Imagine the flavour that your own home grown herbs will bring to your cooking and Mojitos! These super cute, unique herb planters make the best Hostess Gifts ever! Just the convenience of picking the right amount and not having to run to the grocery store for your herbs is worth a little effort. You’ll be amazed at how easy herbs are to grow.
Herbs in containers
Live on the edge and do something different, don’t be restricted by the same old plastic pots; herbs are fun and they deserve some fun containers. Do make sure that whatever you use has proper drainage holes to avoid over watering. A beautiful old tea pot is super cute, old ceramic mixing bowls even your old shoes or hats will work for a season or two.
Use a good quality potting soil mixed with a little bit of compost or Sea Soil to add some organic matter. Never use soil from your garden or your poor herbs will likely meet a horrible death which we don’t want.
Watering and drainage are especially important when using containers. When you water make sure you are watering enough that the water drains right out the drainage holes but don’t allow it to sit in that extra water.
Fertilize with a good quality organic liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season. For perennial herbs make sure you stop the fertilizer applications by mid August to allow them time to slow down their growth.
In the Garden
Herbs don’t have to be restricted to one area or even the vegetable garden; they look amazing growing in with shrubs and perennials. There’s such a wonderful variety of foliage colours, flowers and textures they compliment many garden plantings.
They require a well drained soil and hate wet feet (AKA roots)! If your soil doesn’t drain well add some course sand and mix it in, for a soil which is lacking nutrients add compost or manure. Once your herbs are well established in your garden (6 months) they require a good watering every week during the growing season.
A good quality granular organic fertilizer is needed to keep them healthy and producing lots of nice growth for you to harvest. Initially when you plant add a handful of fertilizer and mix it in with the soil. As the plants mature a yearly application of fertilizer in the spring mixed in well with the soil on the outside edge of the plant is all you need. Don’t hesitate to cut your herbs, the more often you cut the better the growth will be.
Plant the ones you think you’ll use if you have a limited amount of space. Nobody needs a massive spread of Lovage or Lemon Balm which are seldom used but everyone appreciates fresh chives, parsley, basil and mint! If you have a garden it’s great to have a nice selection of the most common herbs and a few of the more unusual.
Some herbs are annuals; these ones grow from spring to late summer and then die in the winter. Most herbs are perennials and these ones come back every year. Fear not, most of them will die right to the ground in the winter and come back in the spring and a few will stay green during the winter.
For most herbs purchasing the plants makes the most sense. If you are growing in containers or a small amount in a vegetable or perennial garden it’s easy and usually cost effective. There are many gardeners who are happy to split their herbs and share them with others. You can also experiment with cuttings of Rosemary, Bay and Lavender.
Here is a small list of some of the most popular and easy to grow herbs to get you started:
|Basil||full sun||start indoors then transplant outside beginning of June|
|Cilantro||part sun||plant in the late summer or early spring|
|Dill||full sun||seed in May|
|Fennel||full sun||seed outdoors in April|
|Lemon Grass||full sun||transplant in May|
|Stevia||full sun||seed indoors in April transplant at the end of May|
|Parsley||part sun||bi-annual, seed outdoors in April|
|Bay Leaf||full sun||transplant in April|
|Borage||full sun||seed in April|
|Catnip||full sun||seed in April or transplant in May|
|Chives||full sun||transplant divisions in March or seed in April|
|Loveage||full sun||seed in April|
|Lemon Balm||full sun||start indoors in February and transplant in April|
|Lavender||full sun||transplant in April|
|Marjoram||full sun||transplant in May|
|Mint||full sun||transplant in April|
|Oregano||full sun||seed indoors in February, transplant mid May|
|Rosemary||full sun||transplant in May|
|Winter Savory||full sun||transplant in May|
|Sage||full sun||transplant in May|
|Thyme||full sun||transplant in April|
|Tarragon||full sun||transplant in May|
for another article this summer on how to harvest, dry and store herbs as well as exciting ways to use them! Questions? Comment below: