How to Create and Maintain a Beautiful and Productive Container Garden


In the world of gardening, container gardens have become increasingly popular. For those who may not have the space or resources for a traditional outdoor garden, container gardening offers a convenient and versatile alternative. Jekka’s Herb Farm, a trusted source of information on all things herb-related, explains that container gardens allow you to grow a wide variety of plants, including herbs, vegetables, and strawberries, in a small space.

Choosing the right containers is essential for successful container gardening. Jekka’s Herb Farm advises that you should choose containers that are large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system, have proper drainage holes, and are made of materials that are weather-resistant. Plastic containers, for example, are lightweight and can be easily moved throughout the garden as needed.

When it comes to selecting the plants for your container garden, Jekka’s Herb Farm recommends considering the environment in which they’ll be planted. Some plants, like leafy greens and herbs, prefer full sun, while others, like strawberries, do best in shadier spots. Before planting, it’s important to research each plant’s specific growing requirements to ensure a successful container garden.

One of the most important tips for successful container gardening is to use a well-drained soil mixture. Jekka’s Herb Farm advises creating a mixture of compost, grit, and topsoil to provide the plants with the nutrients and drainage they need. Additionally, it’s important to water your container garden regularly and provide fertilizer as needed to promote healthy growth.

Potted Herbs: Growing Herbs In Containers

When it comes to getting the most out of your herb garden, planting them in containers is a great option. Some herbs, like mint and lemon balm, are extremely invasive and can take over your garden if planted directly in the soil. By using containers, you can control their growth and prevent them from spreading where you don’t want them to.

Container-grown herbs have similar requirements as those grown in the garden. They need well-draining soils and regular watering. However, potted herbs may need to be moved to sunnier or shadier spots depending on their specific needs. For example, herbs like basil and oregano prefer full sun, while others like parsley and cilantro thrive in partial shade.

When choosing containers for your herbs, it’s important to consider their size. Smaller herbs, like thyme and rosemary, can be planted in smaller pots, while larger herbs, like sage and lavender, require larger containers to accommodate their root systems. Alternatively, you can choose to grow herbs on a windowsill or even a balcony if you don’t have access to a garden.

Planting herbs in containers also allows you to keep them closer to your kitchen, making it convenient to pluck fresh herbs for salads, soups, and other dishes. For example, those who wish to enjoy the taste of savory herbs like thyme and basil in their daily meals can have them within easy reach by growing them on their windowsill or in pots on their kitchen counter.

When potting your herbs, it’s important to choose the right potting mix. A mix of compost and high-quality potting soil typically works well for most herbs. Ensure that the container has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent water from pooling and causing root rot.

Caring for potted herbs involves maintaining the appropriate watering schedule and providing them with the right amount of sunlight. While herbs do require regular watering, it’s important to ensure that the soil doesn’t become waterlogged. A good tip is to water the herbs when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Throughout the growing season, it’s important to fertilize your potted herbs regularly. Many herbs are heavy feeders and can benefit from organic liquid fertilizers applied every two to three weeks. Feed your herbs according to the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for best results.

Invasive herbs like mint and marjoram can be confined to containers to prevent them from spreading and taking over your garden. You can also use plastic barriers to keep their roots in check and prevent them from invading other areas of your garden.

In conclusion, growing herbs in containers is a beautiful way to enjoy fresh, flavorful herbs throughout the year. Whether you have a large garden or a small balcony, there is always a suitable container and caring tips to ensure the success of your potted herb garden. So why wait? Get started and create your own mini herb garden today!

Why Grow Herbs in Containers

Growing herbs in containers, whether it’s on a windowsill or in the corner of your sunny garden, offers many benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider growing herbs in containers:

  • Limited space: If you have a small garden or no garden at all, container gardening is a great solution. You can grow herbs even if you only have a balcony or a windowsill.
  • Seasonal control: By growing herbs in containers, you have more control over the growing conditions. You can move the containers around to provide the herbs with the right amount of sunlight and protect them from harsh weather.
  • Easier maintenance: Container-grown herbs require less weeding and are less prone to pests and diseases compared to herbs planted in the ground. This makes them easier to maintain and care for.
  • Extended growing season: Some herbs, like basil and parsley, are annuals that can be grown year-round in containers. By bringing them indoors before the first frost, you can enjoy fresh herbs throughout the year.
  • Convenient access: Having herbs in containers means they’re just a few steps away from your kitchen. You can easily snip off some fresh herbs to enhance the flavor of your dishes.
  • Customized growing conditions: Different herbs have different requirements. By growing them in containers, you can provide each herb with the specific soil mixture, watering, and light conditions that they need to thrive.
  • Visual appeal: Container gardens can be both functional and attractive. You can create beautiful combinations of herb plants in larger containers, adding visual interest to your outdoor or indoor space.

In conclusion, growing herbs in containers is a practical and rewarding way to have a fresh supply of herbs at your fingertips. Whether you’re new to gardening or have been growing plants for years, container gardening offers a flexible and manageable way to grow and enjoy a wide variety of herbs throughout the year. Happy planting!

Choosing Containers for Herbs

When it comes to container gardening, choosing the right containers for your herbs is crucial. The right container can provide the necessary growing conditions that herbs need to thrive and flourish. Here is some information to help you choose the right containers for your herb garden.

First, consider the size of the container. Most herbs prefer a container that is at least 10 inches deep and wide. This will allow enough space for the herb’s root system to grow and develop. If you plan on growing bushy herbs or those that spread, like marjoram or lemon balm, a larger container may be necessary.

Next, consider the material of the container. Plastic containers are a popular choice for herb gardens as they are lightweight and easy to move around. They also retain moisture well, which can help with watering. However, plastic containers may not be suitable for wintering herbs, as they can crack in the cold weather.

If you’re looking for a more durable option, consider using clay or ceramic containers. These containers are heavy and provide stability, making them suitable for larger or taller herbs. They also allow for good airflow and drainage, which is essential for the herb’s root system.

Another option is using wooden planters. These are great for creating a rustic and natural look in your herb garden. However, make sure the wood is untreated to prevent any chemicals from leaching into the soil. Cedar and redwood are good choices because they are naturally resistant to decay and rot.

Lastly, consider the watering requirements of your herbs. Some herbs, like rosemary and thyme, prefer drier conditions and are sensitive to overwatering. For these herbs, choosing a container with good drainage, such as one with holes in the bottom or a container with a drip tray, will help prevent waterlogged soil.

On the other hand, some herbs, like parsley and mint, prefer consistently moist soil. For these herbs, using a self-watering container or a container with a water reservoir can help prolong the time between watering and keep the soil consistently moist.

In conclusion, when choosing containers for your herbs, consider the size, material, and watering requirements of the herbs you wish to grow. Whether you go for a high-quality plastic, clay or ceramic, or a wooden planter, make sure it provides enough space for the herb’s root system and allows for proper drainage and airflow. This will ensure the successful growth and life of your herbs for years to come.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.