Love fresh herbs for cooking? It only makes sense to grow your own. Herbs are among the easiest of garden plants to maintain and they require little space. If you only have a small growing space, wagon wheel or checkerboard herb gardens with pavers alternating between herbs are pretty, small gardens. If you lack a garden entirely, you can grow a respectable herb garden using window boxes. Whatever the available space, choose herbs you will use regularly and maintaining healthy plants will never be a chore.
Measure a square slightly larger than 6 feet by 6 feet in a fairly level area.
Remove the sod from the area with a garden spade and level the surface of the ground as well as possible.
Use a garden fork to loosen and aerate the soil over the whole plot.
Work in about a 5-gallon bucket full of good quality compost, then rake smooth.
Measure and lay out a grid of 36 12-inch squares with string and stakes or by outlining the grid with thin lines of powdered chalk or sand.
Lay a concrete paver on every other square throughout the grid to make a checkerboard pattern. These pavers give you a place to stand while harvesting, as well as delineating the space between herbs. Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_6520591_make-small-herb-garden.html#ixzz2hOVOXfGZ
Choose 18 herbs--one variety per square of soil. Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme are good herbs for novice herb gardeners, suggests Mother Earth News. Add six more easy-to-grow herbs like fennel, pineapple sage, mustard, lemon balm, nasturtiums and chamomile or calendula for more variety.
Remove the seedling herb plants carefully from their pots, loosening the soil around the base of the roots slightly before placing plants in the ground. Plant one variety of herbs in each of the 18 open squares, setting the transplants at the same depth they occupied in the pots. Consult plant tags or seed packets for information concerning spacing and mature heights and widths.
Water the transplants well to help settle the soil to make good contact with the roots. Keep plants moist, but not soggy, until they are established. Water regularly thereafter whenever soil is dry 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface.
Give plants a drink of manure tea or liquid fertilizer once each week to maintain nutrients in the soil as the herbs grow.