Picking the Right Herbs for a Container Garden

by on December 12th, 2010
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Container gardening is ideal for those without a yard. When your “landscape” consists of a window box or a few pots around the porch or balcony, you look for ideas on what works well in containers. Having a container garden of herbs not only brings wonderful scents and plants to look at, but also brings additions into the kitchen for use. Have them on your windowsill, where all you need to do is open it to pick whatever you need fresh at that moment. Let your imagination go wild, hang baskets from the ceiling or from shelving for that interesting effect.

Good Container Herb Choices

Keep in mind that regular harvesting of your herbs will make you not have to prune as often. The constant taking of herbs for use self-prunes it without additional work. Herb plants that work well in containers include sage, basil, chive, oregano, and thyme. While that isn’t an all-inclusive list, it does give a well-rounded mix for the recipes. Rosemary and other shrub herbs tend not to do as well simply for the size of the plant. Choose those that are more compact and easier to work with.

Herbs that Also Work Outside the Kitchen

Here is an idea to have your herbs do double-duty. Yes, they are great for flavoring recipes in the kitchen, but some can work elsewhere. Planting mint is a wonderful idea for recipes, and it can help ease the discomfort of an upset stomach. Lavender can be helpful for skin issues. Lemongrass repels insects. As you learn more and more about different herbs, you may stumble upon one that has so many useful qualities that you have a pot devoted only to it.

Careful of Your Potting

Not all herbs have the same length of root system and may need different sized pots. A sage will not work in a six-inch pot while cilantro is quite happy in that space. Make sure that your pot drains well to keep plants from drowning and suffering rot. Water when the soil needs it, but don’t make it dry out or water-log it. Careful watch over your herbs can make for the healthiest and happiest plants.

While you shouldn’t have too much issue with pests in a herb container garden, some may plague your mini-garden. If you see aphids or other pests, a quick spray with some soapy water may clear them. Remember, you are eating these herbs, so don’t put insecticide or other pesticides on them. Try your hand at a herb container garden and see how well it works supplementing your kitchen and your living space.


Live to Garden: Container Gardening

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A Kitchen Herb Primer

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