Plant maintenance is also more convenient with containers, and there are fewer problems with weeds and critters getting into your crops.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.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. .

Herb planter ideas – ways to grow in containers and pots

From hanging baskets to old wheelbarrows, almost any container is suitable provided it has drainage holes; the options are endless, so why not let your imagination run riot.Whatever you choose, it is useful to position container grown herbs near a back door, or close to the house, so that they are easy to access for harvesting.In his monthly blog gardening expert Monty Don shares his tips for growing herbs stating that, 'if the water does not flow almost immediately through the pot that they are in then the drainage is not good enough.If you are planting herbs in a container mix general purpose peat-free compost with at least an equal measure of grit or sharpsand.'.If you’re short of patio space then try arranging potted herbs on a plant stand such as the Aldsworth design Garden Trading.Using an array of pot styles, from traditional terracotta, to colorful glazed and galvanised metal designs, will help add bring variety and interest.Planting herbs in an array of outdoor planters and suspending them is a brilliant way to maximise floor space on a small patio or balcony area.Lightweight plastic containers or old tin cans would work well, or you could even use an old colander – perfect with its readymade drainage holes.Saving up old tomato tins with retro labels and repurposing them as herb planters is a great way to cut down on your waste but also to create a fun display with a Mediterranean twist.Offering a rustic, weathered patina from years of use, reclaimed metal containers such as farm troughs, old galvanised baths and dolly tubs – historically used for washing clothes – make characterful planters for herbs.Displaying shop bought herbs in colorful vintage enamel cups and teapots is a great way to disguise unsightly plastic pots – just make sure they are left sitting in water.Growing slightly tender herbs such as myrtle, lemon verbena and scented geraniums in pots or containers is preferable to borders because it means they can easily be moved indoors during winter months.It is also recommended to grow invasive plants such as mint in containers to help control its growth and prevent them from taking over.Many herbs are Mediterranean in origin – such as rosemary, thyme and oregano, – and so all thrive in sunny conditions and free –draining soil and work well when planted together. .

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). .

How to Grow Herbs in Containers

Plus, growing your own is an economical alternative to those pricey little packets at the market – and your pots of green gold have a garden-fresh flavor that can’t be beat!French cuisine favors bay, chervil, chives, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme.Making pizza, or an Italian theme, would include basil, bay, fennel, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.Asian-inspired cuisine would feature Thai basil , coriander (cilantro seeds), garlic, ginger, lemongrass, hot peppers, and star anise.If you put up a lot of preserves and pickles, plant a bay tree and sow celery, coriander, dill, and mustard for their seeds.And many herbaceous ones – like chives, marjoram, mint, oregano, and tarragon – are among the very first plants to emerge as the days begin to lengthen, often well before winter is officially over.Annuals, such as basil, cilantro, and summer savory, are quick-growing and can be direct sown in pots once temperatures warm up in spring.They can be placed anywhere for you to enjoy their beauty and fragrance, and look terrific arranged on the deck, doorsteps, edging pathways, patios, and in window boxes.Coconut coir, pebbles, broken pottery, and other similar materials are all suitable to help drain away excess water.Containers are typically made of materials such as ceramic, metal, plastic, resin, terra cotta, or wood, and which you choose is a matter of personal perference.Place one pot in the best growing site, and when it becomes over-picked and sparse, move it to a location with dappled sunlight or light shade.And amending with light materials like perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss helps to retain moisture without compacting or saturating the soil.This creates a light, airy soil mixture that provides essential nutrients, easy water absorption, and free-flowing drainage.For perennial pots, it’s a good idea to work in some aged compost each spring, and to completely replace the soil every 3 to 4 years.A diluted solution of fish emulsion fertilizer, watered down to half strength and applied monthly during the growing season, provides the nutrients they need.With leafy, clump-forming plants such as chives, cilantro, lemongrass, and parsley, pick the outer leaves first, working in towards the center and up as you harvest.Those that have upright stems, like basil, mint, oregano, and rosemary, can be snipped right above a set of leaves to encourage branching and bushiness.Lightly trim away dead or damaged stems on woody perennials, and cut herbaceous ones to the ground.For larger containers, you can provide on-site protection for roots by insulating pots with branches, blankets, or bubble wrap. .

10 tips for growing herbs in pots: Pinch and prune

No matter what their size or style, potted herbs growing on your deck, patio or porch bring an extra dimension of beauty to outdoor spaces with their lively colors, fragrances and textures.You'll also love having sprigs of your favorite culinary herbs within easy reach of the grill or just outside your kitchen door.There's no better time than now to begin filling your outdoor living space with fresh flavor, fragrance and color.Here are 10 essential tips to keeping your potted herb garden vibrant and lush from early spring through fall.Most culinary herbs are great choices, especially familiar favorites like basil, chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.Pots allow you to contain the characteristics of mint, lemon balm or other aggressive herbs that exhibit invasive tendencies in your garden.Tropical or tender herbs such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) and scented geraniums (Pelargonium spp.).And specimen-type plants like lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) and sweet bay (Laurus nobilis) add moveable focal points of interest.Herbs can be grown in just about any type of pot or container as long as it has sufficient holes in the bottom so surplus water can easily drain away.Clay pots are porous and therefore dry out quickly, which makes them well-suited to growing Mediterranean herbs such as thyme.Garden soil is too heavy for use in containers and lacks the porosity needed to grow healthy potted herbs.The potting mix needs to retain moisture, yet drain easily--otherwise the roots become deprived of oxygen, causing the plant's demise.When creating multiple plant displays, make sure to pair herbs with similar light requirements and water needs in the same pots.The result will be a bushier and more productive plant so you can snip those flavorful sprigs and flowering stems to enjoy in the kitchen. .

How to make a herb garden

Creating a herb garden is an easy way to teach young children how to grow their own food.Many herbs are easy to grow and have fragrant leaves, providing additional interest to young minds.Encourage your kids to plant the herbs with you, and label them with lollipop sticks so they know what they’re growing.Then, simply cook meals that require fresh herbs as ingredients – your children will be hooked for life.If your children are looking for a longer project, try growing annual herbs such as parsley, coriander and basil from seed.These require warmer temperatures than the perennial herbs and can bolt (flower) if not watered regularly or given too much sun.Ideally, cover the pot with a clear plastic bag or similar, to create a ‘mini greenhouse’.Large container with drainage holes to plant them in, or a dedicated patch of garden.For growing in both pots and the ground, aim to plant the herbs a hand's width apart.Plant your herbs in the right spot – too much sun can cause basil, parsley and coriander to flower and seed, which stops them producing delicious leaves.However, oregano, mint, chives and rosemary thrive in sun, so are best planted in a sunnier spot.Sow seeds of annual herbs every two-three weeks so you have a continuous crop throughout summer. .

Ten of the best herbs to grow in containers

Still, there are a few things to bear in mind if you want to make sure your potted herbs reach their bushy, lush best.Lorraine Melton, head grower at the herb farm Herbal Haven, gave me two key pieces of advice.Instead, pick off the tips of each stem – about the top inch or two (depending on the size of the herb), just above a pair of leaves.Secondly, you need to feed all your herbs in containers with liquid seaweed (or worm tea) while they are growing.Liquid seaweed is packed with trace elements and minerals that will help the herbs retain good flavour too.Put each plant in its own five litre pot, keep it well watered and pick it regularly.Once your plant is established, take it out of the pot each spring after its winter die back, and divide it into halves or quarters, and re-pot it with fresh compost.Easy to grow with unique flavours, these classic herbs are excellent for soups, stocks, meats, pastas and more.You can try and delay this (by keeping it well watered and fed, growing it in a more shady space, and cutting the leaves regularly), but it will happen eventually, whatever you do.Don’t worry: the flowers are magnets for hoverflies (whose larvae eat aphids) and the green seeds are delicious.Despite having its profile raised by Ottolenghi (who uses it in several recipes), sorrel remains a stranger to supermarket shelves.Cooked, sorrel forms classic combinations with eggs and with salmon, or you can chop up a few fresh leaves and add to salads.With a few more pots, I’d add in lovage (to add depth of flavour to risottos and stocks), Vietnamese coriander (much easier to grow than normal coriander and a must if you like spicy food) dill, tarragon (wonderful but temperamental to grow – it hates getting its roots wet), lemon verbena (brilliant for herb tea), blackcurrant sage (beautiful, cheerful flowers), winter savory, lemongrass (grow from supermarket lemongrass stalks), and oregano.You can grow herbs in pots together as long as you remember two rules: avoid mixing those that like plenty of water (such as chives, mint, chervil, coriander, Vietnamese coriander) with those that like a well-drained soil (such as rosemary, thyme, sage, bay, and oregano).And choose herbs of similar sizes for the same pot – a large rosemary will swamp a small thyme plant, for example.Mark is Founder of Vertical Veg a social enterprise that inspires and supports food growing in containers in small spaces. .

Herb Pots

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