Kitchen Garden in a Pot
If they're handy, you'll use them! Just think how nice it would be if you only had to go a few feet to clip a sprig of your favorite herb by making a kitchen garden in a pot! Follow along with my project and adapt it to your liking.
Choose Location, Pot
Choose a sunny window indoors or place a pot right outside your door. I have chosen a spot in the deck right outside my front door. This will make it very easy for me to access them, plus it will add interest and beauty to the front area. The pot I will use is an old ugly pink plastic pot, but it's big. I have some white and green paint I will sponge and wipe on the pot to give it an aged look. If a clay pot is used (as in the picture), remember that they dry out quickly, so it will have to be watered more frequently. Place some broken pot pieces or some stones around the bottom holes of the plant for better drainage. Choose a potting soil that drains well. Those with perlite or vermiculite are good. Add compost or an organic balanced fertilizer to the mix. Fill the pot up almost to the top, leaving room for planting.
Choose plants that you like and will use. I have chosen lemon grass, chives, variegated lemon thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano and lettuce (yes, lettuce!). Many herbs can be found at local nurseries, but if you're not lucky enough to have a good local source, try mail order.
Choose placement in your pot so that all plants can be seen. Plant your herbs at the same depth they were in their original pots. Give them a nice drink of water and watch them grow! Herbs are virtually maintenance and pest free. The next time you need an herb, just go to your handy herb pot and snip!
Recipe: Herbed Butter
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon each of: marjoram, thyme, rosemary (minced fresh) ¼ teaspoon each of: garlic, basil, sage (minced fresh) ½ cup (4 oz.) sweet unsalted butter or margarine, softened
Mix ingredients together, either by hand or an electric mixer. Pack into molds or crocks, or roll like a jelly roll in a piece of plastic wrap and place a twist tie on both ends. A melon-baller can also be used for nice round shapes. Chill for at least three hours before serving. Herb butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months.
About the Author
Laurel Morris is a master gardener and herbalist from coastal North Carolina, specializing in use and preservation of garden produce. She writes a bi-monthly herb gardening column for Suite101.com, an internet guide.