Many people think when they grow a garden that there is nothing that they can do about the shaded bits of their land. Others will try and fail by putting species that simply need more light. Many people forget that you can grow herbs in the shade, making the most of your garden and elevating the quality of your food as well. Here are the steps you can take so you can grow herbs wherever you want.
1. Soil Quality
Herbs will grow most places, generally finding themselves somewhere to spread and taking root. However, that doesn’t mean they will last long or that they will taste the best. Good quality soil that has lots of nutrients and is deep enough for them to fully root is one of the best ways to make sure that your herbs will last for years.
Starting with good compost and heavy soil will not only ensure that herbs are tasty and fresh, but also that they get well established and are easier to cultivate in the years to come.
If you really want to grow herbs in the shade, you need to make sure that they aren’t going to drown or rot, this is a problem when water gets pooled around a plant, sitting there until the plant itself becomes non-viable. Proper drainage such as making sure the soil is free from clay, layers of rocks underneath particularly thick soil, and slopes away from areas that would normally become puddles are all different ways to deal with the need for better drainage in a shaded area.
3. Watering Schedule
Make and stick to a schedule based on the needs of the herbs and the areas in which you are keeping them. Keep in mind that the sun not hitting the area will mean that it will be colder, making it important not to water the herbs before the early morning so as not to shock them. Herb gardens are generally better off if you water them in the evening, but before the heat of the day in hot climates is also acceptable, make sure not to water them during the hottest part of the day as they may fry and die.
4. The Right Herbs
Not all herbs are going to thrive in all environments. Talking to the clerks at your local home and garden store or looking online for more information about your area and what thrives there can be important. Each area of the world has a different planting zone and various plants that survive within that zone.
Identify where you live, what kind of plants you are looking for especially the right time for their plantation, and if they are able to survive in low light conditions. All of this information is available both online and on the back of seed packets, making it easy to choose the right option for your area.
5. Good Surrounding Species
Finally, make sure that you surround the herbs with species that will help cross-pollinate, and that won’t grow too tall. Tall species or those that root too thickly can change the conditions in your garden, making it harder to grow herbs in the shade. Instead, surround the herbs with lower-lying species that flower, giving the entire garden a lush carpet to work with.
Herbs are one of the easiest species to make thrive in the shade. They work well in rocky areas, will fill most gaps in gardens, look great in small beds against the house, and can even be grown inside the house in small pots. Herbs fill our homes and our hearts with amazing aromas, bettering our lives through their existence.