Herbs can help repel insects in the vegetable garden, and provide important habitat for beneficial insects.
Perennial mints, including spearmint, applemint, and peppermint, are very vigorous and can become invasive. Rather than planting them directly in the garden, grow the plants in containers, then sink the containers into the garden. This will contain the roots and limit spreading.
Perennial herbs that are not hardy in your region can be overwintered indoors, then brought back outdoors in the spring. For example, in USDA Zones 7 and colder, bring rosemary and lavender plants indoors in late fall. Maintain them in a cool, bright spot over the winter, and move them outdoors again in the spring. In USDA Zones 8 and warmer, rosemary and lavender can be left outdoors year-round.
A good mulch prevents water loss, helps control weeds, and can enhance the flower bed appearance. Grass clippings can be used but they deteriorate quickly and have to be replenished often. When lawns don't grow, clippings will be in short supply. Avoid bright colored mulches such as marble chips as they may attract more attention than the flowers. A neutral colored mulch is best. Because annuals are replanted every year, select mulches that decay when worked into the soil. Permanent mulches, such as bark or stone, interfere with replanting.
It's best to water your yard and gardens in the morning. Night watering allows the yard to stay wet too long, inviting disease.
Heavily harvested herb plants can look untidy. Consider interplanting herb beds with annual flowers to camouflage the trimmed plants.