Herb Container Garden
I love gardening and growing fresh herbs that I can use in cooking. Unfortunately, for the last few years, I have been living in an apartment, so I've had to be a bit more creative when it came to having a garden. On the plus side, I have a great balcony that gets quite a bit of sun, so I have a number of plants in containers out there.
Although I have a few flowering plants, I mostly grow herbs. They grow all year round (I bring the container inside during the winter), have compact roots and foliage and are really easy to look after. Plus, not only do I use some of them in cooking, they are so fragrant, they make my balcony smell amazing! Herbs really are the are ideal plants for containers.
I have tried a few different containers, from single plants in terracotta pots to balcony boxes, but my favourite by far is using a Mexican strawberry pot. With all the different levels and openings, I can grow a variety of different herbs in one pot. Also, it's easy to rotate so that I can control the exposure to the sun for each of the plants.
Creating a Herb Container Garden
- Fill your container with potting soil. Herbs benefit from a medium density soil that has a good mix of organic material (about one third of the soil volume).
- Gently remove the plants from the nursery containers by tapping the bottom. Try not to disturb the root systems. You can start from seed, but you will have to thin out when they begin to grow. If putting more than one type of herb in your pot, it's easier to purchase young plants and plant them. That way, you can space them appropriately.
- Position each plant to allow growth.
- Once you have decided on where you want each plant, notch out a hole in the soil to the same dimensions as the nursery pot.
- Put the plant in the hole you have created and compact the soil around each plant. Create a slight mound of soil around the stem.
- Water the plants well and place in a sunny location. Depending on how much water your herbs need, you will need to add a fertilizer boost every two - three weeks.
It is best to plant herbs at the beginning of the growing season so they can mature and be ready to harvest by mid-summer. If they grow leggy, pinch or cut them back to promote bushier growth. Actually harvesting your herbs and using them will make the plants grow further.
Some herbs do better in containers than others, and we all have favourites, so you can create all kinds of different combinations. What I'm currently growing is lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, chives, cilantro and parsley - all in one large Mexican strawberry planter! So, get out and get planting, with something this easy, why not?