All Things Bright and Beautiful – Planting a herb box…

This month we are talking through how to plant a herb box. Nothing could be easier than growing herbs in a container and it’s a great way to start growing your own produce especially if you are new to gardening.

There are many benefits to growing herbs in containers, but for me it’s all about access, there’s nothing better than having fresh herbs outside your kitchen door, so whether cooking inside or barbecuing outside you can just grab a handful of herbs to add extra flavour to your cooking.

When planting a herb box please ensure you have chosen herbs that like the same aspect so full sun or semi shade, and there is one golden rule to remember,  please do not plant herbs that like a lot of water e.g chives, mint and coriander, with herbs that like  well drained conditions such as Rosemary, Sage and Oregano.

When planting try to ensure your container has a long run (depth) to it , approximately 12 inch should be fine, this allows enough depth so the root has room to grow and stops you having to re- pot and  disturb the plant once planted.

Good drainage is very important as all herbs dislike sitting in water and Mediterranean herb roots will rot in a very moist soil, so make sure your container has holes in the bottom for drainage and add 1 inch of gravel which will also assist in the drainage of the pot. Add enough compost so the top of the plant is at the correct height and the root ball is covered, leaving a 1 inch gap between the top of the compost and the top of the pot for watering.  I like to use a gritty compost for growing herbs.

The herbs I’ve chosen for my box are sun loving herbs , so I’ve started by planting Sage which is great to use with chicken in casseroles or as a sauce, (try sage brown butter sauce with pasta dishes I got the recipe on line and it’s delicious) Sage also attracts bees so another great benefit.

My next choice of herb to plant is Oregano, Oregano is part of the mint family but not as invasive as mint, it’s a real staple herb to have in your box especially if you like Italian cooking as it is  great on pizza, pasta and in sauces.

Last but not least the final herb going in my box is Rosemary, Rosemary is a versatile herb it’s culinary uses are many; chicken, meat and Rosemary and garlic roast potatoes to mention a few and don’t forget to try Cucumber and Rosemary Gin and Tonic very refreshing on a hot summer evening.

All these herbs like a sheltered sunny position and need about 4-6 hours of sun a day but please be careful not to over water your herb box.

Well it’s as simple as that, so get a container and some herbs and give it ago.

Happy Gardening x

By Jane McNeela

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All Things Bright & Beautiful


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