No Room to Dig? Pot Up a Delicious Herb Container Garden.

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Difficulty: Beginner

Garden tips by region potted-herbs

Have no yard? Don’t despair. The beauty of growing in containers is you can put your herbs anywhere – a patio, porch, steps or the edge of a driveway. They even love a sunny indoor windowsill.

Large or small flowerpots, half barrels, window boxes and planters all make beautiful containers for herbs. Make sure they have drainage holes and place them where they get 6 hours of sun. 

For a fast kitchen herb garden that looks instantly lush and delicious, buy mature plants you can use almost immediately.

Experiment with a few unfamiliar herbs to broaden your tastes. Leafy and tender annual herbs, like parsley, basil, dill or cilantro, are often used fresh and not cooked. Woody perennial herbs – think rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender – have woody stems and are most often used in cooked dishes. Grow mint in a container, as it’s invasive in the ground.

An herb garden containing both soft and woody herbs gives years of enjoyment and adds fresh flavor to all your favorite dishes. Many herbs are perennial, but almost none are cold-hardy and need protection from cold in winter. If protected, some herbs will grow all winter long.

Never use garden soil for containers. It lacks nutrients and could be contaminated and full of weed seeds. You’ll be more successful using a potting mix for vegetables or a cactus mix, as most herbs require good drainage.

How to Plant Herb Starts:

  1. Fill the bottom of the container with a 2” layer of pea gravel, then fill the container about ¾ full with vegetable or cactus potting mix.
  2. Pop herbs out of their pots and gently spread the roots. 
  3. Plant the herbs the same depth as their containers, placing the tallest in the center and the trailing ones around the edges.
  4. Cover the roots with any remaining soil from the pots mixed with potting mix. 
  5. Feed with an organic vegetable fertilizer and water thoroughly.
  6. Feed plants weekly with a diluted solution of fish emulsion and water.

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