Easy does it: Herb planting in containers

Memorial Day weekend is when most gardeners are in their “ready, set, go” phase. The plants are purchased, the gardens are tilled and everything is ready to be planted.

We started small this weekend. You know, to ease into the weekend with a little project: herb planting.

For even the most novice gardener, planting herbs is a great way to get a little bang for your buck. Packets of seeds range from 50 cents to a few dollars and you’ll get quite a bit of life out of them throughout the summer. You can also buy plants already started at a local garden center. We start from seed only for the pure enjoyment of watching our basil, parsley, oregano, etc., go through the phases of growth.


Container planting is as easy as three steps:

1.) Prepare your container. Whatever you decide to plant in, fill it with good potting soil and a little fertilizer, if you wish. For our containers in this demonstration, we used a three-tier wheeled contraption with wooden containers. We lined the wood with leftover recycled plastic bags, it helps the soil and plants retain moisture, makes for easy clean up at the end of the season and keeps the wood for getting overly wet and rotting over time.

2.) Start planting. If you’re starting from seed, spread them out evenly according to the packages and cover with a layer of the soil. Don’t pack them too deep or they’ll take too long to germinate and grow. If you’re starting with plants, leave enough room in between each plant to allow the roots to grow and the plants to get larger.

3.) Give them a good drink. Potting soil you purchase in bags doesn’t contain enough moisture to get things started. Give your newly potted herbs a good drink of water when you’re done. And, most importantly, keep them watered while they grow. Most herbs need lots of sun, too. That’s what is great about the container we chose, you can roll it out into the sun during the day and keep it inside the garage for the chillier nights.