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How to Grow an Herb Garden

August 15, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Miami 0 Comments

How to Grow an Herb Garden

Herbs are some of the most interesting plants on the planet because of their health benefits, complementary flavors to food, and powerful aromas. They have a wide variety of uses from flavoring meats and making teas to enhancing dips and treating ailments. It probably doesn't come as a surprise to hear that most modern medications have herbal extracts in them, and civilizations of old have also used them medicinally for thousands of years. If you would like to reap the benefits of these amazing plants, you could decide to grow your own herb garden for convenient use. There are many different cooking schools that even grow their own herb gardens on site.

Step 1: Choose what types of herbs you would like to grow
There are hundreds of varieties to choose from including: cilantro, basil, oregano, chamomile, thyme, and many more. These all can have a special place in signature dishes. If you attend a cooking school, you will learn how each herb and spice add something unique to a dish. Depending on where the herbs originated, different species may have different growing conditions than others. The following are some general guidelines to growing any type of herb in your own garden. If you are attending cooking school in Miami then you are looking at a great growing climate.

*Use quality soil in addition to organic matter, and make sure that there is sufficient drainage.
*Do not plant in areas where water can accumulate during heavy rains.
*If water run-off is poor, raise the soil beds to improve drainage.
*Plant herbs in a location where they will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a year.
*Use fertilizer sparingly to aid with herbs that aren't growing so well.

The best way to arrange your herb garden is by growing requirements. Plants that have similar requirements should be grown next to each other to make caring for them easier and more convenient. Each herb will have varying needs for light, moisture, temperature, soil quality, and more. You should group them by figuring out which ones have the most in common.

Step 2: Find your herbs
Buying your herbs is another factor to consider. Most can usually be purchased as seeds or in the form of a sapling. Certain herbs are easier to grow from the seed while others will grow better when transplanted to your garden as a baby plant. Some herbs are very sensitive to transplantation and will die when moved from their original spot, but others can endure this just fine. Just like most flowers, herbs are also categorized into annual, biennial, or perennial types, so pay attention to the small details. It is best to do your research far beforehand so that you are aware of how to properly care for your plants and to avoid making irreversible mistakes.

One other thing to pay attention to is insect damage. Since most herbs are grown for eating, pesticides are not a safe way to keep bugs away. You can purchase special soaps and oils to coat your herbs when there is severe insect infestation. Otherwise, just keep a close eye on the garden and physically remove large bugs like caterpillars or beetles. Attend a cooking school to help you learn how to use your fresh homegrown ingredients!

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Miami, Florida area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Miami for more information. 
Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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