After spending just a few dollars for your initial purchase of some herbal seed packages or seedlings, is that it? “Gee,” you’re wondering, “is this going to take forever for me to have a real herb garden?” And the answer is, absolutely not. With these herbs and growing tips, you are going to take those first few plants and surprise the heck out of yourself (and your neighbors) by having tons of amazing herb garden plants in no time.
Propagating Herbs and Growing Many from One
Propagation means creating new herb garden plants from a single plant. For this article, we’ll talk about a few easy methods for doing this, including growing herbs from cuttings, root division, transplanting and making new herbs through layering.
Growing Herbs from Cuttings
- From your local plant nursery, pick up some rooting hormone or root powder
- Cut a woody, long shoot from a herb garden plant. Cut the shoot at an angle very near the bottom of the shoot, very close to the earth. (Always use sharp pruning shears so you don’t make a ragged cut or tear the plant
- Take off any leaves at the bottom of the shoot and apply the rooting hormone or powder to the area where you cut
- Stick the cutting two or three inches deep into a six inch pot or container with potting soil
Initially, saturate the soil holding your new cutting very well with water. New roots will begin to grow from the shoot, which can then be transplanted into the garden or remain in the pot.
Propagating Herb Garden Plants Through Separation and Root Division
Root division is a method you will use once certain herbs are well established in your home herb garden.
- With a shovel dig in a wide circle around a thick and established bunch of herbs
- Remove entire bunch from the garden on a clump
- In a wheelbarrow or wagon, gently knead away and crumble the soil around the roots of the plants
- When the roots are exposed and visible, very gently untangle and separate a plant or plants from the main bunch
- Replant the separated herbs into your choice of other areas of the garden or into indoor or outdoor pots
Root division accelerates and multiplies your herb garden, because the separated plants appreciate the extra room their root system has and quickly fill out to create multiple healthy bunches as big as the first. The process can be repeated if desired, to fill out your herb garden very quickly.
Creating New Herb Plants by Layering Herbs
You will definitely be known as the neighborhood green thumb with the following herbs and growing technique. This is how you propagate herbs by layering plants:
- Without cutting or breaking a long stem from an existing herb plant, bend the stem so that the middle three or 4 inches of the stem touches the ground.
- Scoop away the soil making a four inch deep trench. Place middle section of the stem in the trench and bury it by replacing the soil over it. (I often very slightly “injure” the under side of the middle section because it seems to help the formation of new roots from the “injury”)
- Place a rock over the planted section of the stem to hold it underground or hold it under with an arked stake
- Provide plenty of water to the layered section of stem
Because roots will begin to emerge from the single buried stem of the main herb garden plant, you are in effect, creating a new plant several inches from the mother. This will create a denser bunch by speeding propagation big time.
Using all these methods will give you such a head start on your spring garden. It never fails to get jaws dropping as other folks’ gardens are floundering in the early spring.
Photo. Karolina Grabowska