Make a plan
Rather than just going to the garden center and purchasing whatever herbs smell good or look pretty do some research and choose plants you will actually cook with. Figure out which herbs will go with the food you and your family enjoy eating. It’s fun to add a few plants to experiment with but start with a basic lineup and go from there.
Follow and connect with bloggers and garden sites online for useful tips and advice.
This is a great way to find other new herb gardeners and people that are experiencing the same challenges you’re facing and may be asking similar questions. Local stores sometimes offer specials on the web along with videos and classes. One site that I enjoy is hosted by P. Allen Smith. He has a show on the Create Channel, a website, and a newsletter that you can subscribe to.
Avoid overwhelm by beginning with containers
Before you launch into a major project of tilling up your yard for herb gardening try growing herbs in containers first. This is a great way to make sure it’s something you want to continue doing and it gives you a chance of trial and error to discover what grows best in your yard based on sunlight, drainage, etc.
Follow the caring guidelines that come with each of your plants
This will tell you the amount of sunlight, water, and any other special instructions that they need to thrive. Read the labels before you buy for expected growth size and to make sure that you have the right size container in mind and the best location selected in your yard for each plant. You can get moisture control potting soil to avoid over watering but I’ve always just done the finger test in the dirt to see if it feels dry. With super hot climates herbs that are in the full sun may have to be watered every couple of days if it doesn’t rain.
Do not bury your herb plants too deep
Most herbs that you purchase have a pretty well-developed root system. You only need to gently separate the root ball and rest the plant in a whole deep enough to cover the dirt. Make sure the leaves are kept exposed and your herb will take hold in its new home.
Do not pack the dirt around your herbs too tightly
If you push down too firmly on your newly planted herbs you may inhibit their growth. Just add water to the hole, fill it with soil, and gently press the dirt around the plant.
Purchase the largest bag of potting soil that you can physically handle
This is the way to get the best price per cubic feet but dirt is heavy so don’t risk your back. Usually the employees at a garden center will load it into the car for you. Then if you have a cart, just slide it out of the car and onto that. There are so many types of potting soil promising to make your plants grow twice as big, control the moisture, etc. I just use a good quality soil with fertilizer, intended for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Organic is also an option but it’s more expensive.