How to Create a Container Garden
Okay besides the obvious requirements of container, sun, water, soil and of course, plants there are some basic steps to get you started in the world of indoor gardening.
So after you’ve made a decision on which herbs to grow, you’ll now actually have to get your hands “dirty.”
The great thing is that these container gardening tips aren’t just for indoor gardening, but they’re also useful for outdoors gardening as well.
Let’s start with containers as there are so many variations. Plants enjoy healthy soil and moisture so larger pots tend to do better when you’d like a steady supply of herbs to clip.
However for most, bigger is better is simply not possible for most kitchen households. A general rule is ideally you’d like to have a container that’s 10 inches wide or larger and 8 inches or deeper and no smaller than 6 inches wide.
An ideal setup would be to use the larger containers for herbs that intend to use often or that readily produce like mint or cilantro. And less used herbs like oregano could be placed in smaller pots.
So Many Choices!
Picking out the “right” type of containers for your indoor gardening masterpiece can be confusing especially given the unique qualities of each herb. Below are some popular types of containers and their unique qualities.
Clay (Terra Cotta)
Probably the most popular type as it’s affordable and has a timeless design that compliments practically any household style. However, it does require more maintenance as it’s a porous material that’s prone to cracking.
Lightweight and industrial metallic pots, similar to plastics, offer more variety especially for those with an eye for design.
Perfect for people who enjoy a more industrial look while still retaining durability. Attention is needed for long term use as rusting could occur and the metallic chemical properties could make their way into your herbs.
Similar to clay pots but way more stylish and durable. Ceramic pots, especially glazed, can come in a variety of vibrant colors and designs to suit your unique tastes. The drawbacks are normally the higher costs and heavier weight.
Beautiful and naturally pleasing there is no better way to look good while growing. Wood itself is the most organic material but be aware of treated wood which could contain chemicals that aren’t good for your plants which are absorbing all the ingredients in the container or more importantly, for people eating the herbs.
Affordable, lightweight and creative! Plastic containers offer more variety in terms of shape and size since they can be molded in inventive ways that other pots can’t. Their shortcomings come in long-term durability and chemical properties that’s simply not as natural.
Here are some great container options especially made for the serious indoor gardener:
Use mixes that are made for containers which are normally peat moss-based combined with fertilizers and moisture absorbing materials like perlite.
Eco-conscious growers can also look to organic options or better yet, you can create your own potting mix! Developing you’re own mix allows you to completely control every ingredient in your mix.
This could include a combination of compost, potting mix, perlite, and peat moss. Typically, a properly homemade potting mix will last longer than store mixes in a bag.
To Seed or Not to Seed
If you wanted to start from the beginning to end, then start with seeds. Although this might be more rewarding for some, it might just be easier to transplant or start with existing smaller plants.
By using an existing plant, you’re already assured that the seed is growing insuring the chances of fully grown herbs and you’ll also save precious time instead of waiting a few weeks before realizing which seeds survived.
Transplanting also gives you the option to move herbs to different containers if so desired whereas moving seeds that haven’t yet germinated is more unpredictable.