Updated: Mar 2
Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Herbs are not just for cooking. They are also used in making scents and perfumes, practicing aromatherapy and modern medicine. They attract bees and butterflies to the garden as well.
When you are landscaping your yard and garden, herbs can play a role in that, whether you need tall, shade tolerant or ground cover.
Of course you need to begin with good soil, beginning with the amendment of compost and adding mulch to help conserve moisture and keep the soil cooler during the West Texas heat. Advice that is specific to herbs: don’t pile mulch up around 4” plants since they need good air circulation or the stems will begin to rot. It is best not to use lawn sprinklers where herbs are growing since they encourage fungal disease. Remember that herbs in 4” pots look a lot alike. Be sure to check their mature size.
Herbs do best when fertilized. Mix a balanced, slow release fertilizer in the soil when planting and then sprinkle over the soil every three to six months. Be careful not to over fertilize since it produces good growth but less flavor, especially if you are using the herbs for cooking.
Low Hedges and Borders: Artemisia, Chives, Germander, Lamb’s Ears, Parsley, Rosemary, Santolina and Thyme.
Tall Herbs for Backgrounds and Empty Spaces: Lemongrass, Fennel, Dill, Mexican Bush Sage and Pineapple Sage.
Flowering Herbs: Basin, Germander, Oregano, Salvias and Yarrow.
Partial Sun: Lemon Thyme, Marjoram and Oregano.
Partial Shade: Catnip and Patchouli.
Shade to Sun: Comfrey, Garlic chive, Lemon balm, Parsley and Mints (invasive, be careful where you plant).
For more detailed herb information go to https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and read the article recently posted entitled “Herbs for Texas Landscapes”.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.