At our Mom2Mom Cafe @ RB today we got a taste of Spring, even though the weather outside was anything but Spring-like. We broke out of the normal routine and did a demonstration on how to plant flower and herb pots. If you missed it, here are the how-to instructions to plant your own herb pot at home:
To get started, you’ll need the following:
Pot to plant herbs in
Rocks or gravel to fill bottom 1/4 of pot
Herb plants (the number will vary depending on the size of your pot)
1. Pick your plants.
2. Prepare your pot.
Make sure that your pot has holes in the bottom for good drainage.
Put gravel or small rocks into the container to about a quarter of the pot's depth. This will help water drain out from the bottom of the soil.
Once the gravel is in place, start to fill the pot with a multi-purpose potting soil. This should fill approximately three quarters of the pot's remaining depth.
4. Start planting
Place the herb plants into the pot, with a few inches between each stem.
Squeeze each herb gently from its temporary pot, and tease the roots from the root ball; this will encourage them to spread out.
Place the taller plants in the center of the display, and the trailing ones near the edge. This will help to ensure the best growth. The display may look messy at first, but do not worry, as this will start to fill out and look lush within a few weeks.
Fill in around the planted herbs. Once you are happy with the positions, start to fill the gaps between the plants with potting soil. Firmly push the compost into the gaps by pushing your fingers deep into the soil that you have just added, being careful not to damage any roots.
Add more if necessary. Leave about an inch between the pot's rim and the soil, so that the pot does not overflow when watered.
5. Top the herbs
Cut the tops off the taller plants, roughly halving them in height. This will encourage each herb plant to bush out and provide more leaves to pick at harvest time.
Water thoroughly, until the water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot. The compost needs to absorb a lot on first watering, so expect to apply four litres or so. Continue to water over the coming months, at least every few days, or when the soil seems dry. Herbs like to dry out between waterings, and some herbs such as Rosemary can easily be over watered.
If you have a large window sill area in your kitchen that receives plenty of sunshine, this can be a great place to keep an herb pot, as it is always within reach while you are cooking.
Herbs prefer well drained soil. Let the soil dry out on top between waterings and don't leave the pot standing in a tray of water.
If you like scented gardens, make a version with only highly aromatic herbs, such as basil and lemon-scented herbs.
Herb pots make fantastic gifts for people who enjoy cooking, gardening and easy-to-care for plants. Add a large bow around the middle of the pot and present to your recipient with a card.