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Growing Kitchen Herbs in Containers

Contributed by: Jill Black

There is nothing quite like the use of fresh herbs to add subtle flavour when cooking and a collection of herbs in containers outside the back door is not only useful but can be decorative as well.

For the cook who doesn't have a garden, herbs can be successfully grown in window boxes, troughs, shallow tubs, hanging baskets, bowls or Pots. All they ask is a well drained potting mix, a little food, water, sunshine and protection from the wind.

Growing herbs in containers has the added advantage of easy movability. This ensures that plants can be placed in the best possible growing position for light and sun.

Feeding and watering can be tailored to fit each individual herbs requirements and many herbs that would not survive outside during winter can be retained all year round by bringing indoors.

Herbs can be annuals or bi-annuals or perennials.

Annuals are planted during the spring and summer months from seed or seedlings. If growing from seed, sow extra seed and thin later.

Perennials tend to become spindly and need to be trimmed in late summer to encourage strong growth and keep the plants looking good.

When watering herbs ensure plants are well soaked then leave until the soil surface becomes dry otherwise they will quickly die if continually overwatered.

For single plants a pot 25cm in diameter is sufficient. Larger pots are used to hold a variety of plants.

For example:

A 45cm bowl is sufficient to hold 1 parsley, 1 lemon thyme, 1 chive and 1 oregano plant.

A 50cm standard pot will be required by herbs with deeper roots such as rosemary and lavender. These can be under planted with low growing herbs or flowering annuals.

Herbs are very hardy, easy to grow and reward you well for your efforts so why not give them a try!


Copyright J Black 2004. For more articles and ideas for the home and garden visit Jill online today at



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