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Plant an herb garden


Ask anyone with an herb garden who enjoys cooking, and they’ll tell you that freshly picked basil, rosemary – or most any herb – can make an ordinary dish extraordinary. You’ll hear them predict that once you plant a few herbs and use them, you’ll get carried away because it’s so enjoyable, not to mention productive. You’ll use the bounty every day to add zest and flavor to all your meals, because it’s so easy to walk outside and clip a few sprigs of parsley or oregano. And once the herbs get growing, you’ll proudly share them with friends.

Visit a nursery center near you and spend time asking about the local growing conditions. Many offer classes in herb growing too. Most herbs grow in well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded spot. If that’s near the kitchen or back door, so much the better because it’s convenient to step outside with your clippers and snip a few to add to a recipe.

A landscape contractor will charge $285 to prepare a garden bed, fertilize the soil and plant a variety of eight herb plants. You can buy the plants for $65 and plant them, and save 77%. The project involves preparing the garden bed by removing weeds, rocks and old plants, and using a hand cultivator to work the soil. You may need to add new topsoil or soil amendments, depending on the condition of the soil.

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Add fertilizer or organic matter and spread the soil with a rake until the surface is level with the surrounding soil. Then plant the herbs by spacing them about a foot apart, positioning tall herbs along the back and using low-growing plants as an edging material in the front. Get growing tips from the label tabs in the plant when it comes to spacing conditions and what’s the best location, sun or shade.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

Pro Cost — DIY Cost — Pro time — DIY Time — DIY Savings — Percent Saved

$285 — $65 — 3.3 — 5.0 — $220 — 77%

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