Experimenting With Urban Herb Gardens

Spring break project number 87:  Plant a garden.

I really want to plant all sorts of things–strawberries, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, watermelon, spinach–I could keep going.  The thing is, I live in a condo, on the second floor, with no grass of my own, so the strawberry plants will have to wait.

What I can do now, is plant some herbs.  I prefer cooking with fresh herbs but I don’t always do it because they are sooooo expensive at the store and you can only buy them in packages that are much more than I need at one time so I end up wasting a lot.  Last summer I grew some basil and dill on my windowsill.  And mind you, when I say “on my windowsill” I mean the windowsill wasn’t wide enough so they were in a basket that was then balanced half on the windowsill and half held up by an empty box on a table. Despite their shaky foundation, they did well until school started and I forgot to water them.  This year I have a better plan.

First, I chose the herbs that I use the most in my cooking–






I would have liked to plant some cilantro but the internet told me it grows better in cooler climates so I’ll save that for stage 2 of my deck garden.

Once I had my herbs, I picked out the biggest pot at the nursery, and bought not one, not two, but three bags of organic potting soil.  And yes, that meant three separate trips to the store because each time I was sure I had enough and each time my pot was nowhere near full.  Clearly I’m not very good at estimating volume.  By the way, this project took me all afternoon and before I was done I visited FOUR different nurseries/plant stands/home improvement stores.  I also picked up a little bottle of organic, locally made, plant food.  The man at store number 2 told me what really works best is “manure tea,” which is just what it sounds like, manure mixed with water in a big container with a spigot at the bottom.  I asked Andy if we could keep a cow on the deck but he wasn’t interested in that method.

Now, manure or no manure, I’m very happy with my little garden and I can’t wait to share with you all the things I make with my fresh herbs (as long as I don’t forget to water them).

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2 Responses to Experimenting With Urban Herb Gardens

  1. Bethea says:

    I intend to plant an herb garden as well. We don’t have much space to garden where I live- but even though I could do them in a bed, I’m going to do them in pots anyway for convenience sake. (And to make sure to keep the pups out of the herbs.)

    You will have to tell Andy that a cow on deck would be convenient for more than just fertilizing the herb garden. Compromise with mini-cow?

  2. I tried to tell him we could make our own ice cream if we had our own cow, but he still wasn’t interested. I have been reading about mini-cows all day though. I’d get one in a second if I thought Zeus would stand for it.

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