Sunday, June 16, 2013

Planting an Herb Garden

When we first started dating, Simon couldn't come to terms with the traditions bouquet of flowers, and insisted on giving me potted plants.  After the repeated emotional turmoil I underwent each time I killed the thoughtful gift, he gave up on his idealistic intentions and now will occasionally bring me a lovely bouquet of flowers that are bound and determined to die regardless of any heartfelt effort on my part.  Knowing this little fun fact, planting an herb garden might seem an odd pastime for my Sunday afternoon.  I, however, am hell-bent on overcoming my natural inaptitude to gardening.  I love nature, plants, flowers and the idea of growing your own food etc.  Somehow I feel that having ambitions of a vegetable garden later on is rather unrealistic if I can't even keep an herb garden alive.  So this is a trial run. of sorts, for my future endeavors. :)  I've been meaning/wanting to do this for awhile but somehow never seemed to get around to it.  Luckily, now is the ideal season to plant herbs on the middle east coast, so maybe that will be in my favor.  

Well, enough about that;  Here is how my little project went.    

I decided to plant the three herbs I seem to use the most: parsley, basil, oregano.  They all have the same sunlight and soil moisture needs as well.   They sound relatively compatible and should, I am hoping, enjoy each others company as much as neighboring herbs can be expected to do so.  

I read that soaking the seeds in water before planting them is the best way to go about an herb garden.  

Who knows if that is the case but, regardless, that is what I did.

While they were soaking, I prepared my planter.
  I used a tub we used to keep drinks on ice at our wedding.
I think it is cute and it has, until now, merely been collecting dust on our balcony. 

I drilled holes in the bottom of the tub to allow for proper drainage.  Here's how I went about that.  

 Here, with Simon's help, we set up a little drilling area.  Drilling directly into the deck would be frowned upon by the complex I think.  
 Stabilized the tub.  
I chose to drill from the inside out.  It seemed like more of a funnel shape would be formed, allowing for better water flow.  I based this off of absolutely nothing at all.  It just seemed like the best option.  
 I used a 1/4 inch drill bit and Simon's Makita drill to make 6 holes that formed a circle.  

The potting soil package recomended mixing local soil in with the store bought stuff so, I ventured into the "forest" behind our apartment and, frankly, stole some dirt.  

I mixed it in with the potting soil, filling the tub a little less than half-full.   
All of the herbs can grow to about 18 inches so I didn't want to fill it too full.  We'll see how I did.  

I have to brag on/thank Simon for this cute little herb-garden-table he surprised me with.  It fits the little tub perfectly and is much cuter than just having it sit in the ground.  You can't really tell in this photo, but the tub is actually sitting down into the table a few inches.  Thanks honey! It's perfect!  And it makes me feel good that you have enough confidence in my herb garden to build it a table :D  
Love you.  

So then i planted three rows of the herbs. 

To remind me which is which, I wrote the name of each herb on a wine cork and jammed a wooden skewer into the bottom of it.  I placed them at the beginning of each row.  Can't take credit for that idea: I saw it on pinterest.  haha

Then I covered up the holes and watered.  

 So... that's that.  
I'll keep a little update going so you all can be excited with me if they grow into usable herbs.  Keeping my fingers crossed!! 

Any advice on maintenance? I've read they mostly like rather dry soil and need almost constant sunlight.  

Happy Sunday everyone! 

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