How to Improve Soil Drainage in Herbs Garden

As a general rule, herbs are not fussy plants and they will grow in most soils and situations. A deep, moist, rich soil will promote plenty of lush foliage growth on most types, but the flavour will be inferior to those grown in poorer, dry soils. Many Mediterranean herbs in their native habitat grow in arid, dusty, stony soils so they are quite capable of coping with these conditions in the garden.

However, very poor, dry soils will not produce very attractive plants, and the plants will certainly not be able to cope with continual harvesting. So a balance must be drawn between good growth and good flavour.

Soil Drainage  Herbs Garden

Freely drained soils are essential for some herbs which quickly rot away in damp conditions. However, such soils should also be reasonably moisture-retentive to keep growth steady. This combination is not impossible, as it might first sound. It relies mainly on good soil structure, to allow drainage of excess water, and some organic matter (such as garden compost) to act as a sponge and hold some moisture in reserve.

Herbs require rather better drainage than many other garden plants. Free draining soils are composed of relatively large soil particles and are sandy or gritty. Heavy, clay soils, consisting of tiny particles which stick together and do not allow water to run freely between them, are the least suitable for herbs. The addition of plenty of organic matter will greatly improve their texture and drainage: working in sharp sand will also make them more suitable for herb growing. If you have a very light, sandy soil, add a small amount of organic matter to improve water retention and help stop plant foods being rapidly leached out of the soil.

Heavy applications of fertilizer are certainly unnecessary, but if you have poor soil, add a light dressing of bonemeal while preparing the bed, and incorporate this well. Bonemeal releases its nutrients gradually over an extended period, so will give the plants a steady supply of food without causing rapid lush growth.

In difficult growing conditions, due to bad weather or something similar, herbs might begin to suffer. In these cases a foliar feed sprayed over the plants will give them a quick boost and see them over the critical period. Regular fertilizing is not normally necessary.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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