How to Grow an Herb Garden in Planter Boxes

If your apartment leaves little room for growing things, you can use planter boxes to host an herb garden. An herb garden also requires a more minimal commitment of your time for maintenance. There’s no need to fertilize herbs regularly, and they can withstand dry spells if you forget to water them occasionally. Before you begin, make sure that your planter boxes receive plenty of sunlight. If they are located in a shady area, you should use plants that respond well to a shady environment. Provide your herbs with well-draining soil. Prune and harvest appropriately, and you should enjoy a bountiful supply of fresh herbs for your cooking.

Herbs do require full sunlight. They like direct sunlight, and lots of it. If your planter boxes will be in a shady area, you should pick different plants that like shade.

Once you’ve ensured that the location of the planters is acceptable for herbs, prepare the containers. Line the bottoms with pebbles or a similar material. This porous lining improves the soil drainage so that the plant roots won’t sit in overly damp soil too long and rot as a result. Fill the remaining space in the planter boxes with a good potting soil. Quality potting soil will also help to improve drainage, and your herbs will receive the necessary level of dampness in their soil. As you plant, you can mix different herbs in the same container.

Herbs can withstand dry spells if you forget to water sometimes. In fact, some herbs are even considered drought-resistant plants. And if you live in an area with frequent rain, you may rarely need to water your herbs, anyway. However, you should get into the habit of evaluating the soil’s moisture regularly to ensure the best results for your herb garden. Check the moisture in your planter boxes by pressing your fingertip into the soil. If the soil feels damp to your touch, it’s probably moist enough. If the soil feels wet, you have overwatered; adjust the amount of water you feed the herbs. If the soil feels completely dry to your fingertip, your herbs could use some water. But don’t drown them.

Make time to prune and harvest your herbs as they grow. When you pinch back annual herbs, you increase your harvest from their foliage. Instead of channeling their energy into making seeds and producing blooms, their energy produces more leaves. You can use the parts you pinch off in your cooking or dry them for future use.

Compared with other plants, herbs should demand minimal amounts of your time. They will add some greenery to your living space and provide a service to your cooking and taste buds. Remember to evaluate the area where you will place your planter boxes. Herbs need direct sunlight to thrive. As you prepare your containers, remember to line them with drainage aids and fill them with good potting soil. Gauge the moisture in the soil regularly to determine when and how much to water. As the herbs grow, prune appropriately. Enjoy your harvest.

Rachel Dawson is a freelance writer who can’t survive complicated gardening. She writes about container gardens and planter boxes.

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