Contain...Your Herb Garden With a
Container Garden!

A small container herb garden

First, Container Size

A container garden is convenient, manageable and moveable. So, what's the best way to plant one?

First, what size should you choose for your containers? Hmm...

Small, medium or large herb planters or pots can diversify your herb garden look.

Terracotta, plastic, stone, basket, window box, herb pot or planters are all good herb containers. Canister wheels make it easier to push and pull when moving them. It’s important to select the right herb planter.

Patio herb garden

Second, Sun Exposure

Does it get at least 6 - 8 hours of sun in that area?

Some medicinal herbs needs 12 or more hours of sun light.

South facing is optimal, but not essential when using a container garden. Move it where the herb plants will get enough sun. Look for signs that your herb plants aren’t leggy, (long, thin and straggly). Also, getting water to your plants should be easily reached, so watering doesn’t become a chore.

Next, Herbs to Grow

Then, make a list of what herbs you would like to grow.

Group your herbs for eye appeal and ease of access. Grow herbs with vegetables like pickling cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or an assortment of hot peppers. Adding these companion plants makes a great container herb garden.

Another idea is a salad herb container with mixed lettuces, parsley, nasturtiums, violas, (pansies), basil, bunching onions and chives. Container herb gardening is great way to plant tasty and nutritious edible flowers.

This is where an herb garden design plan with details comes in handy. Yes, even for container gardening.

Although, not essential it is helpful to have some sort of plan. This way you know what type of herb and/or vegetable would grow well together. If they do get to crowed by the end of the season next time choose a bigger herb garden container or plant less in that pot.



Next, Build Your Soil Structure

Fertilizer...slow release like Cottonseed meal or pelleted lime. Bone meal helps roots to grow stronger and deeper. Natural Kelp Meal from the ocean helps build the soil structure. Add some earthworms.

Espoma, Herbs Alive or any garden center can guide you on what brand to buy.

Compost...organic and rich in nutrients will provide food for your plants during the gardening season. Ask where it comes from to be sure it is organic and not something you don't want to eat or your children to eat.

Well-rotted horse or cow manure, decomposed leaves collected for free in the fall, your own compost pile are some suggestions for organic compost.

Water

...a water retaining gel reduces stress and water frequency like Terra-Sorb or any other product you can purchase at your local garden center.

And Finally...Get Your Tools

Get your container garden essentials together.

Take your compost, trowel, mix it with peat moss or coir then add your fertilizer. Next, water well and add your water retaining gel and you have your medium for growing your beautiful, bountiful herbs. Then plant your herbs and/or vegetables.

As the season progresses spray some fish emulsion or scratch in some slow release fertilizer and water well. This will keep your plants vigorous and healthy.

Arranging your desired look, tastes and smell...for your container herb garden...

Height is important, not only for good air circulation, visual presentation, but for added ease in watering and nibbling your herbs as you walk by.

Arrange herbs so the container closest to the ground is elevated at least an inch or two. This helps to prevent creepers and slugs from reaching your herb plants.

For example, basil, borage (you need a big herb pot for this plant), or thyme and strawberries (shallow rooted herbs) attract garden pests especially as the sun goes down or on a cloudy, wet day.

Place a copper guard around the top part of the container, about 2 inches below. This discourages slugs and snails from getting inside your herb container.

Or, sprinkle some dried, crushed eggs shells for extra insurance. Not a guarantee, just some practical gardening advice.

So...arranging your herb container garden at any time during the growing season is easy and manageable.

See also...herb garden planters

Chicken on pest control duty

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