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Growing Organic French Country Herbs
There is no reason to grow French country herbs in any other manner than organic. It’s easy and we’ll show you how to grow healthy and robust plants that are weather and pest resistant. The most common French country herbs are Winter Savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon and lavender, all simple, fragrant and delicious additions to your organic garden. And you won't have to visit Provence to enjoy them!
While the French climate is ideal for growing French herbs, there are many climates in the United States and Canada that are similar enough for successful growth. Mid to Northern California has a Mediterranean climate perfect for the growth of French herbs and you will find them all over the wine country and the beautiful suburbs of San Francisco. Regions in the Okanagan of British Columbia have similar climate and French herbs can also be grown here.
French Country herbs make a great addition to any vegetable garden. They are attractive and fragrant and attract beneficial insects such as bees. Thyme makes an excellent ground cover and lavender creates a natural boundary as well as attracting bees.
How to plant French herbs
All herbs require a well-drained soil. If your soil is moist and has high clay content then you will need to plant your herbs in pots or raised beds. However, clay soils can be amended by adding mulched up leaves and manure. French herbs especially need a lot of direct sunlight and regular watering. Fertilize your herb garden just as you would the rest of your organic garden; with a well-developed organic compost and regular mulching.
The following are some details on several specific plants that no French country herb garden would be complete without.
How to keep your French herbs in tip top shape
To solarize your soil, whether for an indoor or outdoor garden, plan ahead. During the hottest part of the year cover a patch of soil with a sheet of clear plastic. Leave the plastic in place for several weeks. The plastic and the sun together will heat the soil to a temperature in which no pests or diseases can survive.
You may also choose to protect your herbs from fungus and bacteria by beefing up the soil with organic matter. A variety of plants in your garden and healthy soil are your best defences. A variety of plants will attract a variety of insects: most insects are beneficial to your garden. Healthy soil promotes healthy plants, which are better able to ward off diseases and pests.
Overall, herbs are quite hardy and easy to grow. Their strong taste is appealing to us, but not to many insects, which eliminates the need for pesticides. Herbs require minimal care and are happy in many climates. Your organic herb garden is sure to be a fun and delicious addition to your garden and kitchen.