital version at Zinio.com .

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