Enjoy the beautiful foliage of late summer/Fall blooms and herbs in your own container garden
Green thumb – maybe?
The summer is here. Doing what I do, I usually get lots of questions on how to grow something edible during this season. Whether fruits, veggies or herbs, I really do believe that everyone can have a green thumb.
The easiest way to dip your toe into the “art” of growing food is to start a container garden. You may think it's too late to plant, but many herbs and a large variety of late-blooming flowers can be yours for the asking! Instead of growing plants in a yard in the ground, you grow them in a container – a pot, a basket or a planter. The advantages – SO MANY! You need less space. You don’t have to be a landowner. You pick a container that appeals to you. You can do it year-around, indoors or outdoors. And most importantly, container gardening is forgiving. If you screw up – no problem. Just pull the plants and start over.
Herbs are the easiest to grow and, in most cases, you get to taste the fruits of your labor quickly – within days or weeks. Do you have herbs that you love and use often? Chances are, you can grow them in a container. Do some research. Some herbs can be combined in one container, while others (like basil and mint) can overtake whatever they grow near. This guide will give you some great tips on late-season blooms
Make sure you use potting soil – not garden soil. It is especially formulated to circulate more oxygen to the plant’s roots in a confined environment of a pot. One of my favorite potting soils is this one. I also love enriching my soils with this product that is non-toxic and pollinator friendly. Most herbs love direct sunlight – so pick containers that are small enough to carry or just put your container in a place that gets a lot of daily sun. Look for containers at least eight inches deep.
Once you choose your container and get your soil, buy the plant material itself. You can choose seeds (will take longer to grow) or buy seedlings (starts) in small pots which you replant into your own container. Growing from seeds is more difficult – if you are a beginner, start with seedlings. Plant them at least six inches apart to give the herbs room to grow. Note the watering instructions in your calendar – some herbs require frequent watering while others are less thirsty.
Choose herbs that you will eat – rosemary and basil are popular. So are cilantro, parsley and dill. Start with two that you think you will use the most. Combine in one container or grow them separately. And before you know it, fresh herbs will be at your fingertips. You can grow from seed, but that takes longer! Quick hack: Choose organic herb plants from the grocery store or home improvement store, and re-pot in your container to make a pretty herb arrangement.
A hint: involve your kids in the container gardening process – they will be more likely to eat the herbs they helped grow!
Here’s hoping to see all of you at your local garden center or farmer’s market. Herbs, both delicious and healing, are waiting for you.