Nothing tastes better than fresh herbs used in a recipe, and I am so glad that the weather is permitting me to start another herb garden. Last year we had a small herb garden on our kitchen table in an old chicken waterer (is that a word?) but our palettes have changed and we needed to expand our garden- and keep it out of reach from a terrible kitty who eats any plant that is within reach. -_-
We mostly do Italian style seasoning, so when we went to the Farmer’s Market we got mostly Italian seasonings, but we also got a variety of heights and textures so the garden was visually appealing. We bought:
- Lemon thyme
- Italian Oregano
- Dill (which died from the heat before we got it planted, and we are trying to nurse back to health)
It was so appealing that before I even got it planted I used some of the herbs for dinner that night!
To get big herbs you need to use a big pot, a small pot doesn’t allow room for growth in your plants.We bought a 20” wide plastic pot from Lowe’s for $17, and since it was also so tall we saved the plastic containers from our veggie garden and from the herbs (we pulled them out of the containers and set aside) and filled the bottom of the container with them. Doing this not only helps you save on soil (because you don’t need that much soil for herbs) but it also helps make the weight of the pot lighter in case you need to move it to a different spot.
We have black tarp that we used in the garden last year to control weeds and used that to make the barrier between the soil and the containers before filling the rest of the pot with soil.
Drainage holes are key in any successful potted plant! The pot had drainage holes in the bottom, and the black tarp allowed water through it, so we felt it wasn’t necessary with our planting method to do drainage holes.
After the soil was in I planted the herbs with the taller herbs in the back and the “crawlers” (shorter herbs) towards the front so they are easier to see and get plenty of sunshine. Shorter vine-y plants like thyme and rosemary need to be near the edge of the pot with plenty of space to move around.
Before you start planting, lay everything out in the arrangement you like the most so you won’t have to dig things back up later to move them around.
For the markers I used bamboo skewers and flag stickers and tried my best to write neatly. 🙂
Be sure your pot is in the perfect spot to get sunshine and some rain, but not too much. I kept this under the edge of our patio awning to prevent too much rain from beating down on the plants and over watering them, but they will still get enough rain when it storms, and plenty of indirect sun all day. It also is in the perfect spot to snip some herbs on our way to or from the garden in the back, and smells amazing when we walk by, too!
Also, after you’ve planted the herbs and the soil is packed down nicely around them, water them until water comes out of the drainage holes. This will help reduce the shock they go through when being transplanted.
Now excuse me while I snip off some of these herbs and get dinner started (wait until the plants are about 6″ tall before you start snipping!) – I know it’ll be delicious! What are some of your favorite herbs to grow? I’ve been thinking about rosemary- but we couldn’t find any at the farmer’s market!