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How To Grow Herbs in Containers

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Planting a variety of herbs in containers is both a practical and decorative way of displaying favourite plants, especially if your ‘garden’ is confined to a balcony or small patio. The containers should be positioned close at hand for picking, and will change completely from year to year as replanting with a different selection of herbs takes place (see How To Grow Herbs on the Kitchen Window Sill).
What you'll need: 
A selection of herbs
Various containers
Broken crocks for drainage
Potting compost
A grouping of herbs in a wide variety of containers, and using the different heights of the plants can create an interesting display.
If you have a balcony or flight of steps, a collection of interesting containers can transform the area into a very personal ‘herbary’. An arrangement of different sized plant pots will provide a welcoming tiered effect if the pots are grouped in threes or fives.
In modern flats, balconies tend to be designed on a uniform plan, often overshadowed by the floor above, and not suitable for the excessive weight of heavy containers filled with compost. Clever planting in lightweight containers can provide a lovely display of herbs to be enjoyed from inside the flat.
Culinary herb baskets can also provide growing space, with climbers trained on special trellises designed for pots. Examine the possibilities of positioning hanging baskets on the walls or suspended from the overhead beams of the balcony, if these exist – exploit the vertical space available as much as you can.
There is a heavily fruiting variety of tomato called ‘Tumbling Tom’ especially for containers and hanging baskets. Two of these plants will provide a crop of tomatoes throughout the summer.
Providing there are holes for drainage, almost any container can be used for growing herbs and make an interesting change from the standard round pots. Scout around for cast out containers – it doesn’t matter if there are chips, dents or cracks, the foliage will hide any flaws.
Garden centre plants are hardier than those bought from a supermarket for outside planting
Remember that containers dry out very quickly and will require daily watering, and a weekly feed of tomato food to keep the plants green and lush.


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