With more and more people living in the city in apartments, condos or small houses – and with a rising interest in raising food at home – it is no wonder that container gardens are become so incredibly popular. Virtually anything that can be grown in a traditional garden can be grown in pots, as long as certain guidelines are followed, and success rates for such gardens are high.
One group of plants that really lends itself to being in a container garden is herbs. These wonderful, aromatic plants are not only attractive, they can add great flavor to virtually any dish and bring with them some fabulous health benefits as well. Below are some great hints for creating the ultimate herb container garden right at home!
The great thing about selecting herbs for the garden is that the field is really wide open. Traditional garden plants such as rosemary, chives, basil, thyme and oregano all do just as well when grown in pots as they would in a regular garden. And there are some extra advantages to pots that regular gardens simply lack. For one thing, aggressive herbs – like those in the mint family – can be grown in containers, whereas in a regular garden they have the tendency to take over. Exotic herbs like lemongrass can be grown more safely in pots, since that pot can be taken into the house if the weather turns unseasonably cold.
There is an enormous selection of containers available to make a garden out of. These containers are usually made from terracotta, plastic, wood or resin and come in every shape, size and color imaginable. Many people will use more creative planters as well – such as an old wheelbarrow or an old-fashioned claw-footed tub! The most important thing about whatever container is chosen is that it have drainage holes at the bottom to get rid of excess water – and thus avoid the problem of root rot. When choosing, simply pick the size and style of container that fits best in the space that is set aside for it.
Selecting the Soil
This is probably one of the most important parts of starting a container garden for herbs. Choose a soil that is fairly lightweight but still retains some moisture: most herbs will flourish in rich, well-drained soils. It is okay to use a commercial mix straight from the bag, but make sure to mix it in with compost and/or manure to get the best results. Soil is everything when it comes to gardening – if the soil is right, many other problems with plants can be avoided.
With the right plants in the right containers that hold the right soil, the success of the container garden is virtually assured. This kind of project will give even those who just have a back deck or windowsill to work with access to fresh-cut herbs year-round – which will not only bring an array of health benefits, but enhance virtually any dish as well.
More by Christine . S