Looking to spruce up and brighten your apartment balcony or backyard? Growing a herb garden will not only add beauty to your outdoor space, but will also give you fresh flavours to add into your cooking whenever you need. If you’re worried about the time and care commitment, you’ll be excited to learn that herbs are relatively fuss-free and super easy to grow.
To get started on your herb garden, follow the steps below!
Decide on your herbs
You can choose between growing from seed or buying already sprouted herbs from a nursery if you are short on time. The best thing about growing them in a planter box is that you can grow them all year round. Some of the annual herbs are cilantro, parsley, chive, basil, dill, fennel and perennials like – rosemary, mint, sage, lavender, oregano and thyme.
Something to be mindful of is that strong and fast-growing herbs like sage, mint and oregano require plenty of space. These should be planted away from sensitive and low growing herbs like rosemary and basil. We also recommend doing some research on the sunlight, space and optimal weather conditions for the herbs you choose to grow!
When to grow your herbs
Most herbs can be grown all year round, but some extra care is required to ensure they’re protected from getting too cold in the winters or too hot during summer. On particularly hot days, we recommend watering your herbs more and keeping them under shade if possible. Bringing them in a shaded place is not recommended on an ongoing basis as your herbs could become weak as they try to pull to the sun.
Collect your planting gear
Good news! You only need a few things to plant herbs successfully in your balcony – our planter box, potting soil and the herb seeds. Herbs can be grown in small individual planters, or in a larger planter by grouping a few different herbs together. Be sure to read the seed packet to confirm how much room the herb will need once fully matured.
We have the perfect planter for your herbs! Check out our Portable Raised Garden Beds. It’s super easy-to-use -you just have to unfold it, fill it with soil and plant your herbs. It does not require any setup and comes with built-in draining outlets, which allows for excess water to drain out instead of pooling in the garden bed.
Sunlight and position
No matter the type of herb you’re growing, sunlight plays a critical role. Most herbs need to be in direct sunlight for 4-6 hours in order to grow well. A good idea might be to observe your balcony/backyard at different times during the day, and marking where the sunlight hits your space. You may find that neighbours’ houses, tall trees or surrounding buildings might block out sunlight at different times in the day. So make sure to find a space where your new herbs can thrive!
Watering and fertilising
This is an important one, especially if you’re growing your herbs in a planter, as plants in pots are more sensitive to dry and waterlogged soil. To prevent this, set reminders to ensure you water your herbs regularly and choose planters with drainage holes. We recommend doing some research on the herbs and the type of soil they like: moist or dry. If you notice the edges of the plant beginning to brown or wilt, that’s a sign for you to water more regularly.
Pro Tip: If you use our Portable Raised Garden Beds, they come with built in draining outlets, which allow for excess water to drain out instead of pooling in the garden bed.
Trimming and Harvesting
This step is often the most difficult to get right. Not all herbs are the same, so trimming and harvesting requires a bit of research in order to get the most out of each plant. Herbs like oregano and mint can simply be harvested by snipping off leaves anywhere on the plant, but when growing basil you need to snip leaves from the top of the plant, not the bottom.
Be sure to regularly trim the plants to encourage growth of rounded and fuller leaves. This will happen naturally if you’re using your herbs in the kitchen, but only start to snip leaves once the plant reaches around 4-6 inches in height.
It’s important to understand the unique care your herbs need, so when it comes time to bring them into the kitchen, you can get the absolute best out of them!