Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Herb Gardening

There is nothing easier than growing your own fresh herbs. You don't need to be a skilled gardener and, as a matter-of-fact, you don't even need a garden! My house is surrounded by large trees and my driveway is about the only place that receives enough light for these sun-loving plants. In past years, I've had a few small pots with herbs but, this year for Mother's Day, I asked my husband and daughter to help me set up a BIG container herb garden! Together we chose a beautifully decorated, sturdy, large pot and had a great time choosing all the individual herb plants. We set it on the driveway between the two garage doors where it will get sunlight most of the morning and into the afternoon. It really dresses up the otherwise boring driveway nicely.

If you want to plant your own personal herb garden, pick a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sun a day. You don't need a large container, but some plants need more root space than others. For example, rosemary will do better in a taller pot because it's roots grow straight down. If you're planting in pots, make certain there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the container so the roots don't become waterlogged. If the plant flowers, pinch the flowers off to encourage a longer growing season and greater yield. You can always start from seeds (right now there are herb starter kits available at most gardening centers), but if you can't wait then purchase the plants. Water your potted herbs whenever the soil is dry. In hot weather, you might have to water daily. You can purchase "moisture control" potting soil which contains small pellets that soak up the water and release it slowly, making it possible to water less often. That's about all you need to know -- it's that easy. The best part about having your own herb garden is that all you have to do is step out of your kitchen and pick the herbs you need for a recipe, which makes cooking more exciting and fun!

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