Growing your own herb garden, especially if you are a renter, is a great way to start the summer. At this time of year, grilling and salads are popular, and the gardener-at-heart can combine the fun of gardening with the savory expansion of their growing and cooking skills. Whether you have a tiny space, huge balcony or backyard patio, container gardening is fun and portable.
Starting from seeds is the most budget-friendly way to begin. While you can buy starters at the nursery, growing herbs from seeds can be done with a bit of patience and time for their preparation. We usually begin in late spring in order to have the herbs ready for the summer.
Visit your local nursery to find the seeds and potting soil needed. A shallow container, such as an egg carton, is the perfect place to start your seedlings. Some herbs to consider might be mint, basil, rosemary, chives, parsley, cilantro and others. You'll want to divide the seeds by the herb type, putting three to five in a compartment. The soil should be kept moist by misting or sprinkling with water, especially as the seeds are starting. Cover with a plastic top to increase the humidity in your little greenhouse garden. The container and plastic will need a sunny location, free of drafts. Five hours of sunlight daily will be most beneficial for their sprouting. Remember, keep the soil moist!
As the seedlings begin to sprout, remove the plastic cover. It is now time to water the sprouts when you notice the soil has dried out.
Continue with this method until the plants are between two and four inches high. It is now the exciting time to re-pot the seedlings. Find a nice, bigger container; they can go out on the balcony if it is sunny, on your patio, or even in a windowsill inside the house, especially one that gets an abundance of light.
Either plant herbs in separated containers, or keep them six inches apart. Water when the plants are dry and watch them grow daily. As new growth appears, begin to snip the mature parts for your tasty dining; experiment with new recipes that call for your herbs. Regular trimming and snipping of your garden encourages growth, making the herbs full and bushy. You now have a portable garden with savory herbs.