Often, garden enthusiasts wonder what they should grow and what are the most popular herbs used amongst household and restaurants. Here are a few important facts to know before starting.
Most herbs require 6-8 hours of sun each day. Because the origin of many herbs is the Mediterranean region, the location for planting the herbs should provide a similar condition: warm temperatures and direct sun light. Fortunately, the conditions in Southern California are more than adequate for this setting.
Most herbs can grow in various soils as long as it drains well, yet kept moist. Once you’ve established your garden and you start seeing growth, the Herbs durability and ability to repel pests makes the maintenance easy.

Here are the 5 most popular herbs that can grow in the sun (6-8 hours a day):

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) - Perhaps the most popular and widely used culinary herb is the Basil. It is a tender annual, aromatic plant with a spicy odor and flavor.  It grows 12-18 inches tall and foliage color can range from green to purple.  Foliage size can vary from large lettuce-like leaves to very small leaves. Basil is a hot weather plant and is especially susceptible to frost damage, yet, it prefers growing in a lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soil that contains lots of organic matter.


Oregano (Origanum vulgare var. hirtum) - Oregano is a loose, open plant growing from six inches to two feet tall with gray-green leaves and small purple or white flowers.  Oregano grows best in full sun in well-drained soil. For the Oregano, add some sand and compost to the soil at planting time. Stay away from fertilizer. Oregano does well in hot, dry locations and lean, rocky or sandy soil.


English Thyme.jpg
English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Thyme is a yearly plant, low growing (6-12 inches tall) to almost horizontal. Its stems are stiff and woody and the leaves are small, oval and gray-green in color.  Flowers can be white to lilac and are in small clusters.  Thyme is highly aromatic with a hint of clove and mint fragrance. There are numerous culinary and ornamental varieties of thyme.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) - Rosemary is a yearly evergreen shrub that grows in warmer regions.  Rosemary plants can grow t4-6 feet tall.  Foliage is dark green and needle-like. Rosemary often does not vegetate successfully in cold regions. During the summer, Rosemary produces small white, pink or blue flowers. The fragrance is an intense piney scent.  Rosemary likes full sunlight and though it does well in areas with high humidity, it thrives in dry climates, too. The soil needs to be fast draining and light. Do not add fertilizer to the soil.


Sage (Salvia officinalis) - Sage is a shrubby, lasting plant that grows to about 2-3 feet tall.  Foliage is gray-green with a pebbly texture.  As it ages, it tends to sprawl.  Spikes of purple flowers appear in mid-Summer. For best results, grow Sage in full sunlight in average soil. A healthy Sage plant requires very good drainage. Raised beds are helpful in that regard. Be sure the soil is loose and fluffy and does not hold excessive amounts of water or the roots will rot.
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