If you are looking at growing herbs in pots then you should be aware that there is a bit more to it than just putting in some soil, adding in the herbs and then waiting for it to grow. Instead, there are a number of important steps that you should seriously consider following if you really do want to make a go of this and considering how easy it can be then it would be crazy not to.
So, to make your life as easy as possible, we are going to look at ten key steps that should make all the difference to the quality of your plants.
1. Choose Your Herbs Wisely.
Now, there are a number of different herbs that are going to be very easy to grow in pots and indeed the hardest part is going to be trying to narrow your options down and working out which ones are quite good at growing alongside one another.
The only thing that you have to think about is the actual conditions that they are going to need because some prefer warmer temperatures and more light whereas others prefer a more shadier existence. However, the herbs that you might want to consider growing in pots will often include the following names that are perhaps not as commonly known as you may expect.
- Sweet Marjoram.
- Lemon Balm
- Common Basil
- Lime Basil
- Hot Peppers
Now, as we will see, they do require different conditions but you will learn more about that as we go along.
2. Getting the Pot Ready.
It is also very important that you are able to get the pot ready and to do so in the correct manner. You see, there is more to it than just throwing soil in the pot and then throwing in the herbs as there is a great deal more care connected to it all. For this, there are several important points to consider.
- Think about the type of container.
The first point is the type of container and we recommend using a natural material such as clay or even wood. This allows more air to flow through the soil and get to the roots which is always going to be more beneficial to the herb.
- Be aware of the drainage.
The absolute vast majority of herbs love good drainage, so you need to make sure that the container is capable of giving them this. Look at the drainage holes in the bottom and if there are not at least four of them spread around then make more.
- Adding gravel or grit first.
We are going to move onto talking about the soil next, but at this point we have to state that you should put some gravel or grit in the bottom of the pot and fill it to about ¼ full. This is going to provide some substantial drainage in the bottom of the pot and your herbs will grow better as a result.
3. Being Able to Prepare the Soil.
We said earlier on how you cannot just throw soil in and hope for the best. Instead, you need to make sure that it is the absolute correct growing medium for your herbs. We also mentioned the need for well draining soil and that is where the grit or gravel that you have put into the base of the pot is going to play a major role. However, when it comes to the soil and how to prepare it, then you are best advised to think about these points.
- Never use garden soil in your pots as it is too heavy.
- Use a quality fertile soil that already has nutrients in it.
- If it requires more drainage then add some sand or perlite and mix together.
4. Getting Ready for Planting.
When it comes to getting ready for planting then this is something that you need to get correct or else you are going to run into all kinds of problems. However, there is actually no need to be nervous because the steps that you need to take are easier than you think.
- Make sure that there is at least
15cmbetween stems if planting more than one herb in a pot.
- When you go to remove the herb from its original pot gently squeeze it to remove it.
- After it is out of the old pot do loosen the roots slightly before you then transplant it.
- Make a hole the same size as the root ball and then prepare to lay out your herbs.
5. How to Arrange a Herb Display.
When it comes to arranging the planting then it is important that you are very aware of what you are planting and how things work together. For example, if you just throw anything in the pot then there can be some conflict and that will be detrimental to all of the herbs. However, there are just a few things to consider in this instance with these tips being the most important.
- Put taller herbs at the middle.
- Have smaller ones that can trail closer to the edges.
- Make sure that you have that
15cmgap between them.
6. Consider Avoiding Leaving Bare Patches.
Now, this point is going to depend on the size of the container that you are using, but if it is large enough for a number of herbs to be planted at the one time then you should not really have all of these bare patches in the pot. Instead, you can be clever with your planting and the result can be something spectacular.
- Plant the main herbs first to see how much space you have.
- Consider less restrictive herbs for filling in the spaces.
- Do just remember that things spread as they grow.
- You will need to learn about the herbs in advance.
7. Consider Pruning the Bigger Herbs.
When you have transplanted your herbs then you want to look at them all and decide if some are substantially bigger than the others. If so, then you are going to have to take quite drastic action although it should be pointed out that this is not going to harm the plant in any way. So, what is that action? It’s pruning and quite rough pruning at that.
- You should be prepared to cut the bigger herbs in half.
- This encourages new growth from the bottom of the plant.
- This makes the plant stronger than before.
- It will become bushier rather than just focusing on height.
8. Always be Careful with the Fertilizer.
Choosing the correct fertilizer is always important and in this instance you do need to be quite precise as to the one you use because of the impact it can have on the herbs. Now, in order to help you make the correct decision, you should really think about these key points.
- Use a slow and controlled release fertilizer.
- Make sure it is balanced between nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
- Do not overfeed because most herbs are light in this department.
- You might only have to feed them once in their lifetime.
9. Don’t Forget the Water.
If you thought that you could treat all of your herbs in the same way even with something so apparently simple as water, then think again. Instead, the way in which you water your herbs is going to vary a huge amount and while you could be under watering some, the complete opposite could be true for others.
- Be aware of the watering requirements for each plant.
- Getting it wrong can kill the plants.
- Do not mix up herbs in the one pot that have drastically different watering requirements.
- Be regular with your watering rather than sporadic.
10. Plants Need Light or Sun.
Finally, you have to remember that herbs need light or the sun in order to grow and flourish but the amount that they require is going to depend on the variety of herb in question. As we noted at the outset, there are some herbs that need full sun for a number of hours and there are those that are quite content in the shade. However, no matter which option it is that you have sought, light still plays a role.
- Study what plants need in advance.
- Consider planting like-minded plants together.
- If growing indoors then use LED grow lights to make life easier.
- You do not need to give them light constantly but at least 8 hours per day is fine.
As you can see, the ten steps listed above are not particularly complex and at the same time it should mean that anybody is able to follow them even if you are brand new to the entire process of growing herbs in pots. The main thing is to just follow the instructions as provided and at the end of the day you should be quite content with what you are able to achieve.