Why Plant Herbs in Pots?
Growing herbs can be a great hobby with the benefits of producing an abundance of herbs to use in the kitchen, medicinally, and around the home. Herbs add flavor to cooking, they can be used to make medicinal herbal tea, tinctures, and other therapeutic products, and of course, they are beautiful to look and they smell amazing.
Container gardening is a great way to grow herbs as they take up less space, and can be moved indoors during colder months. Growing herbs in pots is also a practical solution for apartment dwellers, renters, or where you don’t have space (or time) for a full-fledged garden. The best part about herbs is that most varieties are very resilient and are easy to grow in containers.
Container herb gardening is a great gateway into gardening if you’re a complete newbie!
What is Container Herb Gardening?
Container herb gardening is a type of gardening that is done in pots or any other contained vessel. It can be done indoors or outdoors, and scaled to whatever size suits your needs.
There are endless different types of containers that can be used for container herb gardening, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Common containers include ceramic, plastic and clay pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, and vertical planters.
Clay pots are porous and allow water to seep through them more easily than other types of pots. Ceramic pots are heavy and can crack if they get too cold or too hot. Plastic is lightweight but can leach chemicals into the soil mix. Some people prefer plastic containers because they don’t break as easily and are lighter in weight than clay pots. Clay pots are better for plants that like wetter soil and can hold up better in freezing temperatures.
The most important thing is to make sure that it your container of choice has good drainage. This is so that you don’t drown your plants when watering them. It’s also important to make sure that you have enough sunlight for your plants, and that they are in a location with good air circulation.
Don’t let convention limit you. Get creative and up-cycle old containers you might have lying around the home, giving them a new lease of life as a home for your herbs. For example, you can simply recycle an old bucket by drilling holes in the bottom for drainage.
Choosing Your Herb Garden Dirt and Soil Type
The type of soil or dirt you choose to use will depend on the size of your container, the type of plants that you will be growing in it, and the amount of time that you want to spend maintaining it. You will want potting soil that is light and porous so it does not weigh down the roots too much. The potting soil should also have good drainage so it does not become waterlogged or dry out quickly.
Below is a list of some common types of soil and dirt used for container gardening:
- Potting Soil: Potting soil is typically a mixture of peat moss, compost, sand, perlite or vermiculite, and some kind of fertilizer. It is often used in pots because it drains well and doesn’t compact easily. Many commercial potting mixes are made up of these ingredients.
- Coconut Coir: Coconut coir is made from coconut husks that have been ground into fibers. It has excellent water retention properties which make it great for containers because they dry out quickly if left unattended.
- Composted Wood Chips: Composted wood chips are made from sawdust, tree bark, and branches.
- Mulch: Mulching your plants with something like straw or lucerne, can help prevent the soil from drying out too fast, and helps to insulate the soil from fluctuating temperatures.
Watering Your Container Garden
Watering your container garden is a crucial part of maintaining it. If you have a hand-held sprayer, you can water the plants by spraying them with the water from the sprayer. This will help to make sure that they are getting enough water for their roots. You can also use a hose to water your plants. When using this method, you should make sure that you are not watering too much of the plant and causing it to rot from over-watering or drying out from under-watering.
You can also submerge the base of the pots in a container of water, to encourage the roots of the water to uptake water. This also works well if you use a pot saucer underneath your container.
Best Practices for Low-Maintenance Container Herb Gardens
- Add a layer of sand to the bottom of the pot and then add another layer of topsoil on top. to encourage good drainage. Do not compact it down too tightly or you will have drainage issues later on.
- When adding herbs to your pot, take into account the herb’s preferred growing conditions. Some will need full sun, such as Mediterranean herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary, whereas others can cope with part-shade.
- Give your herbs room to grow. For example, a mint plant will gladly spread if given half the chance so it should be kept separate from other herbs.
- Fertilize your plants every two weeks and water them when they need it.
Transplanting Herb Seedlings Into Pots
Transplanting herb seedlings is a process where you take your herb plants from the seedling trays and put them in the container garden.
This process is very important because it ensures that your plants get enough space for their roots to grow. It also helps them get access to more water and nutrients as they are not competing with other plants in the container garden.
When transplanting seedlings, it is important to be gentle and careful. The soil should be damp but not wet. You can prepare the seedlings for transplanting by soaking them in a small bucket of water for 10 seconds.
Then, gently massage the plug to loosen the soil around the plant before lifting the seedlings out by the base of the plant’s stem where it meets the soil. Gently loosen the root ball by pulling up on one side of it and then down on the other side. Dig a hole into your pot larger than the root ball and gently place the seeding into it, filling the hole and leaving the top part of the plant exposed.
Water the seedling with a diluted seaweed solution to help provide minerals and reduce transplant shock.
Pros of Container Herb Gardening
- Container gardening is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to grow your own herbs and vegetables.
- Container gardening is a great way to save space, have fresh herbs on hand, and be able to grow your own food. It’s also a great hobby for those who live in small spaces or don’t have access to land.
- Great way to grow vegetables indoors or on patios, balconies, decks, or even in an apartment.
- It can also be a way of growing vegetables in places where the soil is unsuitable.
- They can be used to grow plants that would not survive outdoors in the wintertime.
- Container gardens are portable and can be moved as needed.
- There is less need for weeding in containers than in traditional gardening.
- Container gardens require less water than traditional gardening because they are not exposed to the elements as much.
Cons of Container Herb Gardening
- You need to be more attentive and vigilant than if you were planting in the ground.
- You also need to be prepared for the possibility of having to transplant your plants as they grow.
- The soil in a container garden dries out quickly, so it needs more frequent watering than a garden with soil in the ground. This may lead to increased water usage which may impact our environment negatively over time if not managed well.
Container herb gardening can be a fun and easy way to enjoy fresh herbs year round.
The process of container herb gardening is simple. You just need to pick out a pot or container that is big enough for the plants you want to grow. Next, you fill it with soil and add nutrients for your plants. After that, you start planting your herbs and watering them regularly.
The most important thing to remember about container herb gardening is that it doesn’t have to be perfect!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best herbs to grow in pots?
A pot garden is a great way to enjoy gardening and still have the convenience of not having to worry about the soil.
There are many herbs that can grow in pots, but here are some of the best ones:
Rosemary – Rosemary is a perennial herb that grows well in pots. It has a strong flavor and smells like pine.
Basil – Basil is an annual herb that tastes like lemon and has a strong scent.
Basil is a great ingredient for salads, pasta, or any other dish you want to add flavor too.
Mint – Mint is an annual herb that tastes like peppermint with a sweet smell. Mint leaves can be used in salads, desserts, and drinks to add flavor.
How often should I water my herbs?
We recommend that you water your plants two to three times a week, depending on the type of plant.
This is because different plants require different levels of moisture. If a herb plant’s leaves start to droop, then it’s a good indicator it may need water. It’s common to over-water container plants though, so always feel the soil and if it has dried off up to the first knuckle on your finger, about 1 inch deep, then it’s ok to water.
What are the best fertilizers for herbs grown in pots?
Fertilizers are the best for herbs grown in pots. They provide nutrients to the plants and help them grow.
The three main types of fertilizers are organic, synthetic, and natural. Each one has its own benefits. Organic fertilizers are made from natural substances like manure, compost, and bone meal. Synthetic fertilizers are made from chemicals like ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride. Natural fertilizers come from animal or plant sources like blood meal, seaweed extract, and bone meal.
When should I harvest my herbs?
Harvesting herbs is a delicate process and requires some knowledge of the plant. You should harvest your herbs at the right time, when they are in their peak of flavor, color, and aroma. Some plants are annuals and will die off after one season. Others are perennials that grow year after year. There is no set time for harvesting perennial plants; you can harvest them anytime you want as long as you don’t kill the plant.
Which herbs should not be planted together?
In the world of herbs, there are many combinations that are not advised. This is because some herbs have a negative effect on other plants and make it difficult for them to thrive. Some popular herbs that should not be planted together include mint and sage as these two can cause one another to become too strong. Some herbs contain chemicals called terpenes. Terpenes can have an adverse effect on other plants, so it’s important to know which ones can’t be planted next to each other.