Love the aroma of fresh mint in a Mojito? Or the delicious smell of basil simmering in a pot of sauce? How about the taste of fresh dill mixed with some Greek yogurt as a side of dipping sauce for a gyro? Herbs have such a huge impact on any recipe – so much so, that it can be hard to believe how easy they are to grow.
Keeping a tiny herb garden is so simple that anyone can do it – even if you have little to no space. You can keep it on a windowsill, a front step or on a small deck or balcony, so long as it can get a good amount of sun, and you don’t have to know much or anything about gardening to get you going. Adding fresh herbs to a recipe is a quick way to give just the right amount of flavor that makes all the difference. Even better, there are some seriously delicious drinks you can make with fresh herbs! Check out the step-by-step on how to plant a small herb garden, and then skip to the bottom for those drink recipes…
- a container
- some rocks
- potting soil
- your choice of herbs
First, get your container ready. It doesn’t need to be anything super large or fancy, or something even specifically meant for planting. You can use an old can or jar, or a funky accent piece you have around the house. So long as you have a hole for drainage at the bottom, you are good to go. I grabbed this extra planter I had. (Your herb container can be much more shallow than this – I just wanted to use what I already had).
Next, check to see if there are any holes on the bottom to allow for drainage. Most planters will have one already, but if not, you’ll have to drill one. If you or someone you know owns a drill, this takes two seconds. If not, bring your planter over to Lowe’s or Home Depot, or any nearby hardware store, and ask them to drill a hole for you.
Now, turn your planter back over and fill the bottom with a layer of rocks. The rocks act as a barrier between the bottom of the planter and the soil. You don’t want the soil and planter to be directly touching because if they are, the water will not be able to drain out properly. (This can cause your roots to rot, which will then travel up to your plants.)
Now it’s time to add your potting soil. Fill the container about 3/4 of the way to the top. (You’ll most likely need a bit more, but this is a good start, and once you start adding your herbs to the pot it will fill up more.) Once you’ve added your soil, it’s time to start planting your herbs. Depending on the size of your container, I’d keep anywhere from 3-5 different types. A great combination for an Italian herb container is thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley and basil, although there are plenty of combinations you can make depending on your taste. For mine, I used dill, basil, oregano and thyme. For more ideas on herb combinations, click here.
Most herbs that you can purchase from a local nursery come already in plantable pots that can go right into the soil as-is. Just arrange them in your container however you like best. I started with the dill and put it towards the back, since it is the biggest and one of the most tall. Next to that, I put the basil since this can grow tall as well. And so on, and so on. Add more potting soil as necessary as you go.
That’s it! Now, water every other day or so and collect your herbs as needed. Don’t worry too much about feeling like you don’t know what you are doing. The great thing about herbs is that they don’t require much maintenance, and most of them are pretty hearty and tolerant. And for some herbs, such as basil, the more leaves you pinch off of it the more it produces, so feel free to use what you need.
Now for the recipes! Delicous drinks to make with your herbs:
Also, here is some motivation, and proof that you can start a garden large or small, no matter who you are or what your lifestyle: http://blog.practicallygreen.com/2011/04/10-top-action-on-practically-green-plans-plant-a-vegetable-garden/
You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown