Midsummer is the best time to get an herb garden going if you have not already done so. The soil and days are warm. Local nurseries have a plentiful selection of herbs. Basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage are the most popular herbs.

You do not really need to dig up the soil to have a productive herb garden. Most herbs are well-suited to containers. An attractive large container and a few herbs in 4-inch pots will do. Crafting a combo herb garden is fun and rewarding.

First make sure you have a container of size so watering and crowding will not be an issue later on. Container should be at least 18 to 24 inches wide and about 12 inches or more deep. Next, fill with a top quality potting soil, taking care to add a handful of 4-4-4 all-purpose natural fertilizer about half way down. Once herb roots become established and hit the buried fertilizer they will take off.

Most herbs are quite compatible with each other as they have the same sun and watering needs. If you like mint, be sure to plant it alone in its own container. Mint will overwhelm a combo herb garden in no time.

Herbs do best in full sun. Once they become well-rooted in their new home, watering will be critical.

Terry Kramer is the site manager for the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a trained horticulturist and journalist. She has been writing a garden column for the Times-Standard since 1982. Contact her at



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