Container Herbs – A Quick Guide
If you want to grow some plants in containers in your garden then herbs make a very smart choice.
There are very few crops that return so much from so little space. Think about cooking with herbs… Just a few meager leaves can totally transform your dish. A little goes an incredibly long way.
An inbuilt advantage of growing herbs is that many of them feature flowers which in turn attract insects. Bees, for example, are very attracted to chives. Herbs respond extremely well to being grown in containers. Many of these simply return year on year so you will not even need to sow them annually.
They really are easy to bring on if you ensure that they get full sun. With judicious watering – most herbs prefer pretty dry conditions – and a soil-less mix, there’s little else you need to do.
Handy hint: try giving your herbs a weekly shot of liquid seaweed fertiliser for maximum effect.
If you don’t have the space for an abundance of trees but want a great way to pep up your cooking, think about growing some of these herbs in containers…
One drawback with mint is that it’s highly invasive. Grow it in a pot and sidestep this concern completely. Mint copes well with either partial shade or full sun. Go for a rich soil with this perennial and enjoy a fragrant start to your herb garden.
Among the most well-known of herbs, basil is an Italian annual which thrives under full sun with moist and fertile soil. The root system takes about six weeks to develop. After this stage, basil is hardy and will tolerate short spells of drought without a problem. If you want to combine multiple herbs in one container, basil is a fantastic companion with thyme or parsley. If you take this route, make sure the pot will hold at least 5 gallons of soil for best effect.
This classic French herb is traditionally used to season fish. Its name comes from the French word for little dragon in reference to its bold and highly individual flavour. Aim for full sun and a potting mix which is very well drained. Don’t overwater tarragon. If your garden offers only partial shade then tarragon will still grow but not to the same standard as in sunnier environments.
4) Lemon Balm
This is a freely spreading favourite that self-sows with ease. Lemon balm is ideal for growing in containers as it will not take over the entire garden. You can choose to plant in either full sun or partial shade. Opt for a moist potting mix which is well-drained and rich.
Oregano is a staple ingredient for Mediterranean cookery and a perfect choice for any container garden. It’s a shrubby perennial which copes best in full sun with a nicely drained mix. Oregano does not like wet soil.
Remember: the more sun oregano gets, the more fragrant and pungent the leaves.
Freeze-dried herbs are a very pale imitation of the real thing.
Do yourself and your recipes a favor by starting up a small herb garden taking advantage of the convenience of containers. You will not only save money but you’ll enjoy fresher and far superior ingredients.
You don’t need especially green fingers to tend a modest garden catering to your precise needs. Most herbs are extremely straightforward to grow and require remarkably little maintenance. These herbs form a sound starting point but think about what you like best and use most then get going!
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