Building a small herb garden is a great way to get started with gardening. Vertical herb gardens don't take up much space, and they are fairly low-maintenance. If you start early enough, you can start your herb garden from seeds. Don't worry if you get a later start on your vertical herb garden. You can still transplant starter plants, which you can buy at a nursery. I recently saw herb starter plants at my local farmer's market for about $3/plant. That's more than the cost of seeds, but reasonable for a few plants. Remember that small containers need to be watered often. Since there is so little soil and water inside the containers, the sun can quickly dry out the plants. Be sure to water your small vertical herb garden daily. Ready to get started? Here are three ideas for vertical herb gardens that DIY-ers of any level can make.
Mason jar vertical herb garden: Stain and finish a board. Mount mason jars on the board vertically with hose clamps and wood screws. Fill jars with a layer of activated charcoal, then potting soil. Plant small herb plants in the soil. With containers that do not drain, like Mason jars, you need the layer of activated charcoal to prevent the roots from rotting. Be careful not to overwater. If possible, drill holes in the bottoms of the jars. The author of the post that I link to here doesn't mention the activated charcoal, but my experience with planting terrariums tells me that it is important to water moderately and to put a layer of false drainage, like activated charcoal, underneath the soil. Photo by Home Repair Tutor, a Pittsburgh handyman.
Mini kitchen herb garden with bunting: The lovely Dawn from Creative Cain Cabin posted this project, which is an attractive kitchen herb garden in an enameled metal tub. To make an herb garden like hers, thickly plant herbs in a rectangular trough, place the trough on a small plastic container in a large metal tub. That's it! Make sure that your garden gets plenty of sun. Rotate to expose all sides of the plants to equal amounts of sun.
Shoe bag vertical garden: An over-door shoe rack or magazine holder makes a perfect "frame" for a vertical garden. Fill the pockets with potting soil, and tuck plants into the soil. This is a very space-efficient way to grow a garden, and the idea for using an over-door magazine holder comes from Two Succulent Sisters via Crafts a la Mode.
Whether you are remodeling your deck and want to create an herb garden on it, or if you are starting a garden on your kitchen windowsill, you can use these three ideas for small herb gardens to maximize your space while growing delicious herbs.
Chaya Kurtz writes for Networx.com.