Use fresh herbs to cook or add fragrance to rooms by building an indoor or outdoor herb garden with supplies and tips from Hy-Vee.
Fill three terra-cotta pots of various sizes with soilless potting mix; leave a sunken area in the bottom two pots so other pots can nestle into place. Plant herbs with similar watering needs together on each level. Basil has a pot to itself because it needs more frequent watering than the thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary below it. Mint is adaptable but can spread quickly, so you may want to confine its roots in a sunken plastic pot. Harvest herbs regularly to flavor foods (and keep plants tidy).
Outdoor Stacked Herb Garden
Plant with Care
Certain herbs can enhance the flavor of neighboring plants. Basil and parsley, oregano and thyme, and rosemary and sage are a few examples of complementary herbs.
Place your outdoor container herb garden in an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day.
Herbs grow best in well-drained soil and tend to develop a more intense flavor if kept on the dry side.
Overfertilized herbs may not grow as well or have as much flavor and fragrance. Try organic or controlled-release fertilizers to avoid providing too many nutrients at once.
Grow fresh herbs right in your kitchen and snip them regularly for garnishes and ingredients in favorite recipes and cocktails. Many herbs can be grown indoors, but supplemental lighting may be needed during low-light winter months. Simply place plants within 6 to 8 inches of a fluorescent light. For more suggestions, see the CARE TIPS.
Hanging Herb Garden
Use a soilless potting mix labeled for indoor use (some outdoor mixes contain wood fines or compost, which can attract fungus gnats indoors).
Ensure containers have drainage holes so soil isn’t waterlogged. When watering, place plants on trays or in the sink to avoid dripping.
Wait until the top 1 inch of soil is dry to the touch before watering. Water at the base of plants rather than on the foliage to avoid fungal diseases.
Place herbs near the sunniest window of the home. Rotate them a quarter-turn clockwise once a week to expose all sides to sunlight.
Herbs grow well indoors because they thrive in roughly 65°F to 75°F temperatures, which are average for most homes year-round.
Use kitchen shears or pinch off the leaves with your fingers to harvest sprigs. Bonus: regular cutbacks also encourage new growth.
Care Tips for an Indoor Herb Garden