Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow herbs in pots on your windowsill or balcony. You don’t need to be an expert gardener to get started either. Garden centers have plenty of potted herb plants to choose from, and you can even find them at your local supermarket.
To ensure your potted herbs stay healthy, give them regular doses of liquid seaweed feed. When harvesting, pinch out the top tips just above a pair of leaves to encourage bushy new growth. Here are some of our favorite herbs to grow in pots:
Mint is a tough herb that’s easy to grow but can take over your garden if not contained in a pot. As it spreads, the middle can die back over time. To combat this, take the plant out of the pot, cut it in half, and turn the two sides around to sit together in the middle.
Thyme likes well-drained soil, so don’t over-water it. Buy young plants for a quicker crop as it’s slow growing from seed. Lemon and golden varieties look beautiful in pots, while creeping thymes release a lovely scent when planted between gaps in paving.
Chives are difficult to kill, so plant them in a sunny spot and they should last for life. Keep them tender by cutting them back regularly. The flowers are also edible and add a colorful touch to salads.
Basil is an easy and cheap herb to grow from seed. Scatter a thin layer on a tray of compost, cover with a shower cap, and place on a warm, sunny windowsill to germinate. Once seedlings are big enough, move them into their own pots. Water carefully to avoid turning the stems black.
Flat-leaf and curly parsley are resilient and will keep going well into autumn and winter if protected from the coldest weather with a cloche.
Coriander is prone to bolting, so make sure the pots don’t dry out. It’s best to put them in a sunny spot but not in the full brunt of midday sun. The flowers are beautiful in salads, and you can even eat the roots by washing them off, chopping them up, and adding them to curries.
Rosemary is a big shrub that won’t do well in a window box. Give it a large pot or plant it outside to establish itself for years to come. Cut it back after flowering to prevent it from becoming woody in the middle.
Don’t be tempted by packets of pre-cut herbs in supermarkets as they are often imported with high food miles. Opt for pots of Irish-grown herbs instead. To ensure your herbs live longer, take the time to split them into individual plants when you buy them. Repot smaller sections into individual containers with fresh compost for a plentiful supply of herbs all summer long. Now go enjoy creating your miniature herb garden!