Container Herb Gardening
Your tomatoes are in the ground (they are in the ground, right?) but then you realize you’re going to need to grow some basil for that caprese salad you’re sure to make once your tomatoes are ripe. Container gardens are perfect for this, plus they are fun to grow.
The first thing to do is to create a plan. What do you want to plant? Most people want to plant basil, rosemary, thyme and a couple others. It’s a great place to start because these herbs really do taste better when they are fresh out of your garden. And don’t forget to pick the right size pot for the plants you are growing. If you don’t know, we can help you out when you come in.
Most herbs are hardy plants that don’t require fertilizer. Because many of the herbs we like to eat evolved in the dry, rocky soil of the Mediterranean, they also don’t necessarily need rich soil. And most like sun, which is great here in good old Santa Fe, NM.
Once you know what you want to plant, it’s time to start thinking about where to plant. Light and moisture requirements vary, of course. Here’s a look at what (and where) to plant:
Basil and parsley need a little more moisture than many herbs, especially when first planted. Basil plants can grow to a good size, but there are compact varieties available. Both herbs make an amazing fresh garnish for summer dishes. Fresh basil is also amazing in many cocktails.
Mint is great to have available (especially to run your hands through), but plant it by itself. It will quickly overtake a pot and crowd out any other plants. And don’t plant it in the ground unless you want your whole yard to turn to mint.
Sage, rosemary and thyme are more drought tolerant than the above. You can plant these together, but keep in mind rosemary can get quite bushy and large if you are not trimming it (and eating it!) regularly. It might be best to plant in its own pot if you are going for decoration over eating. Thyme is another one that can fill up a medium-sized pot.
Other drought-tolerant herbs include:
- Garlic chives
- Onion chives
Lavendar is a favorite of ours. It is very hardy and can get quite large. Make sure you plant it in a pot that can accommodate its growth over the years. And be ready to rub your hands on the flowers and smell that wonderful fragrance.
Come in to Newman’s to see our selection of healthy, fresh herbs. Our knowledgeable staff can help you plan out your container gardens, from soil amendments to planting groups to placement.