Herb Pots on a Porch
image by M.S. Beltran
Even if you don't have the time or space for an outdoor garden, you can reap the rewards of gardening by keeping a supply of freshly grown herbs at your finger tips. Herbs require little space to grow, so herb one pot can house several types of your favorite herbs for frequent use. They make a nice display on a window, table or front porch, or a beautiful gift to present to someone.
Purchase three to five herb seedlings from a gardening center. Some popular, easy, compact herbs to grow in pots are parsley, rosemary, basil, chives, sage, cilantro, thyme and oregano. Different varieties of mints can be grown together in one pot as well as a mint pot, but they should be separate from other types of plants as mints can crowd them out.
Select a 14 inch round pot or a window box planter for your herb pot. Be sure that the pot you choose has a few drainage holes on the bottom.
Line the bottom of the pot with an inch thick layer of gravel. This will help promote better drainage.
Fill the pot about 2/3 of the way up with potting soil. Be sure to use potting soil rather than top soil or dirt from your own garden. For one thing, potting soil is a lighter mixture that is better for herbs to grow in, and it will make your container much lighter if you want to move it. In addition, unless you know the quality of your back yard soil, it might not be the best medium for growing herbs.
Loosen one of the herbs from the starter pot by squeezing gently until the soil slips out. Place it into the herb pot. Continue adding herbs, placing the tallest growing plants, such as basil or rosemary, in the center, with trailing or bushy plants, such as oregano or parsley, on the sides. Be sure the plant stems are spaced out a few inches from each other.
Fill around the plants with potting soil. Water lightly but often, and keep them in a sunny spot where they get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Harvest often to encourage bushiness and fuller growth. Give your plants a boost every 4 to 6 weeks by watering with an all-purpose herb and vegetable fertilizer, such as Miracle Gro.