There are ways that you can spice up your cooking and that’s by growing an Herb Container Garden. Nothing will enhance the flavor of your food like fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have intense flavor that makes even the plainest meal sing. Because of the high prices of herbs in markets why not consider growing your own. They are pretty plants with the added benefit of being used in your culinary delights. With just a few good tips and techniques you will be using fresh herbs in your food picked straight from your herb container garden.
First you want to choose the right containers for your herb garden. It is simple enough, small pots will do and plastic is fine. If you want the containers to fit into your décor, terra cotta or ceramic pots would be perfect. The most important aspect of the pot is the drainage; the container must have adequate drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Herbs do not like to have “wet feet". If the roots are too wet your plant will be damaged and die. To stop loss of soil through the drainage holes line the pot with a coffee filter. Just be sensible about watering your herb container garden.
When choosing the right herbs for herb container garden grow what you love to eat. For instance, if you love a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, grow basil. If you love lamb grow rosemary and thyme. If you are a novice to an herb container garden on your first attempt try oregano, rosemary, basil sage, chives or thyme. These herbs will grow slowly but steadily, in small spaces and are great choices when starting out.
The next step, after you have chosen what to grow is purchase seeds or seedlings for your herb container garden. All plants need good soil and your herbs will need it too. Purchase a light soil and mix in some vermiculite to help with drainage. Herbs are not very persnickety about the soil but for best results use good potting soil. Soil, light and water are essential to your herb container garden.
Keep an eye out for pests and if one of the containers has an infestation isolate it from the others and treat it immediately. Don't use harsh chemical, remember you will be eating your herbs. A very good natural pest deterrent is:
In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.
Harvesting your herbs is relatively simple, especially if they are on your kitchen counter. Most of the time you can just pinch off the amount you wish to use in your cooking. However they will need periodic clipping. Basil especially needs to be pinched back to encourage it to grow bushy. Also with basil, pinch off the flower to keep the plant producing leaves. You can do many things with the herbs from your herb container garden including freezing them, drying them or simply giving them to your family or friends. If you know someone who is an aspiring chef a gift of fresh herbs will be mightily appreciated.
An Herb container garden will surely spice up your life and enhance your culinary dishes. Gather your supplies and get started.
Happy Herb Container Gardening!
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at Gardening Landscaping Tips Gardening Outside and Indoor Herb Garden