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How to grow herbs in containers with helpful links included to About.com.
Community Green Charles Vasser www.communitygreen.wordpress.com (917) 691-8037 Community Green Herbs in Containers Herb container gardens are cool! They’re easy, convenient and inexpensive. It’s really great to be able to pick a handful of fresh herbs from a beautiful container garden. Especially when I am cooking dinner, it’s wonderful to be able to add a handful of fresh herbs to the dish. You can grow almost any herb in a container garden and most are very easy. However, herbs have different water requirements, however and some tougher to take care of than others, so it’s best to put herbs that require similar care in the same pot. Light Most herbs need full sun – at least 6 hours a day. Containers can really dry out on a hot day, so you may need to shade you plants during the hottest part of the day. Soil Herbs need good drainage so use high quality potting soil. Make sure you don’t drown your herbs and your containers have adequate drainage holes. Fertilizer Do not over-fertilize herbs. Most don’t like to be overfed and will die if you do. Some herbs, like thyme and oregano like to be neglected and won’t be tasty if they are given too much food or water. Choosing a Container You can grow herbs in almost anything as long as it has good drainage. Most herbs have small root systems so you can get away with smaller containers. This is especially true of the herbs that don’t mind drying out between watering. Smaller containers hold less soil though be careful when it comes to watering. Self-Watering Containers Some herbs thrive in self-watering containers. Plants like chives, parsley, marjoram and mint would be good candidates because they like a constant level of moisture. Herbs, like oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil prefer to dry out between watering so self-watering containers would not be a good choice. Planning Your Herb Container Grow as many types of herbs in one container as you want, as long as you make sure they all share the same sun, water and soil preferences. You wouldn’t put rosemary, which likes it hot and dry in the same pot as parsley which needs steady moisture. Sometimes it works but neither herb will be happy or grow optimally. I like to one type of herb to a pot then group the pots. Plants Per Container Community Green Page 2 of 2 Basil needs good air circulation so it really doesn’t like crowding. Everything else can be packed into the same crowded container. Herbs thrive if you keep pinching them back and harvesting them so you can keep them neat and out of each othes space. Buy small plants and let them fill your container. Be patient. It’s more fun and provides fresher herbs. Herbs in Container Garden Design Feel free to use herbs as companion plantings and decorative elements in any container garden. They can provide great texture and scent mixed with annuals or perennials. Just be sure to pair them with plants that have the same requirements for light and water. Choosing Herbs Grow what you eat or what like. I grow sage and rosemary because I love the way they smell and brush against them every chance I get. I don’t often use it to cook, but it still is one of my favorite plants. I use basil for cooking and love it with tomatoes so I grow lots of it. I huge handfuls of parsley because it adds so much to a dish. Grow lots of it. Harvesting Herbs The rule of thumb is pick more and you’ll get more. Also, pinch most herbs back regularly to make them bushier and well formed. Herbs Indoors At the end of the season, if you have a sunny window, bring some of your herbs indoors. Some are easier than others to keep alive inside through the winter. Herb Container Gifts Herb container gardens make wonderful gifts. You can do themed gardens, like a "pizza" garden or an herbes de Provence container garden or simply combine herbs and edible plants in a lovely pot.