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$20 off $40 Herbs | Growing Herbs | Choosing Herbs–Herb Classes & Herb Garden Kits | Outdoor Herb Gardens | Growing Herbs in Containers | Indoor Herb Gardens | Popular Herb Cultivars: Annuals | Popular Herb Cultivars: Perennials -Grow Basil in a Container

Growing Herbs in Containers

Although container-grown plants usually need more frequent watering and fertilization, pests and disease problems are virtually eliminated. Container Herb Garden

The easiest way to transport herbs indoors for the winter is to grow them in pots, but you may find that adding too many different sizes and types of pots makes your summer herb garden look unorganized and messy. In addition, potted plants need frequent watering since the plants can't draw moisture from the garden soil.

The solution for easy-care herbs in containers is to sink your pots into the ground. Sinking pots provides many benefits for both the plants and the gardener. Aside from allowing you to use cheap plant containers, sinking pots enables your herbs to draw water and nutrients from your garden soil.

Sinking containers into your garden also provides your plants with weed barriers, offers them some relief from competing with other invasive garden plants, and keeps invasive herbs, like mints, in check. Simply dig your sunken herb pots out of your herb garden in the fall, rinse them off, and move them indoors for the winter.

Container Herb Care

  1. Potted herbs (even sunken pots) need good drainage and extra care. Be sure to check them often for dryness and water accordingly. Most plants need at least an inch of water per week.
  2. Pot-grown plants need occasional fertilization. Fertilize outdoor pots at least once mid-season with a good organic fertilizer. However, be cautious in fertilization since in most cases, less is more. Over fertilization of herbs results in weak growth and reduces the oils that give the herbs flavor.
  3. Regular pruning of herbs promotes fresh and vigorous growth. Use your herbs regularly to keep them pruned. Freeze or dry extra cuttings for off-season use.
  4. Most herbs have few problems with pests and disease. Regular weeding, proper watering, and frequent use (pruning) usually eliminates any pests and diseases herbs may encounter.
  5. Harvest herbs in the morning when moisture and fragrance are at their peak. However, wait to harvest until after dew has dried.
  6. Although you can harvest cooking herbs all season, give perennials some time off in the fall to help them prepare for winter.

Reverse Acclimation

If you wilt as you watch your herb garden wither in the nippy autumn air, take heart! You don't have to stop growing herbs in the winter. Tender perennial herbs, like rosemary, need to come indoors to avoid a harsh winter. However, just as setting plants outdoors in the spring, you'll have more success at maintaining growth and bloom if you acclimatize your perennial herbs before making a permanent move to your kitchen.

The best time to bring herbs indoors from outside is before the first frost. It's also a good idea to make the transition a slow one. Start by bringing your plants inside for an hour or two each day, increasing the time each day for a week or two to help them to adjust to the changes in temperature and light.

One way to protect your herbs from frost is to bring them indoors in the late afternoon and set them out again in the morning, setting them out later and/or bringing them in earlier, little by little, for about a week. Acclimating your plants in this way greatly increases your chance for successfully growing garden herbs indoors.

Indoor Herb Gardens →

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