herbal bouquet

A bouquet of midsummer herbs. 

Kathy and John Musser grow more than 250 types of herbs and old-fashioned plants at Mount Joy’s Cloverleaf Herb Farm, so we asked for some tips to help boost backyard gardeners’ success:

Sunshine: “Herbs are very easy to grow in a lot of sun because most of them, especially culinary herbs, are Mediterranean in origin.”

Water: “You must have good air circulation and well-drained soil; (herbs) don’t like wet ‘feet.’ Many herbs didn’t do well last summer” because of long stretches of rain, “and many that should be perennials didn’t come back.”

Soil: “Around here, if you have heavy clay soil, you should amend and loosen it with dehydrated cow manure or compost, or grow in raised beds.”

Difficulty level: “For beginners, herbs are a good start. It’s not like roses, or even vegetables: There are few insect and disease problems.”