Growing herbs in pots the easy way

Fresh herbs are such a great flavorful ingredient to use in the kitchen and they are good for our health! I add my own homegrown fresh herbs to salads, sauces, beverages or main dishes!

After growing herbs in containers and directly in the garden soil I narrowed down what really works for me!

My growing zone is 6b in Lancaster county Pennsylvania.

In pictures below you can see chives, mint and peppermint and kinds of oregano growing amongst flowers in my garden. Those herbs are perennials and come back every year! All I do is thin out mints and oregano to keep them contained to their spot because they tend to “creep”.

For my in ground herbs I use fertilizer intended for vegetable gardens and apply it couple of times every growing season. I water my freshly planted herbs regularly until established and after that as needed. In ground herb garden is mostly carefree garden.

Now I will talk about the herbs that I grow in planters! Mine are thriving this year! And paired with annual flowers and decorative plants they look really good!

Front porch planter is a foliage planter this year so I have no flowers in it. I used various colors of leafy annuals when designed it and it looks colorful and vibrant! You can see one of my sage plants tucked in. When I’m cooking I just step outside and cut some leaves if a recipe calls for it!

Some gorgeous views!

My back deck planter is large and holds basil, thyme and more sage on the outer edges! Center has my annual flowers. This planter needs the least amount of watering because it’s the largest and retains moisture well.

This is my large planter in the beginning of summer. Sage is on the right hand side. I was not aware of pinching trick and cilantro plant started flowering.
Sweet potato vine is so beautiful! And basil plant right behind it so you can’t see much of but it grew fast!
Here’s same planter about 6 weeks later! Flowers and herbs are thriving! Trellises are from Home Depot.

Sharing a link to same large planter that I have. They have good selection of sizes.

This my 3d self watering planter.
View of the planter, had swipe creeping Jenny vines aside!

Now that you have an idea what I grow I will share few tips that work well for me. I’m not a pro gardener by any chance but love gardening and excited to share my tips. I hope you will find them helpful and useful!

Advice number 1.

When shopping for planters do your research and then invest into good quality large pots! They hold more soil and do not dry out as fast as small containers. Which means you need to water your plants less often! That’s a win win in my book!

I used to waist my money on a medium sized or small pots not knowing why my flowers were not thriving. The downside is that smaller pots dry out fast and need watering daily unless it rained.

If you let your plants go dry they will start wilting which puts lots of stress on the plant and affects their health and growth.

This year I invested into 3 large “self watering” pots from Home Depot. They don’t water themselves but….they have a reservoir on the bottom of the inside portion where excess water collects and helps keep soil moist. I do not water them daily and that’s a win!

Advice number 2.

Replace potting soil every season. Make a mix of equal parts of potting and garden soil. Doing so enriches the soil and makes it less fluffy which helps with moisture retention. Another benefit of replacing the soil every spring that there’s no need for additional fertilizer. Just use spent potting soil as topsoil in the garden.

Advice number 3.

Do trim and harvest the herbs regularly. Use pinching and trimming techniques to remove top portions of stems to encourage growth of dormant buds that will develop into new stems.

This works well for basil, mint, thyme, lavender, sage, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, oregano, marjoram. Trimming delays flowering and development of seeds.

When herbs bloom nutrient concentration is mainly on blooms and seeds so leaves became sparse and bitter. That leaves no useful leaves to harvest unless you are trying to have your plant produce seeds.

I tested pinching trick on my basil plant and was amazed on how large it grew and how much new growth came in!

I marked the area where I pinched my basil plant originally.
Another spot where I pinched off basil plant. You can see nice growth of new leaves from side stems.

Advice number 4.

Buy healthy and established plants if you have no time or dedicated space to start herbs from seeds. I did not have good success seeding directly into the soil. I may try seeding parsley and dill in pots next season, but I know that buying healthy plants from local greenhouses works well for me.

Advice number 5.

Enjoy your herbal garden and do try them in new dishes!

I hope you found this helpful! Happy gardening!


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