Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easy Herb Garden

One of the things I love most about springtime is easy access to fresh, tasty herbs. You can easily grow them in pots on the patio within reach of the grill! Potted herbs are fairly easy to grow, but they are a bit different than most container plants, so you'll want to make a few adjustment. Just a few super easy steps and you’re on your way!

1. Plant herbs with similar light requirements in the same pots (I admittedly don’t have a green thumb, so I tend to stick with herbs that have similar light requirements.)

Herbs which tolerate full sun are basil, sage, rosemary and thyme. Lemon balm, tansy, oregano and parsley like partial shade. Bay, chamomile, coriander, ginger, mint and tarragon tolerate full shade.

2. Use at least 10" pots for single herb plantings and much larger pots if you are going to put multiple herbs in one pot. Herbs have expansive root systems and need the room large pots give them.

3. Amend the soil you use for your herbs. Herbs grow best in an alkaline-based, aerated soil. Create these conditions by mixing 3 parts all-purpose potting mix with 1 part manure and 1 part coarse sand. The sand creates aeration and the manure makes the soil more alkaline.

4. Water herbs in pots by soaking them, letting them dry out slightly over a period of two or three days and then soaking them again. Herbs prefer to dry out slightly in between heavy watering. However, if your herbs are in full sun, watch them to make sure they do not wilt. Herbs must be watered every day if they dry out in the span of one day.

5. Water the herbs more often if you grow them in clay pots because clay pots dry out more quickly than wood or plastic pots. Smaller pots also need water more often.

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