One of the many things I love about summer is growing my own herbs. It is so rewarding to watch the little seedlings sprout and a bit later, reap the rewards of my success. Cooking with items from your garden makes you appreciate your meal in ways you never imagined.
You don't need to have a large yard to get planting either. Here are a few things I've learned along the way for gardening in a small space.
1. Keep in mind your storage situation.
Do you have lots of room to store pots, shovels, and other gardening gear during the winter? When buying gardening supplies take a peek at the compact tools. We have a small hand shovel and use bins to store our extra gravel and soil. Our gardening equipment is small enough to fit in a corner when not in use.
2. Start your seedlings indoors.
Buy and start your seeds as soon as you can, ideally as soon as the seeds hit the stores. Plant your seeds in an egg carton and label each section according to the seed. Ferry your lil' seedlings outdoors during the day to get sunshine, water as needed, and bring them inside during inclement weather or at night. Once they have sprouted and the weather has improved, transplant each section directly into your pots.
3. Ensure adequate drainage. Use gravel or rocks to create a drainage layer at the bottom of your pots. As your plants will not be in the ground, the water accumulates in the pots and drowns the soil. Mediterranean herbs in particular like dry well-drained soil. So be sure your rosemary has proper drainage!
4. Find ways to hang your pots.
Use wire racks to hang your pots from the balcony railing. Purchase basket hangers or try making your own using rope. You could even try a macrame plant hanger!
5. Use small and portable pots.
This works well if you're only planting a couple of herbs. Using smaller pots allows for easy transportation if you need to bring the plants inside at any time (think cold nights or high winds).
6. Determine which plants suit your needs and space.
We love having a variety of fresh herbs on hand for cooking, so we made sure to plant all of our heavy rotation herbs. Maybe you like lavender or lemon verbena instead. Perhaps you want to gaze at an array of colorful flowers. Plan what you'd like to plant. Make a list of everything you'll need including gravel, soil, seeds, and bring it to the shop.
7. Plan ahead.
Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to water your garden. Before you leave for the day, check the weather report in case you need to bring your plants inside.
Once your plants get large enough, you can harvest your goodies! Use your fresh herbs to garnish your favorite dishes or create a beautiful bouquet from your flowers. Floral bouquets also make great gifts!
Enjoy your garden! I'm sure you'll want to plant every year.
Lots of Love,