Herb container gardens are always a great idea, but especially right now when you might want to limit your trips to the grocery store. Plus herbs thrive in the heat so summer is a great time to plant them. The best part about herb gardens is that they can grow well in limited space so you don’t need a large backyard. They work well on decks, patios, balconies, front steps, and even window boxes. With our home garden tips, the next time you want to add a garnish to your salad or cocktail, you can grab it right from your backyard!
Choosing a Container
Your herbs will need lots of drainage, but as long as you choose a container that allows this, they are very forgiving. It’s hard to over or underwater them. You can buy pots or flower boxes from your local nursery or hardware store like Armstrong Garden Centers.
Taking Care of Your Herbs
Besides watering your plants, the most important step for taking care of them is making sure they get plenty of sunlight. Herbs need at least 6-8 hours of sunshine a day, but you might want to move them to the shade during the hottest part of the day. This can make them bake. Don’t over-fertilize your herbs either. It is much more important that you use a high-quality soil. If you do want to use fertilizer, use an all-natural one and use it sparingly.
Harvesting Your Herbs
It’s best to harvest your herbs in the morning after they have dried off from any morning moisture, but before it gets too hot. You should try to harvest your plants before they start to flower because this makes it easier for them to grow back again. Some herbs can be cut 50-75% and still recover, so you’ll have plenty for any foods or tea you’re making!
Examples of Herbs
When choosing what kind of herbs you’d like to plant think of recipes you’d like to try or teas that you like. This can help you narrow your list down and ensure you actually use the herbs you harvest.
Rosemary grows best in hot, dry, sunny spots. It’s drought-tolerant so keep the soil moist. Water it regularly, but especially when the soil feels dry. Keep your rosemary well pruned to assist its growth.
Basil is one of the most versatile herbs you can grow! It grows best in full sun and fertile, moist soil. Sometimes it can even get up to 2 feet tall. Basil is a good companion with parsley, thyme, and other herbs when grown in a pot that holds at least 5 gallons of soil.
Oregano can grow 1 to 2 feet tall and spread about 18 inches. It grows well when planted with almost any other vegetable in your garden. It loves the sun so would also thrive in a sunny window box. Oregano is very self reliant and requires minimal effort. It doesn’t need soil and only needs to be watered on exceptionally dry or warm days.
Mint is one of the easiest plants you can grow and a great start for beginners. It can grow in many soil types and degrees of sunlight, but it produces the best leaves in rich soil. Some mint plants can stretch up to 2 feet tall!
Dill is another great plant for beginners. It tolerates the heat and cooler places (although it won’t grow as well if placed in the shade). Water it regularly and weed it often for a full, bushy, dill plant. It can be used in a variety of dishes including salads, vegetables, meats, and sauces.
Cilantro is a great garnish and can make a good taco a great taco – especially when it’s fresh. Cilantro grows best in the sun, although some shade is okay. It can even replant itself when its seeds start to fall. Unfortunately, if you want to grow your own cilantro you’ll have to wait a bit longer. It grows best when planted in the fall.
Chives are a member of the onion group that grow beautiful, edible flowers. They are drought tolerant, but still require consistent watering. Although they need very little care after planting, their seeds spread very easily so keep an eye on them or they could take over your garden!
Share With Us!
We’d love to see your herb gardens and especially what delicious creations you make with them. Tag us on Instagram at @shannon_jones_team and we’ll share your garden or food.