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A Little Thyme and Patience:
Planting a Kitchen Herb Garden by Keaghan P. Wier
Planting a garden can be a daunting task. Maybe it’s the idea of spending hours out in the southern heat, pulling weeds, and holding a watering can. Maybe you fear you’ll end up killing the very plants you’ve invested so much in. Or maybe you simply don’t have the energy or time to devote to a larger garden. If this sounds like you, but you’d still like to have some fresh produce to incorporate into your food, consider planting a kitchen herb garden.
Planting a Container Herb Garden Herbs are a good option for planting in containers, since they are smaller and don’t need deep soil in order to thrive. There are several options for the containers you can use:
• Purchase smaller pots if you want to bring your herb garden indoors. • Use a larger container and plant several kinds of herbs with similar needs in a single pot. • Use some other kind of container – the internet is full of fun ideas for indoor herb gardens, like using teacups or glass jars.
You will have the best success if you use a container with good drainage. Herbs are prone to root rot if the soil stays too moist, so be sure you don’t have a container that will keep water pooling in the soil. (For this reason, smaller indoor containers like jars may require more upkeep than a larger one.) Fill the containers with good-quality potting mix, and be prepared to water and fertilize according to your different herbs’ needs. Another vital part of growing a successful herb garden is sun. Most herbs require full sun (six or more hours of full sun per day), so be sure to place the containers where they will get plenty of light.
Best Types of Herbs for Kitchen Gardens
If you want to plant a container herb garden, it’s important to choose your herbs wisely. Beginners will likely want to start with herb seedlings, rather than seeds – it’s much faster and easier to get a garden going that way. • Basil is a fantastic herb for beginner gardeners. It’s a hardy little plant and gives you cues as to whether you’re watering it enough – it wilts when it’s dry and perks back up once you’ve given it a drink. Thrive Magazine for Better Living
• Cilantro is also a good container herb, and used in a variety of cuisines from Mexican to Thai. • Chives are versatile and a lovely garnish. • Parsley is another great herb, full of flavor and nutrients. Depending on how much room you have, you may want to throw in some other herbs. But those listed above tend to be smaller plants, rather than larger ones like mint. Here are a few more tips to help you cultivate a successful herb garden: • Learn how to best harvest and trim your herbs to stimulate new growth. • Research how much fertilizer your specific herbs want -- some, like rosemary, prefer a drier leaner soil. • Don’t overwater your plants – this will not help them grow, it can actually harm them. Herbs are a fun way to experiment in gardening, while also providing access to fresh seasonings for your food. With good pots, good soil, plenty of sun, and some attention, you’ll have a lovely garden of flavors to use in your cooking!
September 2017 issue of Thrive Magazine