Even the beginner gardener can grow a few herbs in containers. It’s a very cost effective way to start your own Home Herb Garden. It is also very rewarding to see and use your own home-grown produce knowing that it is healthy and free from pesticides.
Growing your herbs in containers not only looks great but is very practical, as your herbs will be handy for you to use but also will create an interesting display in your courtyard or patio area.
Where space is at a premium in cities there is usually no more than a terrace, balcony or a small yard, so container gardening is ideal as it is the only way to grow a few fresh herbs and other plants. Growing Herbs in Pots provides a way of softening the landscape and bringing the garden to your door, capturing the richness of the passing seasons.
The type of container you use will vary with different materials, shapes and textures, from plastic pots and terracotta to any container you have. All that your container requires is drainage holes and a good soil blend. Half barrels are a good size to group a variety of herbs. Ugly containers can be hidden amongst foliage or tucked behind more glamorous pots. Using containers of the same color and style can look effective with different herbs planted in each.
Container size is important as they must be big enough to hold enough potting mix for the plants to root securely and to supply enough moisture and nutrients to maintain growth, with holes for drainage. It is no use planting a bay tree in a 6 inch pot as it needs more soil to grow well as it will grow into a big tree.
To give your herb garden containers an individual look, you can decorate your own pots. An easy way to do this is by painting or adding stencils to a plain pot to fit in with your color scheme.
As frost can damage some containers, you should think about the durability of the ones you have, particularly if they are expensive. You may need to bring your containers undercover in severe frost areas.
Large filled containers are heavy to shift so wherever possible, plant them in the place they are going to stay. If you need to shift them use a purpose made low trolley on casters, or roll your container on its side. You can enlist the help of a strong person. Make sure your containers are secure from strong winds, position them against a wall or other shelter. Or you can add some decorative stone to add weight to a plastic pot and also aid in moisture retention.
Remember a lot of herbs have flowers that come in a range of colors and scents. Grouping a few containers of different lavender together with their purple flowers not only makes a great focal point but also smells great too. You can use the flowers as a garnish or a flavor for icings and sauces.
Herbs that grow well in containers include: parsley, thyme, basil, chives, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram.
You will be rewarded with successful planting by following a few guidelines that ensure the right conditions for vigorous and healthy plants even if you are a novice gardener. Good water drainage, food and light and on going maintenance such as picking a few herbs regularly is all that is needed to get started.