Posted on 25 November 2011 by

Extending the Growing Season by Bringing in Ones Herbs-Part II

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

As discussed in part I, fresh herbs are a great addition to ones indoor gardening arsenal.

They provide flavoring for food, scents rooms, bathes, and provide overall beauty.

But container choice will depend more on where you plan to place your herb garden.

Traditionally, herb gardens have been found on the windowsill but other choices remain and utilize not only the horizontal space but also the vertical.

Strawberry Urn

A strawberry urn or pot is a great container for herbs. The pockets on the side of this planter make planting an assortment of herbs easy. If you plan to use this type of planter, make sure that it will be placed in a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight.

Before planting the strawberry urn, one must get the supplies together. Each urn will have its own number of planting openings so make sure you have enough plants for each pocket and the top.

Next the planter will need to be cleaned before it is planted. To do this, simply submerge the planter in a bucket of warm, soapy water with one cap full of bleach. Scrub and remove any soil particles, rinse and let dry out in the sun.

After the planter has dried and the plants have been gathered, assemble the drainage material and soil. Place a good layer of drainage material in the bottom of the urn. This material can be broken pots, stones or even packing peanuts. Then put a layer of soil on top of the drainage material. Do not fill to the first pocket.

Once the layer of soil has been added, take a small diameter piece of PVC pipe and measure off a piece equal to the height of the urn with an additional ½ inch on top. Drill holes along the side of the PVC pipe and secure a sandwich bag on the bottom of the pipe with a rubber band or use a PVC end cap.

After the pipe has been prepared, place it in the middle of the strawberry urn. This pipe will be used when you water. Allowing the water to seep into the soil will prevent the soil from running out of the pockets of the urn.

Then add more soil until the bottom of the first pocket is reached. Once it has been reached, place each chosen plant into the pockets roots first. Add more soil until the next level of pockets is reached. Continue this process until the top is reached.

The top planting area is a great space for planting seeds. Once the urn has been completed, pour water down the PVC pipe to water. Continue with this process until the soil feels moist.

Wire Basket

A simple, 3-tier wire basket that can be picked up at many discount stores can be turned into a great herb planter. It can hold both live plants and seeds.

To begin the process get the materials together, which includes the baskets, coconut fiber or sphagnum moss, and soil. If using coconut fiber, you can simply line the baskets. If you are using sphagnum moss, presoak the moss before using it in the baskets.

Regardless of which type of lining material you choose, the first step is to create the liner. To make lining the baskets easier, hang the baskets up. Make sure that the liner completely covers the inside of each basket. Once that is done, fill each basket with soil and plant.

Keep in mind though; you will need to plan your plantings. If you have an herb that is tall the bottom basket works wonderfully. Shorter herbs, on the other hand, work better in the top basket.

Flower Pouch

Flower pouches are planted very similar to the process used for the strawberry urn except drainage material is not used. When planting the flower pouch, only plant the “Xs” first. Lay the pouch on a flat surface and allow the herbs to root. Once they have rooted, which will take a few weeks, hang the pouch, add additional soil and plant the top of the pouch.

Do not limit yourself to the techniques described above. The only limit is the amount of space you have near a source of sunlight and the time you are willing to spend on your indoor herb garden.

So until we blog again, herb today, gone tomorrow is not a saying that has to be true. Add to your culinary skill, by growing your own herbs on a simple windowsill.

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