There's something about growing my own food that makes me feel even better about the dishes I cook. I don't have a full-on garden and hardly have the space to grow everything that touches my dinner table, but having a few outdoor pots is definitely manageable. I am gearing up to share a lot of herb-filled dishes this summer, so I figured if you all were like me, you might want to learn how to grow your own.
Feel free to use this as a guide to help steer you as you enter your own herb-growing journey.
1st: Decide What You Want To Plant
When deciding what to plant, a few factors go into my final decision. The most important factor is knowing which herbs get the most play in my kitchen. I like to take note of any herbs that repeatedly show up in recipes that I cook more in the spring and summer. The golden rule is: If they appear more than 3 times, it's time to plant. In the long run, this will save me time and money.
Annuals vs. Perennials
I love these outdoor herb pots because they require minimum effort. Depending on what herbs you choose, you won't even have to plant new herbs each year because they will grow back each spring. Some of my favorite perennials are rosemary and mint. Not only because they grow back every year but because I can use them in food and drink recipes all summer long!
Seeds vs. Seedlings
I don't have time to watch the entire growth process from a single seed. They're my herbs, and I want them now! I recommend planting your herbs from pre-grown seedlings. It will shave months off of the growth process.
Click here to get a list of the best herbs to grow in your outdoor pots.
*Keep in mind the winter climate where you live. If there are consistently below-freezing temperatures, your perennials might struggle to grow back in spring. Check out USDA Plant Hardiness Map to see where your location falls for gardening temps.
2nd: Map Out Your Sunlight
Mapping out lighting zones in your outdoor space is very important as not all herbs require the same amount of sunlight. Knowing which areas get 6-8 hours of light vs. 2-3 hours of light will determine where your platers go and ultimately determine what you plant, mainly if your entire outdoor space receives the same amount of sunlight.
The way I mapped out my backyard was easy. First, I went outside every hour for a few days and took pictures of the spots I wanted each pot to go. Then, I figured out which location had low light vs. high.
3rd: Get The Right Tools
Ensure you have the right tools to get the job done, from pots to suitable soil. Click here for a list of tools I used for my herb pots.