Growing Delicious Herbs (with Photos) in Zone 9 | Tips from Garden Club Meeting
Herb gardens are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals, as well as providing an attractive addition to your outdoor space. Whether you choose to grow herbs in pots or directly in the ground, there is a wide variety of herbs available that can be grown in most climates.
In Zone 9, fall is a great time to plant herbs. When preparing for planting, it is important to clean out any old soil from the herb bed, and cut back any plants that have become overgrown during the summer months. After adding fresh soil, you can then purchase new nursery-bought items such as basil (Italian and lemon), cilantro, garlic chives, marjoram, mint (chocolate and spearmint), oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (generic and lemon).
At a recent garden club meeting, a speaker gave a presentation on growing herbs. It was surprising to learn that it is recommended to fertilize herbs once per month with special herb fertilizer. This contradicts the popular belief that fertilizer weakens flavor. The speaker also suggested using regular potting soil in containers instead of pricey gritty amendments. Additionally, she introduced citronella and scented geraniums which could be ordered from catalogs for next year's garden.
One enthusiastic gardener recently bought a cart full of herbs including mints, oregano, thyme, chives, sage and hyssop. To make her herb garden look even more attractive, she added five pots of calibrachoa flowers which will bloom until killed by frost. She also purchased four little pots of hyssop - something she had never tried before - which grows up to four feet tall so needs to be planted in a very large container or directly into the ground. Hyssop's blossoms attract bees and butterflies making them a great addition to any garden.
Hanging baskets and other containers are ideal for certain types of herbs such as mints (spearmint, apple, orange and chocolate) and basil (purple, Thai and sweet). Mexican mint marigold can be used in place of French tarragon which does not grow well in this climate. Lemon balm should be kept in pots as it spreads quickly. Garlic chives may not appeal to everyone but they are incredibly attractive to bees!
Every year brings the same cycle: picking fresh herbs until tired of running outside; then using dried herbs until longing for the scent and taste of freshness again. Moving existing plants around each season can help keep things interesting while ensuring they get enough sunlight and water. Trying different methods like winding mint through tomato trusses may even deter pests!
The photos posted show what one garden looked like last October after planting their herbs - a beautiful sight indeed! With careful planning, preparation and maintenance anyone can create an herb garden that provides delicious flavors all year round.
What herbs did I plant in zone 9?
You planted basil (Italian and lemon), cilantro, garlic chives, marjoram, mint (chocolate and spearmint), oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (generic and lemon).
What did I buy from the nursery?
You bought a cart full of herbs including mints, oregano, thyme, chives, sage, hyssop, and basil.
What did I learn from the garden club speaker?
You learned to fertilize herbs once per month with special herb fertilizer, use regular potting soil in containers instead of wasting money on gritty amendments, and that herbs have scent glands.
What flowers did I buy?
You bought five pots of calibrachoa which will bloom until they are killed by a frost.
How many little pots of hyssop did I buy?
You bought four little pots of hyssop.
What containers do I have for my herbs?
You have hanging baskets and other containers for your herbs. You also have a container of mints (spearmint, apple, orange, and chocolate) and a container of basil (purple, Thai, and sweet).
What is the cycle I go through every year with my herbs?
Every year you go through the same cycle - picking fresh herbs until you get tired of running outside for them then using dried herbs until you long for the scent and taste of fresh.
What do I need to do to grow French tarragon successfully?
To grow French tarragon successfully you need to grow it in pots.
What do I do to keep rats away from my tomatoes?
To keep rats away from your tomatoes you can wind the runners of the mint through the low trusses.