“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. ” Alfred Austin
This is a really handy dandy way to get the most bang for your buck when purchasing basil plants. If you notice, when you purchase a planter with basil, there are multiple stems. Sometimes as many as 10. That in reality means there are 10 basil plants in that container. You have a couple options depending on how many plants you would like to have.
First, you can simply and very carefully separate each of the stems, be careful not to harm the roots and replant each one. I advise trimming back some of the larger leaves so the plant’s energy will go into root development rather than trying to keep those leaves alive.
The second is what I am going to show you how to do. Let’s roll friends! Check out my easy tutorial here at my YouTube Channel!
Here’s the how to for growing basil from stem cuttings!
Carefully remove the plants from the container and separate each stem as best as possible.
Take each stem and cut it on an angle below the second set of true leaves; place in a container of water; repeat this process with each stem until you have them all done. You may need several containers of water to hold each one. I used food storage containers but anything will work as long as it is at least 2 inches deep. Be sure to keep fresh water for your stem cutting. Change the water or add every couple days as you see is needed.
Take the remaining stems with roots attached and plant in organic soil; water regularly until new growth appears.
After a root system begins to appear, you will transplant them into containers with a good organic planting medium.
PRO TIP: Other containers you could use are yogurt containers, sour cream or chip containers, etc.
When you are ready to start gardening, simply transplant your seedlings into their summer homes.
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“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ” Gertrude Jekyll
As all of you know I love raised bed gardening, and with that comes a bit of container gardening as well. I primarily use containers in my raised beds for more aggressive perennial herbs that have a tendency to go rogue if allowed. Such herbs include oregano, thyme, chives, and all the mints to name a few. Of course regular harvesting and not allowing the plants to go to seed help, but their root systems still want to expand their horizons!
By planting them in your raised beds, this allows you to remove them and divide as necessary and then simply replace the pot in its allotted spot. The reason I plant the pot in the garden is to protect the roots from winter’s harsh cold here in Michigan. I also use a thick layer of mulch around them for extra protection. I generally mulch with grass clippings, old straw and even leaves.
I’m going to break this topic of container gardening into two parts, the first on herbs & then the following on veggies.
Creating a planter with herbs is an excellent way to bring the beauty and flavor of nature into your home. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned plant enthusiast, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to create and maintain a beautiful herb container garden.
Be sure to read on for some BONUS recipes to make with all your herbs!
Best Containers to Use
When it comes to selecting the best container for your herb garden, there are a few things to consider. The size and shape of the container will depend on the type of herbs you plan to grow, as well as the available space in your home. I have used all of these with great success. Have you used anything different? Let me know in the comments section below… I love your feedback!
Terra Cotta or Ceramic Pots
Terracotta and ceramic pots are a classic choice for herb gardens! They both come in so many fun and whimsical shapes and sizes. Terracotta pots are porous and allow air and moisture to pass through, which is beneficial for the plants. Both terracotta and ceramic provide good drainage, which helps prevent waterlogging. The downside of both however is that they can be fragile and easily break if dropped. Proper winter storage, if not brought indoors, should be done to ensure minimal breakage. Store pots upside down so if moisture does get in, they don’t crack when any ice thaws.
Window or Railing Boxes
Window or railing boxes are another great option for growing herbs. They are typically made from wood or plastic and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you are in an apartment or condo, window boxes are a perfect option! Even if you have a garden you can keep these on your deck or patio railing for easy access when cooking or grilling! They can easily be hung on the side of a window or railing for easy access, and you can have several growing different herbs! The downside to window boxes is that they tend to dry out quickly, so you’ll need to water your herbs more often.
Hanging baskets are another ideal choice for growing trailing herbs such as oregano and thyme. They too come in a variety of sizes and are made from materials such as wicker, plastic, and metal. The advantage of hanging baskets is that they help conserve space and can be moved around your porch, deck, or patio. They also can come indoors easily in the winter months. The downside is that they tend to dry out more quickly than other types of containers, so you’ll need to water your herbs more often.
Self-watering containers are a great option for busy gardeners. They provide a consistent supply of water to the plants, so you don’t have to worry about over- or under-watering them. These containers are usually made from plastic and have a built-in reservoir at the bottom. These are again a great option for the apartment or condo dweller, or to place on a deck or patio outside your kitchen for easy access. The downside is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of containers.
If you have a larger outdoor space, then a raised bed is an excellent choice for growing herbs. Raised beds provide good drainage and allow for easy access to the plants. They can be made from wood, metal, or plastic, and come in a variety of sizes. The downside is that they require more maintenance than other types of containers, as they need to be regularly weeded and watered.
Galvanized Metal Tubs
I love to use old galvanized metal wash tubs, buckets, or any other cool container I can find. You can actually purchase these at feed type stores such as Tractor Supply Store or similar. I love the feel of a cottage garden and these fit perfectly with my theme. The key is to make sure there are proper drainage holes placed in the bottom. You can easily make these with a hammer and a nail or use a drill with a large enough drill bit. The downside is that they tend to dry out more quickly than other types of containers, so you’ll need to water your herbs more often.
How to Care for Your Herbs!
Once you have the right container and plants for your planter, it’s time to start caring for your herbs. Here are some tips & tricks for keeping your herbs healthy and thriving:
Herbs need plenty of water in order to grow and thrive. Water your herbs regularly, but don’t over-water them. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out between watering’s to prevent root rot.
Fertilizing your herbs is a great way to keep them healthy and full of flavor. Use a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks, or add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil once a month. Be sure to read and follow the directions on the fertilizer package.
Pruning your herbs is essential for keeping them healthy and preventing them from becoming overgrown. Trim off any dead or diseased leaves, and cut back the plants to encourage new growth.
Pests can be a problem for any type of garden, so it’s important to take steps to keep them away from your herbs. Planting companion plants such as marigolds or chrysanthemums can help deter pests, and using insecticidal soap or neem oil can help control pest populations.
Harvesting your herbs is an essential part of caring for them. Harvest herbs when they are young and tender, and be sure to use sharp scissors or pruners when cutting them. Avoid harvesting more than one-third of the plant at a time to ensure that it continues to grow and produce.
How to Harvest the Herbs
Harvesting your herbs is the best part of having an herb planter, as you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are some tips for harvesting your herbs:
The best time to harvest herbs is in the morning, after the dew has dried and before the sun is too hot. This will ensure that the herbs are at their peak flavor and will retain their essential oils.
The best tool for harvesting herbs is a pair of sharp, clean scissors or pruners. Avoid using a knife, as it can bruise the leaves and damage the plant.
Once you’ve harvested the herbs, it’s important to store them properly to preserve their flavor and freshness. Herbs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or they can be dried and stored in an airtight container for longer periods of time.
Now lets talk herbs!
Once you’ve selected the right container for your herb garden, it’s time to decide which herbs you’d like to grow. Herbs are generally divided into two categories: annuals and perennials. Annuals are herbs that grow and bloom within a single season, while perennials are plants that come back year after year. Here are some of the best herbs to grow in a planter:
Would you like my delicious Pesto recipe that I taught on Fox TV2? Click this LINK and enjoy friends!
Basil is a popular annual herb that is easy to grow and is great for adding flavor to dishes. It’s best to start with a small pot, as it can quickly become overgrown. Basil prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.
Chives are a perennial herb with a mild onion flavor. They can be used fresh or dried, and are perfect for adding flavor to salads, soups, and sauces. Chives prefer well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.
Would you like some recipes for Herb Infused Olive Oils? Click this LINK!
Oregano is a perennial herb that has a strong, pungent flavor. It’s versatile and pairs well with a variety of dishes. Oregano prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.
Thyme is a perennial herb with a strong, lemony flavor. It can be used fresh or dried, and is perfect for adding flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. Thyme prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.
Rosemary is a hardy perennial herb that has a strong, earthy flavor. It can be used fresh or dried, and is perfect for adding flavor to roasted vegetables and meats. Rosemary prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.
Sage is a perennial herb with a strong, earthy flavor. It can be used fresh or dried, and is perfect for adding flavor to roasted vegetables and meats. Sage prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to position it in a spot that gets plenty of light.
Creating a planter with herbs is an easy and enjoyable way to bring the beauty and flavor of nature into your home. With the right container, plants, and care, your herb planter can provide you with a bounty of fresh herbs for years to come.
I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day, Jean
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