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Got an old wooden step ladder? You can use it to grow an easy herb garden. Along the wall of your house is a good place for it. The heat deflecting from the wall will intensify the scent and flavor of your herbs, and it will be close enough for you to enjoy them.

The main requirement for most herbs is a spot where they will receive at least five hours of sunshine a day. Some herbs will tolerate partial shade, like mint, parsley, and chevril. But most herbs require direct sun sunlight.

Fill the rungs of the ladder with a nice enriched full humus soil that you can purchase at a garden center. Add some well rotted manure, too. Herbs prefer a slightly alkaline soil.

The easiest way to grow herbs is from seed, but you may also start with plants bought from a garden nursery. For seeds, chose your favorite herbs, smooth out your soil in the rungs, and scatter the seeds thinly in rows. Cover them with a thin layer of soil. Keep them moist until they germinate and are well established. When they are about an inch in height, thin the seedlings according to package directions.

Herbs need very little attention from you, once established, but they should be trimmed back frequently and specimens that don’t look healthy, should be removed and discarded. Keep the weeds in check by cultivating around them carefully with a hoe. Or you may use a mulch to keep weeds down, such as pine bark chips or wood chips. Dried lawn cuttings should not be used on herbs as they tend to hold in too much moisture.

Herbs need much less watering than other plants and can withstand mild droughts. To keep them from going to seed, pick off the developing flower buds. Very few pests bother herbs, but aphids, whiteflies, or spider mites occasionally like to sample them. Be on the look out for them.

A small herb garden planted alongside your house is a treat for the eye as well as the palate. Enjoy them!