Soil is what provides your herbs with nutrients, so if you start out with poor quality soil, your herbs will suffer and you will get frustrated wondering why your herbs aren’t growing. This happened to me when I first started gardening, and it is especially easy to happen if you are practicing organic gardening, as I am. That’s because soil that you buy for organic gardening is not full of chemicals like miracle grow. While that is a really good thing, it also means you will need to supplement your soil with some organic fertilizers.
When I first started my garden, I used organic soil and that’s it. My herbs started out growing beautifully, but then they froze. They stopped growing, but they weren’t dying. I thought it was the strangest thing until I realized that it was because they had depleted their nutrients in the soil and since I hadn’t given them any more, they weren’t able to continue growing.
So, I mixed up organic gardening soil with equal parts of peat moss and organic humus, and replanted them in the soil, adding a little organic plant food mixed into the top inch of the soil. And they started growing again!
Peat moss is great for your soil because it increases air circulation and moisture retention. It also helps provide aeration and lowers the pH. While peat moss itself doesn’t have much nutritional value for the plants, it does help disperse nutrients to your herbs by storing soil nutrients and releasing them as they are needed.
Humus is broken down matter that has reached a point where it won’t break down further. Compost is another term for humus. Some people maintain their own compost bin, creating their own humus out things like of vegetable scraps, hay, leaves and grains. You can also buy humus at garden stores. Humus actually absorbs the non-nutrient hydrogen sources in the soil and turns them into food sources for your herbs. It provides much needed trace elements as well. Here’s a more scientific explanation for you: Why Fertilize Your Soil?
Organic plant foods are organic supplements that are approved for organic gardening, providing vitamins and minerals to give your herbs the nutrients they need.
In order for your herbs to provide you with the wonderful healing nutrients you want, you will need to provide them with the nutrients they need to produce well. Before you know it, you’ll be generating tons of beautiful herbs to make your herbal products and herbal tea blends!
As a gardener, you may want to try a pair of herb snippers.