DIY Gardening: Herbs

In the past Local Llano has detailed several recipes sure to impress even the pickiest of food critics with ingredients from our very own local producers. In this new blog series, DIY Gardening, Local Llano shares how easy it is to grow your own food. Start small with Local Llano in this installment as we take a look at a few herb gardening tips and tricks for even the most novice of gardening enthusiasts. Local Llano is looking specifically into indoor herb gardens, these gardens can be sustained for all your culinary concoctions year round. Your herb garden can also be moved outside after the herbs initial infancy and when warmer weather becomes more persistent.


Choosing A Container

Herb containers can range in shape, size and color according to your own preferences. Typically, herb containers are smaller than an average sized planter. However, if you know that parsley is often featured in most your dishes on a regular basis, consider planting more of this herb in a bigger container and so on for any other herb preference. Mason jars or old, chipped tea sets make excellent, creative herb containers that can be easily labeled.

Soil Selection

For this particular project, consider potting mix over potting soil. Potting soil tends to have a lower quality and your herbs may suffer. Instead, opt for potting mix. Potting mix is lighter and composed of all organic material such as peat and composted plants. Avoid overwatering your herbs, they do not need to be drenched daily. A light watering every other day is all the care your herbs require.

Sunlight is Key

Sunlight can make the difference between life and death for some herbs. Window sills are often the perfect Avoid placing your indoor herb container garden out of the reach of direct, natural sunlight. The ideal amount of sunlight your herbs should be receiving daily is somewhere between five and eight hours. Any less than the recommended daily dose of sunlight and your ingredients won’t be guaranteed to please. Herbs to keep in mind that are quite partial to sunbathing are cilantro, parsley, and basil (place these plants near a south-facing window for best results).

Garden Placement

Herb gardens do not need a room to themselves. The container garden can be set up outside on the patio, on your kitchen windowsill, or even by the bath! That’s right, forget those pricey bath bombs that never seem to completely rinse from your tub. Embrace an all natural herb garden in your bathroom and create a unique bathing experience every time you take a dip. French lavender, lemon balm, and chamomile are excellent herbs for clean bathing and muscle relaxation. Not to mention bathing is more environmentally responsible and cost efficient. Who knew pampering could be so smart?

Pruning to Perfection

Prune early and often. As a beginner herb gardener, you may think that your seedling has not matured enough for a quick trim. Pruning helps the herb to grow and sprout more leaves. Playing the waiting game with your herbs will only drive you crazy and mentally willing your plants to develop. It’s best to prune your herbs before flowers sprout, most herbs will hinder growth to maintain their flowers. Basil makes for a great starting point as far as learning a pruning skill set.

I hope this installation of The Container Garden Series was helpful to all of you hopeful herb gardeners. Tune in with us soon for a {dairy} good time! And as always, buy and eat locally!

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