(Re-posted from my original blog on Blogger). I love the way that herbs smell and taste and I think that they are absolutely beautiful. I started growing herbs in an AeroGarden – this thing is amazing. It’s basically a water bath where you set seed pods (containing soil and seeds), add some nutrients every couple of weeks, and set the light system up for whatever you are growing (herbs, veggies, flowers – and it changes the light cycle for you). It is very easy to set up and requires little maintenance. The thing even blinks to let you know if you need to add water or nutrients. I have one that holds 7 seed pods and the first thing I grew were herbs. There were two types of basil, mint (which sadly never made it past the top of the pod), cilantro, parsley, chives, and dill. I harvested them pretty regularly to keep the leaves from interfering with the other herbs for full access of light.
Then, I had the brilliant idea of moving them outdoors (once the soil had thawed out) in our front yard where a rosemary bush had once inhabited. I really wanted to start some tomato plants in the AeroGarden since the herbs grew so well. I figured that there would be plenty of light and Nate regularly waters that area with aquarium water (full of fish and turtle poop) when he changes the water once a week. Four out of the six have made it so far – the basil plants went kaput.
We use the parsley and cilantro pretty regularly; made some delicious salsa last weekend. The salsa was great, it had diced tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, fresh cilantro from the garden, and a lot of onion. If all goes well, then by summertime we should be able to make our own salsa with all fresh ingredients!
We also have planters that hang off of the deck, where there is also plenty of sunlight. When Nate and I went to Lowe’s last weekend, we go pretty much every weekend if the weather is nice and we are in town, I was extremely attracted to the herbs and pepper plants that were already more than seedlings. So, we loaded up with herbs – two basil plants to replace the ones that died, thyme, rosemary, mint, and tarragon. And I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the results by just planting them in what were originally going to be flower planters. We’ve already made a pasta dish using the basil.
I do worry that I may overwater or that they will get too much sun or not enough. This is the first time I’ve really tried to grow herbs outside (I can’t count the AeroGarden as really gardening because it really did all the work for me). Supposedly basil is really easy to grow – but since I had them die after transplanting I’m not sure I believe that! Nate told me that when he lived at the Venice house (study abroad through Wake Forest) they had a humungous basil plant. He’s probably aiming for that, I have lower goals of just keeping the thing alive 🙂 It is very possible that the ground was oversaturated with water. We have been getting a ton of rain this winter/spring. Which can be a curse and a blessing. It has been great for our new lawn, but you do not want pooling of water around flowers, veggies, or herbs. I think that having the herbs in the hanging planters will allow for great drainage and hopefully eliminate over-saturation.
Any tips or suggestions for growing herbs would be greatly appreciated!