Creating a container herb garden is very simple and only takes a few minutes. You can place this herb garden on a deck or patio so that it is near the kitchen for easy access when needed. Another perk of having it on a deck or patio is the wonderful fragrance your container herb garden will provide while spending time relaxing outdoors. This method of container herb gardening is also fairly inexpensive.
First, you will need a container to put your herbs in. You can choose from a wide variety of container sizes, shapes, and colors at just about any home improvement store, garden center or your local Wal-Mart and Target. For my container herb garden, I chose a rectangular-shaped container that is about 8 inches deep and 18 inches long.
I picked this one because it will hold more herbs than a round one and I like the rectangular shape for my deck. It looks somewhat like a window planter box.
Next, you need to get some quality potting soil mix. I picked up some Miracle-Gro® potting mix for my herb container. One 1.25 cu ft bag will fill two of my containers nicely with some left over (which will be needed later).
Here comes the fun part – the herb plants!
I have nine herb plants that I will set in my container:
- 1 – Rosemary
- 2 – German Thyme
- 1 – Greek Oregano
- 1 – Sweet Basil
- 1 – Fernleaf Dill
- 1 – Common Sage
- 1 – Cilantro
- 1 – Flat leaf Italian Parsley
You can choose what ever herbs you like for your container – the possibilities are virtually endless.
I purchased Bonnie Plants for my herb garden. They are potted in environmentally-friendly peat pots, and are a snap to transplant into the garden or in containers. Bonnie Plants can be purchased at just about any Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other garden centers. One note on picking out a plant that has the Bonnie Plant peat pot – make sure the peat pot is damp. Avoid purchasing a peat pot that is dry. This could be a sign that the plant has not received sufficient water.
I purchased this whole project from my local Home Depot for around $40.00. The herbs were on sale, so I thought it wasn’t a bad deal. If you are on a stricter budget, then starting your herbs by seed is much more cost-effective.
Setting It All Up
To begin planting your herb garden, fill the container with the potting soil about halfway. Rake the potting soil around with your hand until it is level.
Take one of the herb plants and place it on top of the potting soil. This is to check the height of your soil. I usually want the top of the peat pot the plant is in to be about 2 inches below the top of my planting container. Adjust the soil height in the container as needed.
Once the soil is at the desired height, begin setting the herbs in the container in the arrangement that you prefer. There really is no right or wrong arrangement, place them however your heart desires. Go ahead – get creative!
In order to set out the Bonnie Plants, you need to first cut off the plastic band around the top of the pot. Sometimes they will slide off, but most of the time they need to be cut off. Once, the plastic band is removed, tear off the bottom of the peat pot and about an inch around the bottom. This is so the roots will grow into the potting soil.
Now the plant can be set into the desired location in the container on top of the potting soil placed there earlier.
Continue repeating these steps until you run out of plants, or run out of container space – whichever comes first.
Once you have the plants how you want them, begin filling in the spaces between the plants with the remaining potting soil mix until you have the container completely filled. Be sure to check between each plant for any “bare” spots and fill with the potting soil.
The herbs are ready for a nice drink of water. After giving the herbs a good watering, place the herb container in a warm, sunny location on your deck or patio.
In no time at all the herbs will begin to grow and fill in the bare areas of the container, transforming into a beautiful and functional part of your outdoor summer life. Your herb container will come in handy for your favorite recipes, and smell fantastic while lounging outside on a warm, breezy day. A smaller container can make a great centerpiece for a picnic table or outdoor eating area.