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2014 garden project: Make a container herb garden

Grow your own herbs in a container - here's how
Grow your own herbs in a container - here's how
Wikimedia Commons: Rinina25

Whether you’re just learning to cook or love spending time in the kitchen, fresh herbs are a great thing to have on hand for a variety of recipes. Pinterest is a great place to find recipes as well as gardening ideas, and it gives you a place to store the ones you want to try someday. The Home Depot Garden Club has combed through the world of Pinterest and found a number of fun projects that can be taken from the boards to the garden in no time – this week: make a container herb garden.

What you need:

· Potted herbs – buy mature plants you can use almost immediately – this will also give you a garden that instantly looks lush and inviting.

· Pea gravel

· Vegetable or cactus potting mix

· Organic vegetable fertilizer

· Fish emulsion

· Shallow container at least 14″ in diameter – large or small flowerpots, half barrels, window boxes and planters can all be used as containers for an herb garden – just make sure they have drainage holes and can occupy a place where they get at least six hours of sun.

Prepare the container – fill the bottom of the container with a 2” layer of pea gravel, then fill the container about 3/4 full with vegetable or cactus potting mix. Never use garden soil for containers – it lacks nutrients and could be contaminated and full of weed seeds. Use a potting mix for vegetables or a cactus mix, as most herbs require good drainage.

Prepare the plants – take herbs out of their pots and gently spread the roots. Experiment with new, unfamiliar herbs – leafy and tender annual herbs, like parsley, basil, dill or cilantro, are often used fresh and not cooked; woody perennial herbs, like rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender, have woody stems and are most often used in cooked dishes. Mint should be grown in a container, as it’s invasive in the ground.

Planting – plant the herbs the same depth as their containers, placing the tallest in the center and the trailing ones around the edges. Cover the roots with any remaining soil from the pots mixed with potting mix.

Feeding your herbs – initially, feed with an organic vegetable fertilizer and water thoroughly. Feed plants weekly with a diluted solution of fish emulsion and water.

Information provided by the Home Depot Garden Club.

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