The best time of year to start an herb garden is fall. This is because some of the tastiest and most interesting herbs thrive in the fall. The reason for this is that the lower temperatures and higher level of humidity makes it very easy to start and maintain an herb crop throughout the autumn months. Planting herbs makes a fun way to continue enjoying your garden after summer is over. You are sure to be pleased with the great herb harvest you will reap by planting an herb garden in the fall.
Choosing a tree. When buying a container-grown tree, remove it from the pot and examine the roots. Don’t buy a tree that is pot-bound with a mass of congested roots, or one that has roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Make sure that the container has been thoroughly watered, and check for any yellowing leaves or dead branches.
Selecting bulbs. Most bulbs are sold during their dormant period. Buy them as early as possible before they start to produce roots. Most spring flowering bulbs will begin to grow roots by early fall, and by planting them early, you will ensure that they have time to establish themselves. Bulbs will deteriorate if kept out of the ground too long. Don’t buy any bulb that is soft or mushy, or appears to be diseased.
Start a compost bin, and enjoy nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use for your vegetable plants, herbs, flowers and more. Food scraps and peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, newspaper, paperboard, yard waste and other organic matter are perfect additions to your compost bin. Keep a small bucket or bag in your freezer as an odor-free way to collect kitchen waste, and empty the container into the outdoor bin when it is full.
Put a fence around your garden. It keeps out dogs, kids and a wide variety of other creatures that might try to invade your space. If there are gophers where you live, you can also try using raised beds in your garden with screened in bottoms. The extra effort is worth the frustration it will save you.
You can use small clay pots or milk jugs to protect your plants from a late season frost. A bed sheet is also an effective cover on shrubs or large areas. Typically, young sprouts are the most vulnerable. If you forget or your efforts fail, you may be forced to replant the crop.
Use scale, color and texture in your garden to improve interest. Use plants of different heights, putting small ones in front and tall ones in the back. Add a few plants that have deep maroon leaves, which looks great next to greenery. Plant a tree or shrub that changes to oranges and golds in autumn, and mix small-leafed plants with larger-leafed or spiky plants, such as agave.
At the end of autumn, get your herbs ready to go dormant for the winter. Cut back herbs with woody stems, such as Rosemary, and bring plants that will not survive the winter indoors or into your greenhouse. Add some fresh soil or compost to your garden and then mulch your plants to protect them from freezing. Now you can enjoy your wonderful, fresh autumn herbs throughout the cold winter months ahead.