Hello friends, here comes a chatty Friday post (a non-sewing related post). Gardening is such a great hobby in spring/summer, that I feel it does need a dedicated mention on the blog. 🙂
This year I decided to do some herb garden and floral garden in pots since we live in an apartment with pretty sizable patio space. We do not have an option to plant anything on ground, but these huge barrel pots for just 14$ each from Costco served pretty well for planting, because of their depth.
Hope you guys have had a great spring so far and have started a little garden of your own. Now in peak summer we are enjoying the plants and fresh herbs in various recipes. We went to a friends place for dinner recently and made home made white pizza with fresh herbs! What a treat it was! Added to this, the activity of gardening itself is so therapeutic! So I thought of sharing some things I learnt over the past couple of years in gardening and what better chance to show off some garden pictures than a blog post 😉 🙂
1. Herbs have pretty shallow root system, so you might not need a very deep pot. A shallow pot or a herb planter with levels works great too.
2. All herbs can be planted together in one pot. Everything goes with everything. Its not like vegetable garden, where you need to be careful about what veggies to plant together. The distinction you could make is place plants needing a lot of water together (eg: coriander, dill) and plants needing a drier soil together(other herbs). So this way you can water according to their hydration needs.
3. I planted chili in center because that plant usually grows tall and so it adds some visual interest by creating levels in pot. For that matter I also got the deep pot so chili could expand roots deeper.
4. I planted coriander, dill, sage, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary. Home depot had a 5 plants for $10 deal in end of April! Usually a good time to plant is during or just after the last frost.
5. Plant mint in a separate container or inside a container in the barrel, because it will grow and it will grow wild. Looks like all people I meet know this small fact, but I have learnt that many know it after they have had experienced it planting in ground. Definitely it was a great savior tip for me.
6. Trim! Trim! Trim! Keep trimming the herbs 1/3 of their length for them to keep growing vigorously. Not cutting them and letting them flower and reach maturity stunts their growth. Trim and store them or dry them to use later in recipes.
Its been a really hot summer so far. We have had to water everyday but we can go one day in between without watering too. Esp on day it rains, which is quite regular in summers here in Atlanta, you can opt to not water them. Now in June, chili has grown really tall and working out well in the arrangement.
This one definitely took more thinking about the arrangement, things about what colors to place together, what kinds of plants would look good together and how they are going to get required amount of sun, and how much water hydration they need. Still its easier than a veggie garden!
- Playing with different heights and levels of plants was too much fun. I started with planting the tall hibiscus in center and smaller plants around.
- Plant similar height plants together. Low colorful leafy plants along with aloe were planted on one side, while flowering plants on another side.
- Plant similar color flowers together for a good punch of the color. I planted lavender will other purple color flowers.
- Aloe and lavender required the least water and so planted side by side. Lavender needs dry soil so it was planted in its own pot in the barrel for good water flow. Tip: Add a small lemon or squeeze half a lemon in water and water the lavender soil with it before planting. Lavender needs alkaline soil. So it will flower as soon as it gets that right alkalinity. This tip worked so well, as you can see in after photo below. Also, once lavender flowers, just before it matures completely trim it and collect the long floral stems for the most aroma. Last year I could not get lavender to flower because I dint know this simple trick.
- Plant a creeper flowing out of the side of pot for another visual level of interest. Plant creeper in a separate pot because otherwise it will take over the entire barrel :P. Also, the more moist you keep its soil and the creeper, the more it will grow.
- Trim! Trim! Trim! Overall the plants are doing really well now in middle of June. The most important part is watering according to requirements and trimming the plants to keep it looking the way the arrangement started. A before picture definitely helps in trimming 🙂
Another plant we planted: confederate jasmine had a lot of flowers initially but now is just a wild growth with no flowers. If any one has tips on that, please do share. And ofcourse on other herbs and plants you had experiences with 🙂 Happy gardening!