Gardening Tips for Herb Gardening in Containers

Herbs add flavor to food and variety to the garden. Most are easy to grow in containers. Avoid taller herbs like dill, fennel and lemon verbena because they're pot hogs. Invasive herbs like mint, oregano and marjoram are great in pots because they're kept contained and can't send runners out to get into your other beds and borders. Scrub out the pots with a solution of bleach and water before planting. Use fresh potting soil to avoid fungus and diseases.

Use Large Containers

Large containers don't dry out as fast as small containers. You'll save quite a bit of time because instead of watering 10 small or medium size pots, you'll only have to water two or three 18- or 24-inch pots. Put the large pots on rollers so you can easily move them from sun to shade and vice versa. As the summer progresses the days get longer and hotter, and your herbs will appreciate afternoon shade. When fall starts, move the pots back into all-day sunshine.

Newspapers in the Pots

When potting soil dries out, it has a tendency to pull away from the sides of the pot, leaving a gap. Water then runs down the gap and out the pot before having a chance to wet the soil. You might think the plant has been watered, but your herbs are still thirsty. Line the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pot with several thicknesses of newspapers. The newspapers absorb the water and block it running immediately out of the pot. Because the newspaper is water porous, it won't stop the drainage--just slow it down a bit.

Flush and Fertilize

Most herbs can tolerate some drought because they come from the Mediterranean, where the climate is on the dry side. But that's when they're in garden soil. When in pots, they may need to be watered nearly every day, or every other day, in the summer. All this watering builds up the salts in the soil from minerals in the water. Flush the pots once a month by filling them to the brim three or four times with water. Fertilize twice as much with a water-soluble fertilizer at half strength than the package directs. In other words if the directions say fertilize every two weeks by mixing 1 tbsp. of fertilizer for 1 gallon of water; water once a week with 1/2 tbsp. for 1 gallon of water.

Keywords: grow herbs pots, herb growing tips, herbs in containers

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.