(Guest Blog at Eleventh House March 20/12)

For years now, I have grown herbs. It started with little herbs in pots on window sills and funnily enough, I found out that when you grow herbs in little pots...you get little herbs, so I started growing them in bigger pots...and then very large pots! My training has all been trial and error over the years. SO LISTEN UP....then you’ll avoid years of mistakes! The larger the pot, the lusher the herbs grown is what I've found. I still like to grow most of my culinary herbs in pots rather than in the ground, only because they smell great when you walk past them, you can move them if you feel they're getting too much sun or shade and I actually do find that I tend to water them more frequently when they're in pots instead of relying only on the rain. A few I grow here in the veggie garden....
And, I do grow many herbs in my flower garden out front....
Flowering herbs such as echinacea, lavender, oregano, garlic chives are grown in my flower garden adding beauty as well as insect repellent capabilities when they are interspersed with flowers.
But, the culinary herbs are mostly grown in pots like this basil plant.
This pot is about 18" deep and as wide across.

Herbs are kind of a finicky breed that must be regularly trimmed for harvesting.  The more you trim, the more they grow lush! I regularly pinch off the flowers from the top to thicken the plant up on basil, as well as coriander and other flowering herbs. This particular basil plant would have been originally five plants purchased as barely sprouts and planted in a circle with one in the middle.
I keep it by my front door, rather than in the backyard because I own dogs. Dog hair is a wicked thing to herbs...it seems to actually stick to the plant and you have a heck of a time washing the dog hair off your herbs for use!

My advise to you is to start with one or two large pots....the plastic ones that look like ceramic or clay are great...just a little lighter to move around.
Who am I kidding...alot lighter! Plant some culinary herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, tarragon, dill and cilantro and just go for it! The rosemary you'll be able to bring in, in the fall. It's a tender perennial, but should last if used regularly and in a bright window, throughout the winter.
Each year, here in Southern Ontario, I have chives, cilantro and tarragon sprout backup out of the pots in the spring as they are perennials.
Lastly...my biggest tip for you....grow anything from the mint family in a large pot for sure! Otherwise it will be all over your garden in places you didn't even think a plant could grow!
Lemon Balm falls into this category too.
The most wonderful part of herb gardening is it's such a versatile art! You can cook with herbs, craft beautiful wreaths and arrangements out of them, produce healing balms & poultices, cosmetics or just simply have a cup of herbal tea. So soothing.
xo Wendy
7/25/2013

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    wendy...

            Years ago I took a distance learning course (in my not so free time) and received a certificate as a Natural Health Consultant.  I've always had a love of herbs, growing and using them and recently I've delved more into flower gardening.  If you have anything to add to my posts, please comment so others can gain your knowledge too!

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