The smell of fresh herbs in your kitchen is almost irresistible and there are lots of kitchen herbs that grow well here. Remember, though, that we live in a subtropical climate with plenty of other critters that like to eat your herbs.You'll need to take some cautionary steps to grow herbs and keep them growing. Here are some simple tips for growing herbs successfully.
First--most herbs would prefer to grow outside, not on your kitchen sink window.
Second-- if you're not familiar with specific garden herb culture, start with growing herbs in large pots ( over 10 inch diameter) in cactus soil. It's best to set the pots on bricks or paver stones to keep the pots off the soil to improve drainage.
Third- most herbs prefer morning sun. Provide a spot where there is sun until 11 a.m. and bright light the rest of the day.
Fourth--except for the desert-type plants like Rosemary and Culantro, water your plants enough to keep the soil moist.
Fifth-- keep an eye out for birds, lizards, snails, and all herb predators. Stick with organic repellents to keep them off your plants.
Last--use a slow-release fertilizer like Osmocote or Dynamite mixed into the planting soil.
A good general rule for harvesting your plants is to cut no more than 1/3 of the plant off at any one time. Trimming off any old seed heads will help the plant stay in growth mode, as opposed to moving into seed-then-die mode.
Members of the Parsley family of herbs often attract certain butterflies, so don't be surprised if you see some zebra-striped caterpillars and busy butterflies on your plants, especially when the herbs flower. Some people plant extra plants just to attract and feed these gorgeous black and yellow beauties. Provide your herbs with a good bright airy spot in the garden, give them some attention and water, and harvest your ultra-fresh plants when you want to.