So why do people so often bemoan their bad luck growing the herb plants that looked so lush when they bought them at their local market?The herbs you find in big-box stores and markets are often grown in controlled conditions with lots of fertilizer and little natural sun, Calhoun said, so they need to be “hardened off” before they go outside and face the elements.That means gradually introducing them to sunshine and/or cooler evening temperatures, and protecting them from harsh sun or chilly nights until they toughen up.Another big problem: People don’t know the difference between perennial herbs, like thyme, marjoram, rosemary and sage, and annuals like basil and parsley.One option is to stagger your basil purchases, buying pots at different times to keep your harvest going as long as possible, but remember that basil loves heat as much as it loves water, so don’t be surprised when it starts looking sickly in late fall or winter, when daytime temperatures regularly dip below 70.African blue basil, a fragrant bee magnet, is a perennial that attracts pollinators to your garden with its bountiful blooms, so don’t keep its flowers trimmed.The bees will find flowering herbs like African blue basil, even in an apartment balcony, Calhoun said, which is important if you want help pollinating your other veggies and fruits.Container herbs need frequent watering, especially in the summer, because plants in pots dry out more quickly than in the ground.“After they’re established, in about one or two months, herbs like rosemary, lavender, garden sage, marjoram, oregano ,thyme and mint can actually go for a week or so between waterings, unless it’s really hot,” he said.Most herbs, including basil, thyme, parsley, chives, cilantro, marjoram and oregano will do well in 10-inch-deep pots, she said, as will shallow-rooted greens like arugula and spinach, French breakfast radishes and scallions.“It’s the funniest thing to see people harvest the bottom leaves from herbs, because they end up with spindly, Dr. Seuss-type plants,” Calhoun said.If you make a habit of going out every morning to greet your herbs, you can spot problems before they get serious, like a basil that’s about to bolt (start flowering) or saucers full of water (a good way to drown your plants). .
How to Start an Herb Garden on Your Apartment Balcony
Growing herbs is a great way to add beauty to a balcony as well as incorporate new spices and flavors into cooking.Before you purchase anything, take a peek at your balcony at different times of the day and consider marking where the sunlight hits your space.When choosing pots, it’s a great idea to keep in mind the potential of bringing your plants indoors once cold weather comes back to extend the season of fresh herbs.When you first plant a seedling it is a good idea to water the soil to make sure that it doesn’t go into shock.Check soil on a regular basis to make sure that herbs don’t dry out and consider the weather to see if they got their daily dose of water from a passing storm.Herbs like oregano and mint can be harvested by simply snipping off the leaves anywhere on the plant.Growing a balcony herb garden is a great way to use your outdoor space.She can often be found cooking in the kitchen or on the hunt for the best tacos in Austin, TX, follow her on Instagram @atxtacoqueen. .
How to Make a Balcony Herb Garden
The best thing about herbs is they are easy to grow, take less space, and are quick to harvest!If you have a little chunk of outdoor space, here is everything on How to Make a Balcony Herb Garden!Some of the best annual herbs you can grow are basil, fennel, dill, cilantro, marjoram, parsley, and chive.The best way to get herbs is from a nursery, or a garden center if you don’t have the time to grow them from seeds.Usually, the temperature of an urban balcony remains warm and if you do not live in a really cold climate, you can grow herbs year-round.Note: Strong and vigorously growing herbs like mint, oregano, and sage require plenty of space.Most of the herbs grow best in full sun or light partial shade.To save your plants from this, water regularly and choose pots with drainage holes.Pinching back the top part along with the first set of leaves, just above the leaf node will allow the non-growing lateral buds to grow and the plant will become fuller.Start harvesting the herbs when the plant has sufficient leaves to sustain growth. .
The 7 best herbs for container gardening
That way, when I’m in the middle of making dinner and realize I forgot to harvest a handful of basil or parsley, it’s only a few steps away.Of course, growing herbs in containers will also keep aggressive spreaders, like mint and lemon balm, under control and away from garden beds.Many gardeners struggle to grow great basil, but give it well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine and it’s usually smooth sailing.Like most herbs, basil responds well to frequent harvesting, and will continue to push out fresh growth when trimmed back.Oregano is an enthusiastic grower in the garden and putting it in a pot is an easy and beautiful way to control its growth.The small leaves are packed with flavor, perfect for topping homemade pizza and bruschetta, as well as adding to vinaigrettes and marinades.Rosemary is a woody shrub with aromatic, needle-like foliage that adds a welcome depth of flavor to roasted potatoes and chicken dishes.In my zone 5 garden, rosemary is an annual, but growing it in pots makes it easy to bring indoors to a sunny windowsill once the days start to cool down in mid-autumn.There are many cultivars of rosemary, with most growing upright, but a few do cascade down, making them perfect for the edges of pots and planters.I really like Gorizia, an upright cultivar with large leaves and Arp, which is a slightly more cold tolerant variety.Thyme is one of the best herbs for container gardening; it’s low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and can take a bit of neglect.Plus, it looks fantastic when planted at the front of a container where the tiny leaves can mound over the edge of the pot.Give it full sun and don’t overwater; it’s drought-resistant and prefers its soil on the dry side.We add the leaves to summer drinks, fruit salad, and also dry plenty for winter tea.Whether you’re growing vegetables, flowers, or herbs in pots, you’ll find the greatest success when you use containers with adequate drainage.Worm castings are also an easy way to boost soil nutrients and moisture retention and you only need to add a handful to containers as a little goes a long way.Certain herbs prefer very well-drained soil (thyme, oregano, rosemary), while others like more moisture (mint, coriander, lemon balm). .
Easy Tips for Growing Herbs in Containers
You can grow as many types of herbs in one container as you want if they share the same sun, water, and soil preferences.Also, don’t forget that herbs can serve as decorative elements in a container garden, adding texture and scent when mixed with annuals or perennials.Plants, such as chives, parsley, marjoram, and mint, are particularly good candidates for growing in self-watering pots.Other herbs, including oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil, prefer to dry out between watering, so they wouldn’t be good candidates for self-watering containers.This soil, paired with the drainage holes in your container, will help prevent accidentally drowning your herbs.So if you live in a climate where temperatures soar, your container herbs might need to be shaded during the hottest part of the day.The leaves of others including oregano and basil will lose flavor and become bitter if allowed to flower.At the end of the growing season, you can bring many of your herb containers inside if you get lots of indoor sunlight.Many herbs like oregano, sage, rosemary and dill also dry well and can be kept in tightly lidded containers out of direct sunlight for use in cooking all year long. .
Tips for Growing Food on Your Deck or Patio
You can grow tomatoes, potatoes and even cucumbers in large containers on a sunny patio, and nothing beats the convenience of stepping outside to snip a few herbs for dinner.The convenience of walking out the door and snipping a few chives truly adds to the everyday cooking experience.If you’re crafty or on a budget, consider upcycling materials like wine boxes or food storage totes with holes drilled in the bottom.Keep in mind that ceramic or terra-cotta planters, while attractive and inexpensive, can dry out quickly and crack in freezing temperatures.Unlike garden soil, potting mix is specially blended for moisture retention and is lightweight.Take advantage of existing structures like roof overhangs, patio umbrellas and glass railings to protect your plants.To protect newly planted crops from storms, try using the clear plastic clamshell containers from commercial salad mixes.Alternately, you can construct mini garden hoops from sturdy wire and clear plastic.In the past, I’ve used bamboo to support my protective structures for containers, but this year I’ll be using 14-gauge galvanized wire to create mini hoops.It’s a simple, non-smelly way to recycle your kitchen scraps and create great fertilizer, and works well even in an apartment.By placing the plants close to your kitchen, you’ll always be inspired to pop outside and grab a few chives for dinner.Thinly sow a small patch of seeds every week to keep a continuous supply, and be sure to harvest as soon as they look ready.Overcrowding is one of the most common reasons for crop failure in home gardens, especially when grown in containers.Compared to raised beds, plants grown in containers don’t have as much space to spread out their roots.Learn to sow the seeds of salad greens lightly, and thin excess seedlings relentlessly.Make sure that your potting mix stays moist — like a freshly baked cake — but not soggy. .
How to Grow Herbs and Vegetables in an Apartment or Balcony this
I love visiting farmers' markets every fall and picking up fresh herbs and veggies covered in bits of earth.Since it’s already September it’s best to skip trying to grow them from seeds and visit your local garden center, nursery or independent flower shop selling items already in pots.I typically purchase a small basil plant and it doesn’t take long for it to grow large enough so I can harvest a few leaves.Basil also goes well on that fresh-baked sourdough bread everyone is baking in quarantine – add a slice of plant-based cheese for a delicious appetizer.Even more exciting is when you can step onto your balcony, pick a few mint leaves and let them steep for the perfect cup.This fragrant herb is super easy to grow and comes in multiple varieties such as chocolate, peppermint, ginger, spearmint, and pineapple mint.Health Benefits: Due to mints' strong flavor it’s typically added in small quantities but does contain several nutrients and is a good source of Vitamin A and antioxidants.Health Benefits: Parsley is pretty impressive and I have used mine in green juice as it’s known for having a high nutritional value and helps fight inflammation.Lavender has been used since ancient times and has been known to treat nausea, skin irritations, headaches, and promotes overall positive well being.Use it as a seasoning in your favorite plant-based recipes such as stews, casseroles, soups, pasta, tofu, and a variety of grains like rice and quinoa.You can pickle radishes, shave them into a slaw, slice them in a sandwich, or chop them up in your favorite dish.Every year I attempt to grow cherry tomatoes on my balcony and the biggest challenge is the lack of sunlight.But if you have long afternoon sunlight you have a solid chance of growing blossoming tomato plants.You can also grow cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets and they will brighten up your space all season long.We love eating cherry tomatoes plain, in salads, cut up in the sauce, toppings for a homemade vegan pizza or roasted with asparagus and baby potatoes.Health Benefits: Although tomatoes are used as veggies they are considered fruits from a scientific perspective as they form from a flower, but the debate continues. .
How to grow herbs on your windowsill or balcony
The most straightforward herbs to grow from seed are annual plants and they include basil, parsley and coriander.Then cover your seed tray with a clear lid or plastic bag and place somewhere warm where they won’t get disturbed.Keep your new herb plants well-watered and with ample access to sunshine, placing them outside – on a balcony, porch or doorstep – if that’s an option.And an occasional feed of liquid seaweed will give your plants the nutrients and minerals they need to keep growing when the compost in the pot has run out of them. .