Having a wide array of fresh herbs at your disposal is wonderful if you’re someone that likes to cook and create in your kitchen, but do you know how often to water herbs?
It doesn’t take a ton of effort to grow fresh herbs in your garden or on your patio, but knowing how to take care of your plants will keep them flourishing for a long time.
When it comes to watering your herbs, there are a few things that you should know. Certain herbs may require more or less water than others. There are different approaches to watering that you can use as well.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about the frequency of watering your herbs.
How Often Do Herbs Need to be Watered?
If you have had a vegetable garden in the past, you’re probably used to placing a lot of water into the ground to keep them growing. Because vegetables have a high water content, they require a lot more watering than something like herbs. Not to mention, there are herbs that will actually do a lot better and taste a lot better if they are watered minimally.
Watering Herbs That Love Moisture
Herbs that like water include varieties like bee balm, dill and mint. The herbs that fall into this category are usually annual. So, essentially, you don’t have to stress about the watering process too much. You only have to keep them alive until the beginning of the winter months.
Watering Herbs That Thrive in Drier Soil
It should be pointed out that herbs which do better in drier soil still need to be watered. While they will survive and continue to grow if you forget a few days of watering, they’re not going to stay alive in completely dry soil. Herbs that fall into this category include thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary.
If you have herbs that aren’t really falling into either of these categories, it’s a good idea to keep up with watering them moderately. Ideally, a little bit of research on each herb that your growing will help you with your garden. The best gardeners in the world have a set watering schedule that they follow. This is how they get their results.
Checking the Soil
A lot of people make the mistake of looking at the plants they’re growing in order to determine if they need water. For instance, they wait for the leaves to start to droop. In fact, you want to check the top few inches of soil to see what the moisture content is. If you feel that it’s on the drier side, then it’s a good idea to water. If you’re watering those herbs which like to be drier, keep the water level to a minimum. You never want to soak the soil. You can follow a watering schedule, but it’s a good idea to always check the soil before you water.
The Location of Growth
The amount that you have to water your herbs will also depend on where they’re being grown. If you have herbs sitting on your kitchen’s windowsill, then the only source of water that they’re getting is from you. If you have pots on your patio, they may end up being a little more moist than intended because water can be held in those pots pretty well. The ground has moisture that’s more evenly distributed, but the ground tends to stay pretty moist at all times. Unless you live somewhere that experiences droughts, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about dry conditions in the ground. Ideally, herbs that like to remain hydrated will require about .5 liters of water for each square foot of soil.
How Often to Water Herbs
In addition to know how much to water your herbs, you need to know the best time to water them. Herbs that are outside should always be watered first thing in the morning or in the late evening hours. This is to prevent loss of moisture because of evaporation from the sun. Your potted herbs can also follow this schedule, or you can invest in a self-watering system that will keep everything moist by way of a drip system.
Signs There is a Problem
Even if you think you’re doing all the right things, you still need to pay close attention to your herbs. They will start to act up if you’re not watering them the right way. Signs that you’re over watering your plants include leaves that look like they are brown or discolored. Blisters may appear on the leaves, and fungus or mold may be present. If you’re not watering your herbs enough, wilting will occur. The leaves can also turn yellow or curly. Decay may be present.
How to Fix a Watering Problem and How Often to Water Herbs
If you’ve under watered your herbs, don’t over compensate. Immediately give them the typical amount of water that you would use. Get back on track with your watering schedule. If you’ve over watered your herbs, place them in a sunny location (if possible) where they can lose some of their moisture by way of evaporation.
Types of Dirt
If you’re growing herbs in pots, always purchase a high quality soil in a bag that will support the growth of herbs. You can even buy organic versions. Never take dirt from outside. You can transport insects inside, and this dirt is typically filled with clay.
Add compost to your herb dirt regularly. You can purchase compost, but you can also make your own using the waste that you have right in your own home. This is a very eco-friendly manner of gardening.
Always remember to be patient with your herbs. They require just as much attention as any other plant. When you do water, make sure that you’re watering the base of the herb. Avoid watering the leaves themselves, as this can lead to them wilting.