This past Monday, I got off work a couple hours earlier than usual and it was absolutely gorgeous outside—75 degrees and sunny! The weather made me impulsively stop at the garden supply store on the way home.
I bought three pots, one large and two smaller ones. I got four basil plants, two rosemary, two cilantro and two oregano. I also got some organic potting mix. I resisted the urge to buy strawberries, tomatoes, peppers knowing that my little balcony was not appropriate for a full fledged vegetable garden!
As I drove home with my all my purchases, excited to get home and start planting, I drove over a curb turning the corner and I heard something smash. One of the pots I bought had smashed into a million pieces. It was quite strange that a small bump and a carpeted trunk would make this happen… That’s what I get for making impulse purchases!
So I had to go to Walmart and buy another pot. I finally got home and lugged everything in and got to planting!
My herb garden wasn’t as really an impulse as I’m making it out to be. I had wanted to plant one on our balcony ever since we moved in, but it’s been too cold outside. Hopefully my plants will make it to July before shriveling up in the Texas heat!
Last year, my dad built this awesome herb and vegetable garden container for my mom.
My mom grew basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, bell peppers, spinach, and onions.
Her basil plants were HUGE. We ate fresh pesto almost every week last summer! Hopefully my little basils will make it to this size.
We dried quite a bit of the herbs and now my mom has a good stock for cooking.
The best benefit of having a herb garden is the money you save. You’ve probably been at the grocery store, and you need rosemary or basil for a recipe but you only need a pinch or dash. Fresh herbs cost $3-7 and always wilt before you can use them all. Or if you’re like me, you forget that you have them in your fridge.
Grow your own herbs and add some green to your life, and you’ll save some money in the process. And it’ll make your porch or balcony smell awesome.
- Buy ceramic pots that are at least 6-8 inches deep, with drain holes in the bottom. Make sure to buy drain pans to set underneath to catch the water drainage. This helps keep the plants hydrated when it gets super hot.
- Buy good potting soil with organic additives to hold in extra moisture.
- Basil, rosemary, oregano and cilantro are common herbs and do well in spring and summer environments. You can also plant chives, parsley, and sage.
- Set the pots in the sun—most need to be in the sun at least 8 hours a day.
- Water frequently—stick your finger in the soil. If it feels dry an inch beneath the surface, it’s time to water.
- It’s safe to use an organic fertilizer every three weeks or so to give the plants an extra boost.
- Harvest the oldest stems first with scissors, don’t tear off the leaves.
Have you began your spring planting this year? Do you have a balcony herb garden?
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!