OK, so you’re thinking bout growing herbs in pots! Kitchen, window sil, outdoor patio, courtyard, balcony… herbs are all the rage and rightly so too. Here’s why
Think about it for a moment. It’s saturday afternoon and you’re on the verge of cooking up a feast. The vego’s are dreaming up some fermented soya bean stew and the rest of us are on to the special spag bol sauce. Of course a good spagehetti bolognase session would never ever be complete without some greenery herb goodness. A good handful of basil, some thyme, chives and a pinch of fresh rosemary for that earthy zest. And I’m sorry, if you bought it ‘fresh’ from the store, you’re cheating…. and also being cheated out of one of the finest aspects of cooking, herb gardens.
Growing herbs in your garden
Fresh herbs are pretty much one of the best ways to maximize the taste of food. Period. A handful of leafy herbs spread liberally on basically anything will bring it up several notches. Oregano, dill, basil… Bingo bango!
Enjoy mastery over your food. Intensify the flavour of roasted meat, pasta, salad, soup, seafood, dog food. Whatever you can think of! And it’s proper healthy too! Growing herbs from home is absolutely doable in pretty much any dungeonous locale no matter how terrible a gardener you are.
Some Tips for the Herb Newbies
Fear not, young herb herbalist there are some simple mistakes the n’erby makes which can be rectified with some basic care factor. Here’s a few tips;
Don’t bother trying to grow from seed (initially)
Trying to grow from seed is like trying to stand up on water skiis first go. It’s a bit tricky. Once you get the hang of it, you’re good, but it can take some time…. Some seeds take up to 2 weeks just to germinate in pots. For almost the same price as a packet of seeds, you can pick up some well established seedlings that are ready to go. This is by far the easiest and best method to kick-start your herb garden and get the best results quickly.|
Pick the right herbs (pun intended)
Sure that rare strain of Eucalyptus Silver Drop would make for a nice dinner party showing, but when was the last time you tasted it? When picking your herb varieties go for the ones you’re actually going to use. You can’t really go wrong with parsely, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, coriander, dill in pots. The staples.
Water moderately each day
Don’t treat your herbs like indoor household plants which can live off a once a fortnight drink. Herbs need a moderate and regular supply of fresh water. If you live in a warm climate and have good draineage at the base of your planter/pots you can’t really water your herbs too much actually…. They’ll drink it all up.
Once established, cut it back often
As a novice herb gardener you’re admiring your beautiful plant and wonderring if it’s safe to give it a snip or two, But did you know that regular pruning of your plant even when it’s young (within reason) will promote more growth and a bushy vigorous herb? When you snip, you want to cut just above a set of growing leaves. In the below picture, 2 new stems will now grow in place of one, creating a thicker, bushier more productive plant. You definitely want to be sure you’re leaving a few good sturdy leaves behind.
Take the leaves from the right place (for cryin out loud!)
– Please people, don’t just rip the leaves off the top of the plant, leaving stems behind. I keep telling the mrs this, but she still just doesn’t get it!? I come out to see my parsely looks like a porcupine….. No, cut the plant from the base of the stem just above existing growth as picture left.
– Oh, and leave the bottom leaves in place while constantly cutting back the top leaves. The old guys at the bottom of the plant are tougher and are like solar panels for the entire plant. They power the herbs growth. Leave them alone and grab the nice fresh shoots leaving behind some up and comers to take over.
Use some quality organic soil with compost and manure
Tired old dull soil that’s been in the garden bed for ages just ain’t gonna cut it with herbs. They need some good nutrients to feed from. For the garden purests (soil based) add coffee grounds and organic compost to your soil. Or just spend the extra $5 from the nursery for some proper organic potting mix. For the hydroponic folk, coco coir medium is recommended as it provides a nice buffer against any water loss shock etc
Restrict growth by using compartmentalized planters
If planting in a garden bed, beware of mint, it sends runners all over the joint and basically takes over the place. Oregano is also voracious like this. Herbs are really wonderful when grown in pots. We recommend stackable planters so that all your herbs can be growing in one easy to manage efficient herb grow center. When in doubt, check out wikipedia here theres some very quality content out there.
Sing to your herbs (breathe on them!)
We all know that plants breathe out oxygen, and breathe in carbon dioxide, and humans breath out carbon dioxide and breath in oxygen. A pretty crazy little coincidence there eh! So spend time tending to your plants. Get up and close and personal. Honestly, they know more than you think. They are aware of your presence and will reward your love ten fold! Seems cheesy, but it’s legit!
If you’re searching for a great herb garden planter, Mr Stacky has you well and truly covered…. Check out this super affordable herb garden