Friday, May 6, 2011

Herb Gardening - starting small

basil and thyme in my herb garden
Gardening can be really intimidating, not to mention a labor of love at times.  BUT, even if you're no green thumb or don't have a yard, you can still grow your own herb garden.  Fortunately, herbs do very well in containers and pots - I actually still grow most of mine in containers despite my vegetable garden - and are perfect for small spaces.  If you've bought any from the grocery store lately you also know they can be a bit pricey and often times the "bunch" you buy is more than enough for the meal you're making and it's gone bad before you can use it in something else.  By growing your own, you know its organic (which can sometimes be hard to find in the stores) and you can pull off only what you need.  Herbs are also a great way to dress up a plate - a sprig of rosemary on top of your steak or pork chop is a nice touch - especially at Christmas time!  And getting started is super easy, here's what you'll need:

* flower pot or any container with some holes drilled in the bottom for the water to drain
* potting soil
* fertilizer
* small rocks for the bottom of the container to help the water drain
* herb plants (these can easily be found at any home improvement store or garden center)

And, once you've gotten those things - heres all you have to do:
I love this look from dotcomwomen
* Fill the bottom of your container with rocks (just so that you can't see the bottom of the pot) and then add the potting soil.
* Make a divot for where you are going to place the herb plant.
* Place a dime sized amount of fertilizer in the divot.
* Pull the herb plant out of the pot (or in the case of a peat pot - tear the bottom off) and place in the divot.
* Cover the base of the plant with soil (just make sure none of the roots are exposed).
* Add some water and watch her grow!!

Some of my favorites that I love to grow are:
* Basil - Great in bruschetta or pesto and lots of other things.  This can take alot of abuse and still seems to live on.  It does great during even the heat of summer but does need some shade during the day.
* Parsley - I love this as an accent or in pasta dishes - its even great on red skin potatoes with a little butter.  This also seems to do wonderful all summer long.
Rosemary - The hubs loves to chop this up and use it in rubs on pork, chicken, or steak.  It has a very distinct flavor but I love it.  This is great in a container but will live all year long if planted in the ground. This will actually grow into a bush and has a wonderful smell in the garden.
* Thyme - This is also great on pork or chicken and we also use it here in homemade salad dressings.  This little herb demands a little more attention and care as far as watering is concerned.  The hot sun can also stress this guy out a bit.
* Dill - This is great on top a greek salad or thrown in with some sour cream for a veggie dip.  The hot summer sun can do a number on this so you may want to find somewhere out of the direct sunlight for this to grow.
* Cilantro - This is a staple for any Mexican dish but I seem to only be able to keep it alive outdoors in the spring in fall.  The summer in VB is just too hot.


here's an example of the cute chalkboard signs
 I picked up my herb plants last weekend for about $3.50 a pop at Lowes, which compared to the $1.99 I pay in the grocery store each time I buy a "bunch" is a great deal!!  I only have to use these twice and I've made my money back.  Adding cute little chalkboard signs to identify your herbs and placing them in a cute container can dress up any deck, sun porch, or patio.  As far as maintenance is concerned, there really isn't much too it - check them over a few times a week while you give them a little water and they should last you several months - or even all year if you want to bring them inside (rosemary will actually survive most winters outside).  So, there you have it, a great way to grow a little of your own food and get started in the wonderful world of gardening.

Oh, and by the way, this also make a great last minute Mother's Day gift.  We did this several years back from my MIL - we put it all together and took it along with a card and she loved it!!!  It looked adorable on her back deck and was the gift that kept on giving - not to mention it was different from the standard flowers and brunch on Mother's Day!

I'm linking up today with Amanda over at Serenity Now for the weekend bloggy party - its super fun - I try to link up to this one each week because there are SO many great ideas, cool projects, and funny stories that get shared.  Head on over for some inspiration and share your favorite post of the week!!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

J

10 comments:

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

I am trying to grow herbs too! The poor things got damaged in a hail storm a few weeks ago so we'll see if they make it. If not, I'll be trucking it to Lowe's to find some replacements

Cheryl E. said...

Ok, you make gardening sound so easy. I am so bad about it! I can not garden for the life of me. I forget about the plants...sad but true. I have a window in the kitchen that looks out onto the most perfect spot for some pretty flowers but I am just afraid ill kill them...again.

I love this idea for Mother's Day! I dont actually have anything yet. I am totally not on the ball this year. Its sad. Do you know where I could get the chalkboard signs? By tomorrow?! HAHA

Megan said...

What a great Mother's Day idea!! I wonder if I could throw it all together tomorrow....my mom would love having fresh herbs available to cook with...she's much more adventurous in the kitchen than I am :)

Jennifer S. said...

My husband and I are going to be brave and start an vegetable and herb garden this year. I would do this container garden for my mom but she doesn't cook! LOL!
Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! I am your newest follower. Have a great day!

Jennifer S. said...

My husband and I are going to be brave and start an vegetable and herb garden this year. I would do this container garden for my mom but she doesn't cook! LOL!
Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! I am your newest follower. Have a great day!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I liked this post!! Featured it today. :)

Thanks for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Hope you'll stop by Serenity Now again soon! :)

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

so FuN! my DIL had 3 herb pots on her windowsill yesterday, so i'm definitely getting into this :) thx

Karen @ THEBUSYBUG said...

Come on over to my blog for a little visit...I just posted a redo of a a raised pot that looks just like yours! Oh....I wish you had a subscription button on your blog (like the one on my blog) so that I can subscribe and get your posts in my email!! I would love to see what you post, as you post it. I tried subscribing to the one at the bottom of your blog, but it didn't work. :-(