Herbal placement in the garden

Nancy Carter
Nancy Carter Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

Where is the best place to plant an herbal garden? Is it best to plant in a particular direction ie north facing or south facing direction? Is it recommended to plant herbs throughout the flower and or vegetable garden or to keep all herbs in a seperate area all together? In the ground or in pots? What has worked best for you? Are certain herbs more friendly to others? Do certain herbs not get along or grow well with other herbs?


  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    i suggest any thing in the mint family grown in burried containers or pots.

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    @nksunshine27 why do you suggest this method? Are they invasive?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,407 admin

    @Nancy Carter I plant my herbs throughout my garden. I try to pair up things for companion planting but by the end of the planting season, I find myself just throwing things in the ground wherever there is open space. Herbs are pretty forgiving.

    There are a couple of books on companion planting. Carrots Love Tomatoes and Roses Love Garlic (both by Louise Riotte).

    Herbs generally do well in full sun as many are of Mediterranean origin. But there are some shade lovers. Mint can do with a bit of shade and some moisture but will grow in full sun. Bull's Blood sorrel does better in the shade and with moisture. Arugula doesn't bolt as quickly when in the shade.

    Make sure you check on the size of mature herb plants. Some can get very large and you have to make allowances for the growth, especially if it is perennial herb. I'm thinking things like comfrey and horseradish here. Lovage will also get very big. Even that little sage that you got in a 4" pot can become a three foot bush by the end of one season.

    Yes, mints are invasive! Some varieties much more so than others. They spread by runners as will many other herbs. Other invasive herbs spread by seeds. I never need to replant catnip, mugwort or mustard as they now come up all over my garden. Lovage seeds itself but not quite as prolifically as some of the others. Sorrel (both green and Bull's Blood) will spread by both root and seed. Lemon Balm is reputed to be invasive but no so much in my garden (but I am a northern gardener). Chive clumps will get large and should be dug up and divided every couple of years. (lots of giveaways to friends or to pot up and sell at markets) If you disturb your comfrey and leave any bits in the ground you will have many new plants next year. Same for horseradish when harvesting it. Leave any bits of root and it will regrow next year. Handy to not have to replant every year.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    @Nancy Carter well, you had a lot of valuable advice from @torey. I can only support what she writes. At the begining I would develop a herbal bed or a herb spiral for sun loving mediterran plants, but then they will decide who grows where. They will spread and multiply themselves and the birds will help.

    i plant lavender with roses and some chives and garlic in the neighbourhood. Hyssop, sage, dill, garden savoury, marigold and garlic grow next to my vegetables as a protection against insects and aphids. I never sow dill, garlic, savoury, marigold and camomile - they all develop from seeds themselves.

    I have a bee/herbal bed - oregano, echinacea, catnip, borage, comfrey, goldenrod, willow-herb... I planted them only once and now they are organising themselves. I just harvest what I need.

    i keep horseradish in a shadowy corner and mint got a separate hill, where they are allowed to spread.

    And I have quite a lot of stinging nettle which I harvest regularly and use as a herb or a fertiliser.

    My lawn is a meadow full of thyme, daisies, dandelions. Ground elder grows under bushes. I do not really weed, but rather harvest as almost every weed is a herb.

    Basil grows with tomatoes in the greenhouse.

    well, herbs are everywhere.