Do you love gardening and does the thought of having fresh herbs at hand fill you with joy? For people stuck in those pocket-sized apartments, container herb gardens may be the answer to their woes. Not only does this form of gardening allow you to grow your favorite herbs, it also provides a lovely decoration for your back porch or your kitchen windows. All you need is an appropriate container and a spot in your home that receives a lot of sunlight.
Container herb gardening can be categorized into two forms. While some gardeners like to grow ornamental herbs, others like growing culinary herbs such as basil, thyme, and parsley. These herbs are easy and economic to grow from the seeds or seedlings. Moreover, most of these herbs like basil, chives, and oregano are fast growing. If you want to grow lavender and rosemary, which are some of the slow-growing herbs, you should ideally use a sapling or a mature plant.
Choosing the Right Container
It is important that you choose the right container for your herb garden. There are plenty of choices available, and you can choose any container such as a terracotta pot or a long box. However, there are certain glossy pots made of lead or other materials that you should avoid. Plastic or ceramic pots are an excellent option as they retain moisture better than the terracotta pots which tend to be porous.
The choice of the container is also dictated by whether you want it to be placed in a porch or a sunroom. If you are placing it in the sunroom, choose a long pot with two to three herbs. However, if you want to place it on the windowsill of your kitchen, small compact containers are the best. If you are using a window box for planting the herbs, the tallest herbs should be planted at the center while the low herbs should be at the ends. Trailing plants, like oregano, can be placed at the edges for a beautiful cascade over the edges.
Choosing Herbs for the Garden
A dilemma faced by many gardeners is the type of herbs that they should grow. Well, ideally you should grow those herbs that you can use for the culinary purpose. For example, there is no sense in growing Jamaican thyme when you hardly know what to do with it. Ideally, even if you are not a big cook, start with the basics like rosemary, thyme, basil, and parsley. The herbs you choose for your garden may also depend on the food you like. For Mexican food, herbs such as cilantro and epazote are a good choice while Asian cuisines may demand lemongrass or Thai basil flavor.
Caring for Your Garden
Herbs require large doses of sunlight and a sandy, not-too-rich soil for optimum growth. If you plan to place the containers indoors, it is important to place them in a spot which receives direct sunlight. The soil should be well watered. It is a good idea to place it in a spot where you can harvest it daily. Herbs can be grown outdoors, even in freezing temperatures. While the hardy perennial herbs will come back each year, there are herbs which cannot tolerate freezing and will have to be replaced each year.
The pleasure of a container herb garden is comparable only to the joy of using these fresh herbs to flavor your cuisines. What's more? It is right there at your fingertips!