The Secrets of Gardening Herbs in Containers (article)

“What if you live in a high-rise apartment? Does that does not mean you can’t have your own fresh herbs? Gardening herbs in containers is an easy way of creating a beautiful indoor landscape on a shining kitchen windowsill. It is a perfect place to grow some of your favourite herbs. Being creative with a window box or hanging basket can turn an otherwise unimpressive area into something that can in an wink be beautiful, useful and aromatic. In fact, growing herbs in containers is as easy as growing any other house plant. Each plant has it own set of requirements.

All plants need nutrition supplied through sun, soil and water.  There is no exclusion for herbs. The right combination of these elements is the key to growing every type of plant, including herbs, whether indoors or out.   A southern or western exposure will give the best quantity of sunlight.   Lavender has different sunlight requirements than basil or mint but every herb needs adequate sunlight for healthy growth .  Then there are “grow lamps” to supplement the need if natural light is inadequate.

As to the soil you use, it is primary that it drain well to prevent root rot.   This is easily achieved by mixing two parts of a peat rich potting soil with one part coarse sand or perlite for herbs with about an inch of gravel at the bottom of the pots to assure proper drainage.   A teaspoon of lime, per 5-inch pot, should be added to this mix make the soil sweet enough for herbs.

And now to the matter of watering your herbs – watering lightly 2 – 3 times a week should be sufficient.  Misting in between times will give them a nice somewhat humid condition.   A pot will hold water more than the soil in a garden, so it is necessary to be diligent to prevent the roots from get soaked or waterlogged. Never forget well draining soil!

The advantages of gardening herbs in a container are numerous, such as you can move them about as you please, it adds aroma to the room, herbs are a unique type of house plant, etc.   Annual herbs can stay indoors all year long but, perennial will do better if placed outside during the summer and brought indoors before the first frost.   This does not apply to mints, chives or tarragon as they will form firmer and fresher growth after being exposed to a light frost. The lovely flowers of chamomile or the aroma of rosemary provide more reason to grow them indoors.

Although all herbs can be grown in pots , some do better than others such as mint or oregano. Left alone in a garden, these two can take over a corner of any garden but are easily controlled in a pot while adding something different to your apartment.   As I said, gardening herbs in pots is easy and takes only some special knowledge while keeping your culinary herbs available anytime you need them.

Caring for your herbs will ensure a healthy plant. With these tips and your prudence, you will be able to continuously harvest your herbs which will keep them robust giving you more supply for your next recipe.  Pruning herbs just as with other plants encourages new growth.   Periodically feed them and yearly repot them to produce the healthiest herbs. And in the end use them in your recipes, harvest them and give them as gifts to your friends.”     -Home Gardening Tips Moncton

This is a great article, as I’m trying to get more city folk into composting/gardening in their homes even though they’re cramped, up high, and pretty low on the brown contents for their compost.  Growing herbs/mint is super easy.

Anyway, I built a balcony off my bedroom just so I could finally gain roof access to my house… lots of space for planting stuff!

I live on a block that’s covered in trees which I love, but a lot of my plants really struggle with the low light. I’ve put planters out on my balcony and they haven’t done so hot. It’s odd, because I have a few plants that do well inside my first floor windows, facing north even.

I’m trying to learn about how to design an elevated garden across my (flat) roof so I can start growing my own herbs in larger, healthier quantities… ssshh! my neighbors would probably call the City L&I if they saw me up there.

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