Potting Herbs - A Mother's Day Gift
Want to make a special individual, long-lasting gift? Then why not plant up a pot with a selection of favourite herbs.
Although in spring you can only put in warm season annual herbs like dill and basil in spring, lots of choice herbs can be started off at other times, either from seeds or seedlings. And there’s nothing nicer than being able to step outside the door to harvest fresh herbs just as they’re needed.
Choose a Pot
The traditionalist will prefer the earthy appearance and feel of terracotta, and a terracotta pot with holes for individual herbs (sometimes called strawberry pots) is a popular choice. These do, however, have some drawbacks. Terracotta pots are heavy to move around and their sides are very porous, hence they dry out easily. While this mightn’t matter for some of the drought-hardy Mediterranean herbs – such as thyme and oregano – others need more water.
A plastic pot is often a better choice. Yates Tuscan pots have wonderful drainage and come in a range of colours, including the traditional terracotta shade. There’s also a Tuscan bowl, which is ideal for a selection of small-growing herbs at the kitchen door.
The All Important Potting Mix
Whenever you’re potting up any sort of container, don’t skimp on the potting mix. A good potting mix will make all the difference to the plants’ performance. Look for a premium quality mix like Yates Thrive. Hanging baskets, which dry out easily, are best filled with a specific hanging basket mix that’s been designed to hold more moisture.
What to Plant
Give some basic structure to your herb planting by placing an upright growing plant in the centre of the pot. Both rosemary and bay are good suggestions, but avoid the ground-covering or low-growing rosemary varieties for this central position.
Around the edges of the pot, plant a selection of smaller herbs. Of course the ultimate choice will be governed by your preferences, but here are some tried and true suggestions:
- Parsley – A favourite, even if the pretty leaves are only used as a garnish for sandwiches.
- Thyme – There are lot of different types and some really low-growers that will look good draping over the sides of the pot.
- Lemon Balm – Hardy in all but the frostiest positions, Lemon Balm has a myriad of uses. Lemon balm tea helps to relieve insomnia and stress, and freshly harvested leaves can be picked to flavour salads or sandwiches.
- Nasturtium and Calendula – Edible flowers add colour to all sorts of dishes, and the plants bring some extra cheer to a herb pot.
- Garlic Chives – Unlike ordinary chives, these don’t die down in winter and can be snip-harvested for use in omelettes, cheese dishes or anywhere you want a mild onion flavour.
When your pot is done, put it in a good spot just outside the kitchen door or give it to a friend. A potted herb collection makes a much appreciated gift.
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