Growing Herbs in Pots

How to Plant Herbs in Containers

I want fresh herbs in my life at all times. They are useful in the kitchen, are lovely to look at and are easy on the nose. Largely, herbs are both hardy and versatile, making them great candidates for containers. Follow these tips and you can easily start growing herbs in pots.

Herbs to Grow

You’ll want to determine what herbs will be useful to you so that you can choose a container according to the amount of plants you plan to use.  If you like to cook, popular choices to consider are: Anise, Basil, Chamomile, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme. Again, make your selections and you can decide on a container.

Type of Container

First of all, when selecting a container remember that size does matter here. Herbs have different needs when it comes to things like light and water, but they all like well-drained soil. Therefore be sure that whatever vessel you choose has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. I love glazed ceramic pots that come in every color and shape imaginable. But get creative! I’ve seen re-purposed colanders lined with moss and old wine crates used as gardens. The sky’s the limit when growing herbs in pots.

Soil

Start with a good-quality potting soil. Don’t use ordinary garden soil as it usually doesn’t drain well and may contain insects. You won’t want bugs if you plan to keep your herb garden indoors. A soil I like using is Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix. Place a coffee filter in the bottom of your container (so you don’t lose soil out of the drainage holes) and fill the container a little more than half-way with soil. I should press pause here to mention that if you are planting seeds instead of using starter plants, fill the planter all the way up and plant according to seed packet directions. Growing herbs in pots can happen lots of different ways.

Plant Placement

Take a look at the habits of the plants you’ve selected. For instance, Tarragon gets pretty tall and likes full sun. Chamomile on the other hand, can tolerate some shade and is more of a low-creeping plant. Think about placing plants where they will be “happiest.” That is, I tend to place the taller plants in the back, medium-heights in the middle and shorties on the edges and in front. Get the idea? Once you’ve decided, remove each plant from it’s pot and place it into it’s new home.  Once all plants are in place, add more soil to secure the plants and cover all roots. Suddenly, you’re growing herbs in pots.

Water

Give your creation a good water then make sure it’s got plenty of sun. Once the soil is dry, you’ll want to add water again. Once a week is about right if you’re growing herbs in pots inside and more often if exposed to outside elements. When planting herbs in containers, they won’t need to be fertilized often if you started with good quality soil and plants.

Cook with Fresh Herbs

Some of the best ways to spice up your grub when growing herbs in pots is to use recipes that call for them. Here’s a great recipe using parsley. Additionally,  follow these ideas:

1 Pro Tip: Add a sprig of fresh rosemary or lavender to your lemonade for a fancy version.

2 Pro Tip: Chopped tarragon in scrambled eggs really updates a classic.

3 Pro Tip: Mince a variety of fresh herbs. I particularly like dill and chives for this. Add a generous handful to a fresh bag of potato chips and shake. A delicious snack. Perfect with a cold vodka.

4 Pro Tip:  Use sprigs of mint or chamomile in a mug with boiling water and some honey. Steep for a few minutes for a refreshing herbal tea.

 

By Elizabeth Morse | May 29th, 2020


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