Organic container gardening is a pleasant and easy way to bring nature indoors, even into the smallest apartment, to beautify your patio and to ensure a steady supply of fresh, chemical-free herbs for healthy cooking. Since containers can be moved into the shade or placed in the sun when necessary, you can control the environmental exposure your herbs get. Growing herbs organically in containers gives you the opportunity to create optimal conditions for your plants because you can select the soil and improve it further by adding appropriate organic nutrients.
Herbs are not fussy about accommodation and will grow in most containers so long as they are the right size and have adequate holes since herbs grow well in soil that drains quickly.
Container plants do much better in potting mix than in garden soil, which is usually full of weeds and bugs. It’s best to buy a good organic potting mix, which is loose and drains well. You can also mix your own soil by combining organic potting soil, natural compost and coarse builder’s sand in equal amounts.
Before you fill the container with soil, soap and rinse it well in order to minimize the risk of contamination, line the container with pebbles or grit and then fill it partially with organic potting mix, keeping a couple of inches below the rim free of soil.
Since you want to keep your herbs free from chemical fertilizers, inspect them carefully and buy only the healthy ones. Place your herbs in the pot, secure it carefully with organic soil and some mulch, then water it straight away with some nutrient-rich liquid.
Herbs grown in containers attract fewer bugs than those on the ground. However, you can spray them with an organic pest control solution or simply using some soapy water if you have a problem with insects attacking the herbs.
Because plants in container need more water than the ones in the ground, you need to water your herbs regularly so that they stay sufficiently moist. Herbs in containers need also more nutrients because soil in containers cannot draw nourishment from the ground when needed and dries out as a result. It’s always good to mix some organic fertilizer with your potting soil before planting. If you find your herbs looking dry and off-color just add some liquid organic food to the pot such as compost tea or fish emulsion in small quantities once a fortnight.
Once their basic needs are met, herbs are happy to grow in containers and most of them will thrive and give you plenty of fresh and fragrant leaves for months. Mint, sage, bay laurel, rosemary, thyme and basil are some herbs that do very well in containers and are very popular among those who keep container gardens. If you grow different herbs together, you want to remember to keep invasive plants such as mint in independent pots away from your other herbs in order to prevent them from crowding the others out.
With a little effort and imagination, your portable organic herb garden can give you a year-round harvest of fresh, healthy and aromatic herbs as well as add variety and visual appeal to your home or garden. Also, organic container gardening is sure to give you many fulfilling and stress-free moments over the years.