What’s the idea?
Grow herbs in containers to kickstart your fragrant herb garden! Growing a herb garden is easy and a great introduction to gardening.
What’s the story?
We have a small garden of herbs on our patio and I love the smell on a warm summers evening.
It’s also convenient being able to step out of the door and pick a handful of herbs for our meals.
Growing herbs in containers is great if you have limited space and they thrive in any spot, sunny or shaded.
People should do this because…?
Throughout the ages, people have found growing herbs improves mental and physical wellbeing.
They are some of the easiest plants to grow and you’ll have a supply of fresh aromatic herbs for your kitchen.
Why waste money in the supermarket buying herbs to be thrown away when you can take just what you need from the plants you grow?
Containers full of herbs can be moved around your garden wherever you want and they’re easier to maintain than growing in your main garden.
Involve your kids in this activity too, it is a great way to broaden their interests!
How do you do it?
Herbs need three things: sunlight, soil and water, so choose a site in your garden accordingly.
If your garden is shady the best herbs to grow are parsley, sorrel and chervil.
Make sure you have a pot that is the right size for the plant allowing plenty of room for the roots to grow.
Remember the smaller the pot, the quicker it will dry out.
Be sure to use high quality well-composted potting and keep it moist, add a balanced fertilizer to encourage leaf growth.
Mint loves rich fertile soil, so replant it frequently especially if it becomes straggly.
It’s best contained in a pot because if planted in your main garden it will run rampant and take over!
There are several varieties such as peppermint, chocolate mint and spearmint which can be planted together, add the leaves to your summer drinks or salads.
Bay and Sage
Bay can look ornamental and is well suited to a container and sage can be left in pots for several years before it requires re-potting.
My favourite is basil and I love growing it on my patio but give it well-drained soil and place it in a position so it gets plenty of sunshine.
Ensure you harvest it regularly so that you get plenty of fresh growth when it’s trimmed back and also cut off any flowers that appear so that it doesn’t lose its flavour.
I grow rosemary because it adds a depth of flavour to roast potatoes and chicken dishes and I love its needle-like, aromatic foliage.
Don’t kill it by watering too much, it needs moisture and but water-logging!
Thyme is a very easy herb and can handle neglect as its drought tolerant and likes the soil to be dry, so again don’t overwater.
Don’t forget parsley which is very easy to grow in a container, try growing the two main types, curly and flat-leaved.
Like mint, it needs regular watering and feeding so I use a slow-release fertilizer when planting to give the plant a boost from spring to autumn.
My final tip is to poke your finger in the soil, if it feels moist that’s ok, and if it feels dry, start watering.
Stuff you may need
- Herb plants/seeds
- Suitable pots/containers
- Watering can