Here in the South Mother Nature is teasing us with warm weather
as she does every year about this time. Every year I fall for it, I get spring fever and want to start
planting in the garden, I know its to early but still I dream.
It is getting time to start seeds inside and talk to neighbors about how great the tomatoes were last
year, Tell of how hard you worked getting rid of this bug that beetle and so on. Its kind of the pre-game
warm up. This year as every year before we will grow our "Special Garden" on the deck and front porch,
This is the garden that grows the very best of everything, it has the plants that get special attention for these are the veggies that go straight into the kitchen for those meals that can't get any better.
One of the key players to this garden is the fresh herbs, they are really pretty easy to grow and the more you cut from them the more they produce.
We are going to grow our herbs in a container garden on and near the front porch. Herbs originated in different parts of the world there for they can have different watering requirements, and some are more tricky to than others, so do a little research and try to put herbs that require similar care in the same pot.
Most herbs need full sun – from 4-6 hours a day. That means here in the south containers can really bake on a hot day, so if you live somewhere where temperatures soar, your herbs may need to be shaded during the hottest part of the day.
Use high quality potting soil because most herbs need good drainage. Also make sure that you have containers that have drainage holes so you don’t drown your herb container gardens.
It is very easy to over-fertilize herbs. Most don’t require any, and some herbs will die if you fuss with or over feed. Some, like thyme and oregano like being neglected and won’t be at their best if they are given too much attention, water or food.
You can use anything from coffee cans to expensive ceramic pots , though make sure whatever you choose has good drainage. You can get away with smaller containers because most herbs don’t have large root systems. This is especially true of the herbs that don’t mind drying out between watering.
Planning Your Herb ContainerYou can grow as many types of herbs in one container as you want, as long as you make sure that all the herbs in a single pot share the same sun, water and soil preferences. For example, rosemary likes it hot and dry while parsley needs steady moisture. They wouldn’t be perfect in the same pot (though to be honest, I have pushed this envelope and put unmatched bedfellows together, fairly successfully). I also like to grow pots with one type of herb and then group the pots.
Plants Per Container
I like the looks of crowded, Yet healthy container gardens. I put in as many plants as I can and most do fine. Particularly since herbs thrive if you keep pinching them back and harvesting them, you can usually keep them from strangling each other. Though basil is not a fan of over crowding because it needs good air circulation. Also, if you're trying to save money, and can start early like in the house, start some plants from seed and let them fill in the container.
Herbs in Container Garden Design
Herbs make for a very decorative element in any container garden. They not only look fantastic they also provide a great texture and scent mixed with annuals or perennials.
Grow what you like to cook with or what you find appealing as a plant. I grow sage mainly for the way it smells and looks. But rarely use it for cooking I use lots basil for cooking and like to grow enough to share, its one of those herbs I think everyone loves plus any extra can be frozen and use through out the year. I also grow lots of parsley, its also great for sharing. Rosemary really looks good growing so I got to have a lot of it.
The great thing is herbs love to be cut back so the more you use the better they grow.
Give a herb garden a try this year, for the most part its easy the kids will love to help and your food will love the freshness.