I find that living in the city can at times be a dull sight. However, when I see a sparkle of green in an apartment window or someone growing plants in a small alley, I can’t help but smile. Not all of us have big back or front yards to grow lovely plants, but there are many ways to do so in small spaces. If you only have enough space for one small container, it is enough for a lovely combination of herbs.
Herb Gardening for Small Spaces
Let’s take a look at the many possible ways in which you can garden your plants, as well as the type of herbs you can plant in small spaces. If space is limited you may want to look at growing indoors or on your balcony, patio or windowsills. Wherever you decide to grow your herb garden, keep in mind the lighting, accessibility, and climate. When planning your garden, consider the herbs you use daily, the time you have to tend to them and the herbs that will grow in the space you have. For example, if you have little to no sunlight, you must find herbs that will flourish without it.
You must have sufficient time to spend watering and caring for your indoor herb garden if you don't wait for it to wither away. Natural sunlight is best for most herbs along with some fresh air. Windowsills and balconies make the best places for herb gardens.
When you decide to grow an indoor herb garden in a small space, you must carefully consider different containers to use, but mainly, you need to look at containers that have good drainage. For these, you will also require saucers, unless you want the whole area to be constantly wet. If the pots you have on hand do not have drainage, you can place a couple of stones and rocks in the bottom before adding the soil. You can also mix some vermiculite in with the soil, which will assist in giving better drainage.
You must check your pots on a daily basis to ensure your herbs don’t go dry. To test them, simply stick your finger into the soil; if it’s dry, add some water. If you notice your herbs are constantly dry, your drainage may be too much.
There is a large variety of pots for indoor use that come in different sizes and shapes. It is best to measure your area before shopping for pots to make sure everything fits.
Alternatively, there are a lot of things that can serve as pots. For example, you can use old plastic containers, cold drink bottles, glass bowls or even baskets laying around the house. However, make sure to think about drainage with each of these options. Your local nursery will be able to inform you of the space each herb needs to grow to full maturity, and this should be taken into consideration when planting the herbs.
You can also use some glass jars or tins placed on a windowsill or mount them on board against a wall. Make or buy some pot hangers and hang your herbs from the kitchen ceiling. An interesting thing I saw in a window was the use of teacups and their saucers for a variety of herbs.
Herbs to Use
You should consider herbs that are hardy and have easy growth. Also, pay attention if and how you want to use the plants, or you will just have them for esthetics. Herbs do not only look good but have many uses in cooking and natural medicine. Here are some great herbs to start with:
Basil: Dried, this herb can add a delicate taste to any meal. It can alternatively be used to soothe coughing, and calm a headache or indigestion by either chewing the fresh leaves or making basil tea.
Rosemary: This herb is perfect for chicken and any other bird dishes. Additionally, it can be used to fight illness and remove dandruff.
Lavender: Use this herb in salads for color and flavor. It is also known to promote sleep and a deep relaxation when used in tea.
Thyme: Best used with a variety of pasta dishes, beans, and fish, this herb is extremely healthy and is known to increase overall good health.
Mint: Add this herb to salads, pasta, or basically any other dish for a fresh tantalizing taste. It is ideal to use it in tea to calm nerves, relieve nausea, headache and settle an upset tummy.
Sage: Whether making a salad, fish, chicken or pizza, this is the herb to add. It has many great health benefits, while also improving brain function.
Dill: Add dill to your egg dishes, salmon or trout for a pleasant taste experience. This herb is filled with anti-bacterial properties and assists in preventing bone loss.
Most herbs should not be picked or harvested until your plant is fully grown. Your local nursery will be able to give you more information on the time each herb takes to mature.
When buying your herbs, ask your nursery what each herb needs, the amount of water, sunlight and so forth. Living in an apartment, townhouse or such does not stop you from having a herb garden. Plant a variety of herbs in the space you have and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Indoor herb gardening may not be for everyone, but if you never try, you will never know. You may actually enjoy it!