Here we are 3 months later with a thriving herb garden. Despite the record breaking heat,* the crazy weather patterns, and the occasional lack of watering due to vacations/late nights at the office, our herb garden survived.

3 Months Later

 

herb plants 3 months later basil cilantro lavender parsley

Herb Plants 3 Months Later

3 Months Before

 

Herb Plants – Day 1. From Left: Curly Parsley, basil, cilantro, and lavendar

 

* It has reached 105 degrees where we live when the average temperature should be 80 degrees for the summer. If that’s not climate change then what is.

If you want to follow the journey of starting our herb garden, go to my blog post here.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the curly parsley on the left is no longer as tall as it once was 🙁 It’s a casualty in this garden as it was overtaken by mildew. Mildew was just one example of the many pests that we’ve encountered and had to fend off. The curly parsley is surviving though, but it just isn’t as tall as it once was.

I even made a time lapse video that shows the growth of our herb gardens! Watch them grow here on my youtube video.

 

Why should one have an herb garden?

There are several benefits to having one’s own garden. I’ll list some great health and practical reasons:

  • Save money on groceries! Provide your own fresh herbs and save money on groceries. Each batch of herbs is around $1.99-$3.99 and that can add up over time per meal.
  • Numerous studies suggest that gardening can have de-stressing effects. We have found it to be very therapeutic to be tending to our plants and seeing our efforts bloom into lush, green plants.
  • Growing your own herbs is healthier as you can control the way it’s cultivated from the nutrients you feed it to what types of environmental factors you expose it to. I mean, we’ll never know how the grocery market handles our plants, but when we’re the ones handling it from soil to table we are the ones in control of the entire process.
  • To some people, it might seem counter-productive to have an herb garden. I mean, aren’t we in the 21st century? We don’t have to grow our own food anymore, right? I beg to differ. It’s all the more reason to have your own herb garden.
  • Tests your patience. It takes dedication to water your plants every single day the adequate amount, ideally at the same time, and fend off against persistent pests. Once you’re able to achieve such bountiful yields it’ll bring great satisfaction (at least for some people)

I know not everyone is up to it right? I mean, sometimes I forget to do the most common sense things but I don’t know… seeing our own garden grow so well is pretty fulfilling. It’s also one more thing to worry about on top of work/school, family, friends, and the piling list of obligations that we all seem to get looped into. But at least with a garden, it’s something we can say that we helped grow and provided something for ourselves.

 

Also if you have start an herb garden like me you can use your basil as garnishes that totally fall under the farm-to-table category. This pizza could be garnished with your own home grown basil. Who needs to pay $30 for a farm to table pizza?

pizza with basil and mozzarella wine

Can you handle it?

When we saw our plants being overtaken by spider mites, aphids, questionable insects, caterpillars, and mildew there were many frustrated sighs. But we had to realize this whole process is just part of the ecosystem.

So be strategic. If you want to protect your basil plants from aphids, I did research to find plants that would ward off aphids (Dillweed plants). Also, fend off spider mites with lavender plants (which fend against mosquitos). Find plants that double time and create synergies.

Common Problems

Mildew and Spider Mites

We encountered these pests and rid them for good using these organic based plant sprays that are friendly to bees! (SAVE THE BEES!)

Caterpillars

I used to think caterpillars were cute… until I saw them inching in their gray colored bodies onto the basil leaves and chomping them into wilted, lifeless leaves. Defend against these pests with this spray

Vacation

So if you go on vacation without watering your plants, say goodbye. They’re not unlike tiny humans. If I left my nephew without access to food then I’d be horrible person! The same goes for plants. We used these plant spikes and water absorbing crystals to keep our plants watered while we were away:

 

 

Are you going to try growing your own herb garden?!