Have you bought spices and seasonings at the grocery store lately? Some of them have gotten really expensive. Unfortunately for many cooks, especially those who are like me, seasonings are a must have when you’re cooking dinner. I am a huge fan of Italian food and I’m sure you’re all aware that Italian food requires things like garlic, thyme and basil. Good quality spices can be really hard on a grocery budget, but luckily, a lot of the herbs that I use on a daily basis for meals are easily grown right at home. In fact? They’re grown right in my kitchen!
I can’t tell you how much money growing my own spices has saved me, but if I had to wager a guess, I’d say quite a bit. We use things like Basil and Thyme on an almost daily basis so I’d likely go broke just trying to keep myself in seasonings. Can you see it?
“Hello Mrs. Barr. Why are you here in bankruptcy court today?”
“Well Your Honor? I blame the basil and thyme.”
Okay maybe not, but luckily for me (and my financial portfolio), I don’t even have to worry about the possibility of it and you don’t either! Take a look at these 7 herbs to grow in your kitchen and soon, you’ll be avoiding basil induced bankruptcy too while helping keep your family healthy with freshly grown herbs and spices!
7 Herbs You Can Grown in a Container Garden
The key to having an inside container garden is to be sure you choose the right container. Containers have come a long way over the last few years so you can easily find one that will fit you and your own personal style. You can choose from materials such as terra cotta pot, ceramic, coconut husks or you can pick up a few really beautiful plaster and plastic containers that come in every shade of the rainbow. Almost every herb that we cook with can be grown in a container. You just need to make sure that the one you’re using is the right size and has at least 3-4 drainage holes so the plants aren’t sitting in wet soggy soil.
When you’re choosing the size of your container, keep in mind that it really does matter. The size of your container will dictate which herbs you can grow in it. This is especially true if you’re planning on growing more than one herb in a single container. When choosing the containers you’ll use, try to make sure that they are at least 4-6 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter. This gives you the room you’ll need to grow any plants that may trail over the sides. Just remember that the bigger the container, the more room your plants have to spread their roots out as they are searching for nutrients. Also? Skip the 4 inch pots. They’re just way too small to be of any good.
Basil does very well in a container. Just keep in mind that since they grow a pretty hefty root ball and can grow up to two feet tall that they need to be planted by themselves if you’re using a 3 gallon container. You can plant them with other plants, just be sure to use an 1 gallon container. You’ll also want to make sure that you keep it in the center of the pot if you’re keeping the container open or toward the back of the pot if you’re putting the container against he wall. Basil loves warm temperatures so be sure to keep your container where it will get plenty of sun. Your basil plant will also need plenty of drainage for its roots as it won’t do as well with soggy soil.
Thyme is another herb that is incredibly easy to grow. It loves to trail over the side of a container has small little flowers and will thrive even if neglected so it’s the perfect plant for someone who may not have a lot of time to commit to it making it perfect for people who work or even college students who are always in class.
Oregano is probably one of my favorite herbs to season with. It’s so fragrant and is very easy to grow in a container. Just be sure that your plant gets plenty of sun and drains well. With oregano, you’ll want to decide how much sun to give it. The more sun it gets, the more flavor the leaves will have. If you’ve never grown it, there are several different types of oregano that you can grow. Experiment with the different types until you find your favorite.
Parsley – Consider parsley the plant that keeps on giving. It can be hard to get growing, but once it does? It will flower and provide leaves for just shy of two years before it dies off. Parsley is considered an invasive plant meaning that it likes to take over so be sure you plant it in a container by itself so that you don’t risk your other herbs.
Sage – Who doesn’t love to cook with sage?! It’s such a fragrant herb and flavor! It’s easy to learn how to grow sage, and it does very well in a container when started from seed. It needs plenty of sun and doesn’t like soggy roots so be careful that you don’t over water it.
Rosemary – Have you ever made chicken with rosemary or garlic and rosemary potatoes? Mmmmmmmm! Rosemary likes hot, dry sun and since it’s actually a drought tolerant plant, it is okay if you forget to water it everyday. Keep the soil moist, but not sopping wet and you’ll have a hardy, healthy plant.
Mint – The first thing you need to know about mint is that it is an invasive plant so don’t try growing it anywhere other than an container. Make sure to water it well and pick the leaves on a regular basis. There are quite a few different varieties of mint so how much sun it will need is just depends on what type you’re growing.
Marjoram – Marjoram is a lot like oregano in scent and flavor and is another plant that loves full sun and well drained soil making it perfect for growing in your container garden.
Chives – Who doesn’t love a baked potato with chives? Grow them in your container garden where they only need a few hours of sun each day (5 hours or so) and make sure to keep their soil damp.
Finally, another one of my favorite herbs that you can grow in a container is Cilantro. Give it plenty of sun (occasional shade is okay) and make sure that the soil drains well and you’ll soon have plenty of flavorful leaves and seeds to use in your meals!
For all of your container plants, you’ll want to use a hearty potting soil. I prefer to use an organic potting mix and have used it for over 2 years now. I start my seeds in an indoor greenhouse that can be composted then transfer them to their larger and more permanent containers once they’re able to be. My plants always bloom very well and are healthy and frankly? Downright tasty!