Summer seasonings

Expert tips for planting a summer herb garden.
Parsley, thyme and basil do well when planted together and require similar care. Photo by iStock

Fresh herbs are a great addition to your summer meals — and can be grown in your backyard.

Katey Romence, of Romence Gardens and Greenhouses, shares the basic needs to consider while planting your herb garden, noting the three things every herb garden needs are sun, water and soil.

“An outside garden is where herbs really thrive, either in a large pot or in the ground where there is plenty of sunlight,” Romence said. “The smaller the container, the harder it is to take care of the plants. Multiple herbs in each pot, watered evenly, allows the plants to pull more nutrients. Location is key: Herbs want a lot of sunlight, but they don’t want to be cooked, so it’s important to avoid hot desert-like areas — like against a brick wall or on a deck that overheats.”

Herbs also need regular clipping, so it helps if you start with herbs you often use at home. And you’ll want nutrient-rich potting soil.

“Good soil and learning how to keep the herbs watered properly is key to a successful herb garden,” Romence said. Romence Gardens sells a large variety of herbs in 4½-inch pots and the friendly staff can walk you through which herbs should be potted together and the amount of sunlight and water each group of herbs requires.

Not all herbs do well with each other, such as basil and rosemary. So, it’s important to ask which herbs can be planted together for them to be successful.

Romence’s tip for mint is to plant it in a hanging basket because mint is a plant that spreads everywhere throughout your garden and can cause damage to other garden plants. Fresh mint can be great for summertime favorites such as mojitos, mixers, salads and fruit bowls. Mint also has a lot of health benefits.

If you don’t have a green thumb to plant herbs yourself, Romence Gardens offers custom potted herbs of your choice, and will guide you through the process of which herbs and plants go together, along with sunlight and watering requirements to help your herbs thrive.

Easiest summer herbs to grow

Parsley, thyme and basil do well when planted together and require similar care. These herbs grow best in temperatures over 60 degrees, so it’s important not to plant these herbs too early in the season.

Parsley works well in a pesto, while thyme complements chicken and fish, and basil tastes great in a caprese salad. Each herb has its own health benefits that add tons of nutrition to your diet.

This story can be found in the July/August 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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