Herbs for Container Gardens

Container gardens are an ideal option for those with limited or nonexistent yard space. You can keep all of your herbs in a small area--even on the kitchen windowsill. Once mature, the herbs harvested from their containers will provide a rich variety of flavors to your cooking.

Basil

Opt for a container larger than 8 inches in diameter to grow basil, because this herb grows to heights up to 3 feet, according to Utah State University. Grow basil in containers inside or outdoors. Snip off leaves with your hands or scissors. Use fresh basil leaves to add flavor to Italian dishes, sauces, pestos or salads.

Chives

Chives have a flavor similar to mild onions. You harvest chives by snipping the tops of their grassy stalks with a pair of scissors. These plants reach heights of 1 to 2 feet and therefore fit best in containers larger than 8 inches in diameter. Add chopped chives to a baked potato with sour cream or in dips and salad dressings.

Parsley

Parsley can be grown in either a hanging basket or a container larger than 8 inches in diameter, according to Cornell University. Look for curly-leafed parsley, which is more common, according to the University of Florida, or flat-leafed parsely, which can be found in specialty garden centers. Use parsley fresh or dried to add a garnish to main entrees and salads.

Thyme

Allow for 12 inches of spacing between thyme plants, which need replanting only every three to four years, according to the University of Florida. Cut off the leaves of thyme for drying to use in cooking. Thyme comes in a wide range of varieties, so you can grow this herb in containers of many sizes, or even in hanging baskets, according to Cornell University.

Mint

Refreshing mint adds a cool flavor to any course from a tabbouleh appetizer to a lamb entree to mint-chocolate ice cream. Mint grows best in a container to keep it from taking over a garden, according to Utah State University. For best results, grow this plant in its own container to keep it from crowding out other herbs in the container.

Keywords: container herbs, container garden herbs, potted herbs

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.