Site and soil selection

The site should have good drainage, adequate water supply, and few weeds. Herbs cannot grow in wet soil. The soil does not have to be highly fertile because a highly fertile soil produces excessive foliage with poor flavor. Adding several amount of peat or compost per 100 square feet of area helps in improving soil condition and retains needed moisture.

Sowing herb seed

Seeds should always be sown in shallow boxes in late winter. And in the spring, transplant seedlings should be done outdoors. A well-drained light soil is best for starting the seedlings indoors. Do not cover the seeds too deeply with soil. The finer the seed, the shallower it should be sown. It should be noted that different varieties have different germination requirements


Cultivation

Land tillage is done in order to make the soil fragile for good germination, increases soil porosity and aeration for healthy plant growth, and kills weeds. For the best results, sample of soil is taken and analyzed. The higher the current level of nutrients in the soil, the lesser will be the quantity of fertilizer needed. The fertilizer mix containing N, P2O5 and K2O is incorporated into the soil while leveling the field at the rate of 20-30, 60 and 80 kg/ha. Irrigation of field is done 3-4 days prior to sowing to ensure sufficient moisture in the soil for good germination. Newly opened lands need Rhizobium bacteria inoculations at 10 g per kilogram of seed. This inoculation will promote nodule formation and nitrogen fixation by the plant roots. The seed is also treated with fungicides such as captan or thiram for protection against soil borne fungal diseases.


Vegetative Propagation

In propagating certain perennial herbs, cutting and division are two useful steps. The best time is early spring for the growth. Excessive woodiness (Forming or consisting of wood) or bald middles is a sign that it's time of rejuvenation. Bulbous roots are pulled apart whereas others need to be cut. Discard all the woody sections and replant and water it as soon as possible. Providing the shading for the first week or so can be very helpful.
Layering is a fairly risk-free method that can be practiced throughout the summer and works well on some of the woody or Mediterranean-type plants that don't have extensive root system for dividing. Select only that branch(s) that can be easily bent to the ground and strip the lower branches from the section that touches the ground. Loosen the soil and bury the branch just below the upper surface. Let nature take its time of course. By the end of the growing season, roots will be formed and the branch can be easily separated from the parent and moved to a new location.
Root cuttings follow the same principles. Cutting is a faster process but is also more prone to failures because the new section should completely removed from the parent plant and requires controlled conditions and regular attention.

Some cooking herbs that can be grown in the garden are
1. Basil:
Use: The leaves have warm, spicy flavor. Use sparingly in soups, sauces, salads, omelets and with meat, poultry and fish.
Plantation: Seeds should be sown near sunny window or in greenhouse in early spring. Transplant should be done in garden in early summer. Or sow seeds directly into the garden in late spring
2. Chives:
Uses: Leaves have a mild onion flavor. Chop them and add them to salads, egg and cheese dishes, cream cheese, mashed potatoes, sandwich spreads, and sauces. Use flowers in salads.
Planting: Seeds should be sown in spring or fall, ½ inch deep in rows 12 inches apart. As soon as the seedlings are established, rows should be 6 inches apart. Or set out nursery grown plants in early spring, 9-12 inches apart.
For more info regarding other herbs
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