If you are new to herbs, you can try container herb gardening. This makes your growing herbs portable, allowing you to take them into your kitchen, shed, or garage during colder weather, and allowing them out on your deck in warm weather.
Maybe you want to have some kitchen herbs, otherwise known as culinary herbs, available to use when you cook all year long. Or maybe you like to deal with illness the natural way, by using medicinal herbs when your family feels sick. Whatever the reason, you can plant herbs in pots and have them available all year long.
Some of my favorite herbs to grow in pots are mints, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary, comfrey, rue, spilanthes aka toothache plant, dill, white sage, and lavender.
You should have some pots of different sizes on hand as well as some grow lights if you plan on growing herbs indoors. Putting them near a window does not always provide enough light for the plants. You should also have some good soil for general gardening for the plants.
As your plants grow bigger, you will need to transplant them to a larger pot so your herbs don't get root bound. If the pots are indoors, make sure you have them in potting trays so when you water your plants, the water stays in the tray and does not leak out and ruin your carpet or flooring.
First, decide which herbs you would like to try growing. Think about how you will use the herbs. Will they be for cooking, for making tea, for fragrance, or for medicinal purposes? I think most gardeners start out by growing a few herbs they can use to spice up their cooking, like dill, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, and cilantro. I am not suggesting you try all of them at once. You can try one or two at a time.
Next, buy some seeds, small pots, potting soil, and liquid fertilizer to nourish your plants. When you choose your pots, make sure they have a hole in the bottom for draining the water so the soil does not stay too wet. Because dirt and water will come out of the hole in the pot, make sure the pot also comes with a bottom plate so you do not create a mess in your home when the plants come inside.
Do not choose a pot that is too small because some plants, like peppermint and spearmint for example, spread as they grow. For instance, I have several varieties of spearmint plants and peppermint plants out in my backyard. They have really spread out and have taken over the beds where they are planted. If you choose to try growing mint, which is actually very easy to do, choose a larger container.
Choose a nice spot in your yard, like a deck or a porch, for your container herb gardening. Also, when you bring your plants indoors during cooler or bad weather, choose a sunny spot by a window, maybe a table or a shelving unit to put them on and to keep them safe from pets and children. You will most likely keep them in your kitchen, but if your kitchen windows are not suitable, don't be afraid to place them where they will get plenty of the sun's rays.
Depending on how hot it is where you live, you should water your herbs at least once a week, but probably more often. You will have to touch the potting soil to see how dry it is. Add a small amount of water at a time because you do not want to create a flood. Remember the water you pour into your pots will flow out of the bottom.
At least once a week, add a few drops of liquid fish fertilizer to the water to nourish your herbs.
Container herb gardening is so convenient. Once the herbs start growing, you can begin to clip the leaves off and use them fresh for cooking or for flavoring tea. You can also dry the leaves or blooms and then store in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for freshness.
The good thing about container herb gardening, especially in the fall, is that if it gets too cold, you can bring your plants in pots inside for the night and they will stay alive.
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