About Container Herb GardeningContainer herb gardening makes growing your own herbs easy and accessible even if you don't have a plot of dirt to call your own. Most culinary herbs are extremely easy to grow when you meet a few requirements. With minimal effort, you will be rewarded with tasty herbs to add flavor and nutrition to your meals.
Container Gardening Soil and Location
Almost all herbs prefer sun. You need to find a convenient location that will provide your herbs with as much sun as you can. If this is on your balcony, that's great. If you can get it as close to your kitchen as possible, even better. Some herbs can even be grown under grow lights or in a window garden, but this may limit your plant choices. Most herbs do best outdoors.
Next, you need to choose your herb container. There are many ways to grow herbs in a container.
You can choose a large pot and plant them as a mixed container garden, or you can get what is known as a strawberry pot . Strawberry pots have little pockets molded into their sides that show the soil.
Plants can be put into these little pockets, so you will end up with maybe eight or ten different plants in the same pot, but they are growing separate from each other.
Another option for a herb container is the self watering trough , they will make your herb gardening more convenient and hepls protect against drought if you forget to water or go on vaction. No matter what style you ultimately choose, make sure it is large enough to sustain the number of plants you want to grow.
The general rule of thumb is that herbs produce a root system that is similar in size to the size of its above ground growth. Make sure you choose a container that will offer adequate space for all the roots. Another good rule to follow is to allow about a gallon of potting mix per plant.
So, if you are buying a twelve inch pot, it contains about three and a half gallons of soil. It would sustain three to four herbs.
Next, choose your soil. You'll want to choose a good quality germinating mix to start your seeds.
Potting mixes contain elements that both hold onto moisture and allow for good aeration for the roots. You'll see that most potting mixes will include perlite or vermiculite, peat moss, fine sand or fine pine bark.
You'll want to add fertilizer to the soil, a granular variety that offers a complete feed for your plants can be mixed right into the soil. If you choose a water-soluble fertilizer, you can apply it after your plants have been installed.
Choosing Your Herb PlantsNow comes the fun part of container herb gardening, choosing your plants. Remember that you're working with a container, so don't choose something that grows too big, like dill or fennel. It will make your container herb gardening attempt look unbalanced.
There are lots of herb varieties of basil, rosemary, sage, chives, tarragon and thyme to try out. Parsley is another plant that you may use a lot. Think of what you want to cook with.
Some unusual choices you may want to try include salad burnet, this is a pretty lacy plant with leaves that taste like cucumbers.
Another unusual and pretty plant is savory, it comes in two varieties, winter savory and summer savory. This plant's leaves are very tasty on poultry and beef. The cheery daisy-like flowers of chamomile are cute with their lacy leaves, and can make you a relaxing cup of tea, either fresh or dried.
Lavender is not only pretty and sweet-smelling; you can use it in baking as well. Lavender cookies are an elegant treat, and lavender jelly is quite unusual and tasty as well.
Arrange your plants in a pleasing manner in your container. Take into account what plants will grow taller and which will stay low. Plant each one at the proper depth, use the root ball from the pot as a guide. Water after planting, and again whenever the soil feels dry 2 to 3 inches down.
Harvesting from your Herb GardenAnd now, it's time to realize the true reason for doing container herb gardening in the first place, harvest. Harvest in the morning, after the dew has dried. Routine harvesting will keep your plants controlled so they don't overgrow the container. Fresh herbs taste great or you can dry them for later.
Remember that you will need more fresh herbs for seasoning than dry, since the flavor is more concentrated.
More Container Gardening InformationContainer Flower Gardening
Container Gardening with Roses
Flower Gardening in Container
Shrubs for Container Gardening
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