Plant Herbs in Painted Pots
Pots are ideal for herbs they enjoy the constricted space and can be clipped to size. Painting simple clay pots with complementary colors and mulching with slate adds to the appeal.
Almost any pot will do, but a ceramic strawberry pot works well because it can hold multiple herbs. These pots have one main planting section on top, plus smaller holes around and down the sides.
In the bottom of each pot place a small piece of terra cotta over the drain hole to prevent gravel from spilling out. Add a few inches of gravel. On top of the gravel lay a piece of landscape fabric to keep the potting soil from mixing with the gravel. This will also keep the herb roots from growing out of the bottom of the pot.
High-quality potting soil is important for all container plants, but it is especially so when growing herbs. Start with an unopened bag of soil to ensure that it is free of diseases or pests. It’s a good idea to look for potting soils that contain water-retaining crystals, which help maintain a consistent level of moisture.
Mint is a popular container-grown herb because it is too invasive to plant in the ground. Consider planting multiple varieties, like spearmint, peppermint and lemon balm. The lemon balm gets taller than the other mints so place it in the top hole.
A nice mix of savory herbs includes thyme, chives, dill, basil, oregano and parsley. Thyme and oregano are low-growing plants, so place them in a lower hole. Chives and dill grow slightly taller, so these should be placed in a higher row. Finally, plant the other herbs in the top hole to give them the most room to grow.
Because pots dry out quickly, they must be watered frequently. An inexpensive yet effective drip-irrigation system can be made from a 20-ounce plastic bottle. Simply drill a few very small holes in the bottom of the bottle. Fill it with water, tightly screw on the top, and place it in the pot.
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