Grow a Container Herb Garden
Strada Plan 1 | Las Vegas | Pardee Homes
There are lots of great reasons to grow your own herbs – to add bold, fresh flavors to your cuisine, have on hand natural remedies and delight friends with gifts from your garden. Best of all, it’s not difficult to become a pesto potentate (from your bushels of basil) or a mint maestro (iced tea, anyone?). All you need are small containers, seeds or seedlings and a bright spot for them to grow.
Let’s get started.
Many flavorful herbs adapt well to container planting, including favorites such as basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Containers can be placed on your patio, on the back porch or even your kitchen windowsill. The key is that herbs need plenty of good sunlight, about six to eight hours on average.
Seeds vs. plants.
Generally, you can buy seeds or small herb plants at local all-purpose stores or nurseries. If you’re new to herb cultivation, you may find it easiest to start with plants. Seeds, on the other hand, offer a wider range of varieties and flavors and are usually less expensive. Start seeds in pots indoors and move them outside when temperatures remain warm.
Small containers, big flavors.
For windowsill-dwelling herbs, choose smaller pots or containers for each plant. If you’re growing them outdoors, choose a larger pot and combine two or more of the same plant in one larger pot. Whichever size you choose, make sure your container has good drainage so that surplus water can trickle away. Herbs don’t do well if their roots sit in soil that is too wet. For a creative idea, grow herbs in cleaned and emptied glass jars with handcrafted labels. Just make sure you put pebbles or stones in the bottom of the jar before your soil to allow plenty of drainage.
Go for good soil.
For containers, look for “potting mix,” rather than bags of “potting soil.” Potting mix is made mostly from organic matter such as peat or composted plant matter, and is designed to give container plants the texture and drainage they need.
Plan to water frequently as potting mix in a pot can dry out quickly. Check your soil to determine whether to water. If it feels dry one inch beneath the surface, it’s time to water.
Fertilizer is your friend.
Frequent watering can wash nutrients from the pots’ soil, so you will need to replenish them. Feed your herbs with a slow-release or organic fertilizer (one for plants, not flowers) when you plant. Or use a regular houseplant fertilizer at half-strength every three weeks or so. Some potting mixes come with slow-release fertilizer pellets already mixed in.
Enjoy your harvest.
With plenty of sunlight and a little care, your herbs should thrive. To keep a steady stream of leaves coming, harvest the oldest stems individually with scissors, rather than pulling from the entire plant.
Looking for a new home with room to grow? One of our New Home Specialists would be happy to help.