Container Herb Gardening
Even if you have a large garden to work with, container herb gardening first may be a good way for you to decide if you like herb gardening or not. It is also a very neat way to garden and place herbs around the house.
Containers can be of varying shapes, sizes, and styles. The common classics are terra cota pots, long window boxes, small plastic pots, and biodegradable pots. There are other commercial containers that are glossy and painted, and can be appealing to the eye, but some of these containers are not food safe, and if you plan on cooking with your herbs it is probably best not to use these containers. When a container is not food safe, it will say so on the label. If you want to have containers that are painted or are unique and decorative, you can paint terra cota pots or window boxes with acrylic paint. This can be an afternoon activity you can do with your children, and it may get them into container herb gardening since you will be using their designs for the plants.
One of the nice things about container herb gardening is that you can jump straight into it. Many herb plants are already sold in containers, and you can purchase these and keep them in their containers, or replant them into the containers of your choice. This gives you instant results, unlike planting seeds which sometimes can take as long as two months before you see any developments. Also, some people forget to water their container gardens unless they see the plant already there.
If you want to grow grassy herbs, though, it is sound advice to just plant the seeds instead of buying seedlings and then trying to transplant these into your choice containers. This is because grassy herbs grow quickly and so you won't have to wait too long anyway, and they are very sensitive to being transplanted and more often than not die in the hands of a rookie gardener.
You can place up to three of the smaller herb plants in a window box. Larger herb plants should probably have separate containers, especially those that grow tall and/or wide. Plants like oregano and rosemary, if you want to keep them long need a lot of space. Check at how much space each of your chosen herbs will need and this will help you determine whether or not you'd like to have them in individual containers, or if you'll group them with other plants. Be wary about which plants are grouped together though, as some plants do really well together, while other plants literally kill their neighbors.
When container herb gardening, make sure your containers get sufficient sunlight, bringing them outside to get a good amount of sun if you have to. If this is too much work, place them where sun will come in through the windows or doorways, or if you have a patio, they can go there too. For a truly busy gardener, invest in some self watering containers. This innovation will help you keep a flourishing container garden while not having to sacrifice too much of your time!