Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Plant an Herb Garden!

A three day weekend - like this past Memorial Day holiday, is the perfect time to do a special project. For the past month, I have been talking about planting a herb garden since I missed the one I had last year so much. Finally I made my way down to the Green Market in Union Square and bought: Mexican tarragon, chives, sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, as well as an heirloom tomato plant and a cayenne pepper plant. I only had enough soil to plant the sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and the tomato plant, but I will finish planting the rest next weekend when I buy the basil and couple other herbs I have been eying.

To start an herb garden, you need a planter or pot that has adequate drainage. Fill the bottom of the pot with a couple inches of rocks (rocks should be about the size of popcorn) and then pack down the soil (I used Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix) to the point of where you want to plant your herbs. I like to water the soil just so everything is moist.
When dealing with the placement of herbs I like to keep the hardier, firm stem plants (like rosemary) together and the softer plants (like sage) together. Before placing them in the planter, I snip the bottoms on all four sides to unwind the roots, and then gently loosen the dirt.
I then place my herbs in the planter and pack the soil around their bases. I give them plenty of water and put them in the sunniest spot I can find (my brownstone only gets Northern and Southern sunlight so it isn't a lot). I water them every couple days depending on the heat, I like to make sure the soil is moist.
Please note, I am not a serious gardener, I have only taken one class on herb gardening and these steps worked for me last year. I pulled my planters inside once it got cold, but the herbs didn't last because they couldn't get enough sun.

Since I do a lot of cooking, it is nice to have these herbs on hand, instead of spending three to four dollars on a bundle in the grocery store. This way, you can snip off what you need. Herbs love to be snipped - it promotes growth, just don't snip more than a third of the way down the stem.


  1. Just found your blog; LOVE IT!

    And wanted to comment:
    Have you considered an indoor plant light for the winter? You can get them relatively cheap at any home improvement or gardening store. The light bulbs can screw into any old lamp and keep your herbs green year round!

  2. Thanks for checking out the blog, glad you like it :) This year, I actually transported my herbs to a green house at my friend's school. They have been thriving there! Hopefully I can bring them back to the apartment soon. Thanks for your suggestion, I will definitely keep it in mind for next year :)