I’ll admit it – I love gardening. That first day of spring I jump out of bed, ready to plant. Anything. Everything. Spending time gardening is how I unwind and destress from the week. And a delicious project at that!
While it’s still a little early for some of the heartier summer vegetables, a great way to start is with an herb garden. You don’t need a big house to enjoy the sweet smell of these herbs around your home. They beautifully adorn outdoor porches, balconies and window sills. Actually, I prefer planting herbs in pots as it allows you to position the plants to get the optimal light for what they need to grow.
Planting herbs serves a variety of purposes including ingredients for your dishes, dried for teas, natural air freshers, as well as beautiful garnishes for prepared meals. Head to your local garden store for some starter plants and let’s get green thumb crazy.
Any kind of container will do. However, the most important thing to remember is to choose a pot that will give your herbs room to grow. Too small and the roots will get tangled, affecting the growth of the leaf on top. A good rule is buying a container five times the side of your root base. Even larger if you plan on keeping the herbs year-round.
When planting potted herbs, look for a potting soil. It has specific nutrients in the soil that are meant to sustain plants being grown in containers. Right now, my favorite is Espoma Organic Potting Mix.
Plants in pots will dry out faster than those planted in the ground. However, you don’t want to over water the herbs as it can lead to rotting of the roots. Stick your finger in the soil. If the soil sticks to your fingers, it doesn’t need watering. If your finger comes out clean, it’s time to give the plants a drink.
Knowing the kind of light your herbs need is essential to their growth. Refer to these guidelines for your herb garden:
Anise, Arnica, Basil, Borage, Calendula, Caraway, Catnip, Chicory, Cilantro/Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Hyssop, Lavendar, Mustard, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Summer Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Yarrow*
Aloe, Beebalm, Chamomile, Chervil, Chives, Comfrey, Echinacea, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Lemon, Verbena, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Nasturtium, Parsley, Soapwort, Sweet Cicely, Sweet Woodruff, Tansy, Violet, Wintergreen
*Even though these herbs are full sun, be careful if you live in a climate with very intense direct sun. Too much sunlight can burn the leaves on delicate herbs like basil and oregano.