Ever since I started gardening, I thought earth was the best place to grow herbs. However; as I graduated in gardening, herbs have taken a special place in my heart and I found that they grow well even in containers.
Container gardening is best suited for herbs that are invasive and can grow rampantly over your ground choking the other plants to have their share of soil. It also makes sense when you do not have enough space for gardening in places like condominiums and apartments which are common in urban space.
Most herbs that can grow easily in your backyard garden can grow well in containers. Container’s size do make a difference and the diameter and depth of the pots need to be considered while selecting the herbs that are going o make them home. The herb density also needs to be planned based on space in the container and the root expansion if you are planting more than one herb in the pot.
Based on my experience, I would suggest one herb in a pot although you can consider two if you have a pot which is big enough. The tendency is for one herb to overgrow and crowd the place while other one withers and dies. Stick to one herb unless it is necessary.
Types of Containers
While there are many container types that are commercially available from good brands you can also consider your milk jugs, ice-cream and tea container, tins, bushel baskets and barrels for growing herbs. All they need is holes for excess water drainage. Tins that contain chemical paints and toxins should not be used for growing herbs.
The containers that are widely available in market are equipped with holes and lining. You can also buy peat and the soil mix from nurseries and online shops.
Eco-friendly Biodegradable Containers
My first choice and recommendations are for biodegradable containers for growing herbs or any other vegetables. These pots are earth friendly and organic certified, they are simple and easy to use. You can just dig a hole and put the entire container inside earth, it is 100% biodegradable pots made of composted manure and odor free. You can plant seeds in this pot and once the sapling is visible, transplant the entire pot to prevent root shock. A great friend of the herb gardener, this container lasts for month in the greenhouse but when planted on earth disintegrates rapidly adding nutrients to the soil which naturally augments healthier and stronger herb plants.
Plastic though not bio-degradable are popular because they are strong and sturdy. An herb gardener might want the plastic pots for decor because they can be easily matched for colour and decorations. The drawbacks of plastic pots are that they cannot breathe and thus deprive air to the roots. Due to thin sides, they do not offer severe winter and frost to the herbs, in addition if they are dark in colour they attract sun rays and herbs could get potentially scorched in strong sun.
Terra Cotta Containers
Besides giving the earthly look, these clay pots are natural and environmentally friendly. Clay is a porous material that absorbs water and can be compressed in any form and shape featuring a matte finish that looks stunning. As it ages, the clay may reflect chalkiness and can crumble due to temperature variations. Some manufacturers paint the clay pots with sealants to increase their life span. Since it absorbs moisture, the gardeners have to be cautious about the herbs chosen and their water requirements without making them soggy
Wooden planters come in various sizes and options; they are yet another type of container that is eco-friendly. They also come in many types of wood. They are often treated for protection and durability with preservatives. Drainage holes and liner are essential otherwise the wood will rot. However; the professional manufactures of commercial wood containers made from non-resistant cedar and redwood can remain for many years. Wooden planters can be made from wine barrels and they look awesome too.
Copper planters are stunning lightweight planters and great for herbs. They are anti-shock and weather resistant. Commercially graded copper planters come in all sizes and are ultraviolet resistant. The advantage of copper pots is that they look like antique, beautiful artifacts and will not fade or deteriorate with the passage of time.
Interested in growing herbs in pots? Check the following –
Growing Herbs in Pots