Growing herbs in a container can be viable as planting them indoors or outdoors. Many herbs can thrive in containers placed on the balcony, patio, or terrace. There are many reasons why container growing is better than a garden.
The first reason is that many herbs are small and may disappear in a landscape. On the other hand, placing the plants in a container brings them in full view of the gardener. This is the case of ornamental herbs which have distinct qualities that requires close monitoring.
Growing herbs in a container is recommended for plants that require good drainage and rots in an overly wet soil. Containers are portable and can be placed along containers of flowering plants.
There are many factors that need to be considered when growing herbs in a container. The first consideration is where to place the growing herbs. In general, any kind of container is ideal as long as it has drainage holes. Clay pots are the best choices since they have better porosity than plastic. Other ideal containers include strawberry jars, hanging baskets, and window boxes.
Another factor that needs to be considered when growing herbs in a container is the soil mix. It should be loose and well-drained. The perfect mix of soil can be made by combining equal portions of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss.
In addition, the choice of plants is a major consideration as well. Small and slow-growing herbs, such as sage, parsley, Greek oregano, thyme, among others, are most suitable in containers. Large pots, strawberry jars, and window boxes can accommodate several plants.
Growing herbs in a container requires constant watering. Compared to plants that are in the ground, herbs in containers dry out much quicker. On a sunny day, the container may require watering once or twice a day everyday. This would of course depend on the type of herb. Most herbs do not need high fertility so there is no need to feed them with fertilizers. During harvest season, the back of the plants should be pinched so it would retain its compact and bushy quality. Dead or diseased leaves should be removed to maintain their health.
Herbs in containers can be easily transferred indoors come winter. Before doing so, the herbs must be accustomed indoors during early fall. Slowly move the plants insider the house for a few hours so they can get used to the variation between temperature and light.
As much as possible, place the herb in an area where it is most sunny. Since watering is not a huge requirement, it should be done only when the soil is dry. Avoid overwatering because it might damage the roots. Monitor the plants to see if they have aphids, whiteflies, or spider mites which are familiar pests on indoor herbs.
By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can master the art of growing herbs in a container.
Originally posted 2009-07-12 11:23:22.