Welcome to the newest blog series from Gardenalia! Starting June 2016, we’ll be sharing bi-weekly posts bringing you the best of gardening, landscaping, and the organic home lifestyle! From our first blog on ideas for herb container gardens to the next blog on curb appeal, we’re excited to grow with our readers. So let’s get started!
Herb Container Gardens
If you’re one of the many gardeners already sad at the idea of June winding down, you’re not alone! Yes, Summer’s heat has officially arrived, and many plants and flowers have already blossomed. However, it isn’t too late for adding another piece to your home garden! In fact, any season is an ideal time for the often overlooked and under-appreciated area of container gardening! Container gardens, once the lone pet of inner city studio apartment dwellers now has a place almost anywhere. From sunny porches in quiet suburbia to balconies overlooking city skylines, there’s a container for every patch, and we’ve collected two of our favorite herbed inspirations!
Can smelling this container grown herb make you smarter? Science says: Yes!
Classic Rosemary, also known as “Rosmarinus officinalis,” is a well-known culinary herb with its namesake added to many savory kitchen dishes. Named “Herb of the Year” by the International Herb Association in 2000, it carries a pungent flavor and savory leaves shaped much like pine needles.
Crush a little bit of rosemary between your forefingers, hold them up to your nose, take a deep inhale and you’ll see why this herb is the welterweight of the bougie cooking crowd. Home growing rosemary in container pots isn’t as hard as you’d think it would be, so here’s some tips and tricks for making yours glorious!
Be sure to start rosemary from a pre-grown seed. This herb is a tough one to birth from the ground up. When adding to the pot give the seedling about 12” – 14” of adequate space that offers room for root and sub-soil growth. Give us a call if you’re hunting for places to purchase from.
Gardenalia Tip: As with all container gardens or potted plants, it’s imperative to keep your eyes open for drainage holes. Those impressive containers on your local store’s shelves might lack adequate drainage, ultimately causing damage to root systems. Below are a few container gardens that we’ve designed (proper drainage and all)!
Rosemary is a great plant to have in the kitchen on a window sill for a quick evening snip, and as it’s Mediterranean in origin, it will need the sun and preferably southern window exposure. Also, keep in mind, over-watering this plant can damage the base of the roots, so let it dry thoroughly. And lastly, Rosemary is super simple to propagate, and sometimes roots will develop even in a glass of water on a sunny windowsill, so snip a bit off, and give one to a friend who loves to cook, they’ll thank you for it!
Basil for the win!
It’s hard to type any sentence regarding Basil, without adding the much loved “mozzarella and tomato” to the conversation. However, it’s much more than just a topper on classic Italian food! This gem adores the hot and sunny summers in Pittsburgh and combines well with so many of your favorite dishes.
Depending on the time of year, start your pot with a seedling or a partial plant. Make sure the pot/planter size is generous to allow for growth. If you want to plant multiple types of Basil, give it a try! One combo is Purple and Thai Basil and are both traditional varieties that quickly adapt when they are nested together. Many types of Basil need 7 to 8 hours of direct sun. If you’re in a Zone prone to dark days, give the plant lots of front porch or enclosed sunroom (sun) time. Whether in a classic Italian terra cotta container, or an up-cycled copper pot, Basil will be right at home. Don’t forget to pinch back the growth and water, though!
Gardenalia Tip: To see if soil requires more water, lightly press your finger into the container garden. If it comes back with no dirt, time to add some H2O!
Container gardening is such a great way to diversify and add color, emotion, and depth to your home space. And they aren’t only practical for those living in tiny studios. They can work almost anywhere! Plus, it’s great to know the simple joy of checking-in on them each day. Watching the lush little Eden grow under your hands is exciting!
Overall, container gardens are definitely not limited to only herb kitchen gardens. They can be placed indoors or outdoors and even redone each season. Note: make sure to change out the plants if you live in a place with 4 seasons!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we talk about plants, personality, and curb appeal! Until next time be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Houzz, Instagram, and Pinterest for special announcements, events, and new gardening inspirations!