Last week, a ReadyMade reader named Annie posted on the FB page: “I need some advice on herb gardens. Inside or outside? My outside herbs died last year. My friend swears they won’t survive inside. I also need ideas on what reused item to build it out of! The possibilities are endless!”
Inside or outside, that is the question. According to the research I did, with a little bit of planning and luck, you can grow herbs both outside and inside. Here are a few quick pointers:
- Check out Sunset’s sampler of 12 common garden herbs to figure out what went wrong with your outdoor plants last year. The post includes simple, helpful growing and harvest tips, and the site in general is a treasure trove of information.
- Choose herbs that have the best chance of surviving indoors. Divine Caroline offers up this list of the nine easiest herbs to grow inside: Lemongrass, Chives, Mint, Parsley, Vietnamese Coriander, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Spicy Globe or African Blue Basil. Basil will arguably prove to be the most challenging herb to grow indoors, but apparently those two varieties are your best bets.
- Want to grow your herbs outside through spring and summer, then move them inside for the colder months? Better Homes and Gardens has some tips on how to re-home your outdoor herbs inside for winter. The basic gist is this: Look for new growth. Herbs such as chives and mint divide easily. Others, such as golden Thyme, can be separated from the mother plant by inserting a trowel sharply just behind the newly-formed roots of an advancing stem.
Now for the fun stuff: Containers! Here’s a collection of inspiring projects and products for creating herb gardens inside and out.
Vertical garden design has been enjoying a serious surge in popularity, and for good reason: It’s a great way to grow with limited space and to green your surroundings. Companies like Root Pouch and Wooly Pockets offer products that can be hung and planted inside or out. I especially love the look of these living wall herb panels by herbxchange, which can also be hung and cultivated inside and out.
Want to make something similar yourself? I love this project, which shows how to turn an old wooden soda crate into a vertical garden.
The lovely and talented Andrea Bellamy over at Heavy Petal recently posted about these super cool magnetic pots by urbio. Each pot is made of eco-plastic and is equipped with large neodymium magnets that are strong enough to hold almost anything to the wall, or to each other. According to Andrea, “Urbio is comprised of a team of designers lead by Beau Oyler and Jared Aller of Enlisted Design and Tim Cui of Volare Studio, and they are currently on Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced funding platform for creative projects. As of posting, 574 backers had pledged $52,816 toward making the Urbio concept a reality.” Pretty awesome.
Mike Lieberman over at Urban Organic Gardener has his own take on a pallet planter, and I really love the creative possibilities for his hanging herb planter made out of recycled soda bottles! Ever the generous spirit, he was kind enough to post instructions on how to make one of your own.
Finally, check out ReadyMade’s best tips on successfully growing herbs inside.
As for the herbs in my own garden:
- Chives: Loads of success over the past few months, and showing no signs of slowing down.
- Cilantro: Prolific, delicious, grew to be nearly as big as me, flowered and I had to pull it out. Will plant again and attempt to keep it going through the summer.
- Parsley: Took a really long time to get it going. Finally have a small plant, and got to serve homegrown for Passover!
- Dill: Planted a seedling quite a few months ago, and it (seems to have) died in infancy. It’s root system is still in the soil, and I’ve read that it may still be alive, but I’m not holding my breath.
- Rosemary & Lavender: Planted in the ground along with natives and drought tolerant plants. Both doing well. Not sure that I’ll use them as edibles, because I haven’t done a soil test, but that’s a possibility.
- Basil: Divided one seedling into two and planted in a pot on my porch, with a tomato plant. Too soon to tell how any of them will fare.
- Sage & Oregano: Planted two kinds of cooking sage and an oregano seedling together in a pot on my porch. Still too soon to tell how they’ll fare.
- Mint: Planted one seedling in a pot on my porch, because I heard it was invasive and would overtake anything else it was planted with. Seems happy so far.
My plan is to move the rest of my herbs out of the raised veggie beds and slowly but surely fill the empty spaces around the house with herbs and teas.
What about you? What herbs have you recently planted, succeeded with, or killed?
Originally published on ReadyMade