Don’t let your apartment dwelling ways dictate your green thumb. You’ve got to fight for your right to rosemary (and basil and chives). The experts at Pleasant Valley Garden Center (1301 South Gilbert St.) have generously shared some tricks of the trade, so let’s get your apartment-friendly herb garden started.
Location, location, location
Most herbs would like to see at least a half-day’s worth of sunlight. You can start your herbs indoors in pots, but make sure to pamper them with sunlight. Keep them close to a bright window during the day. Herbs thrive outdoors, so move your pots to the porch when the weather gets warm.
If you plan on growing your herbs through the winter, most will survive the season potted in your home sweet home. Rosemary and bay plants will grow for years in a pot. Take all of your herbs inside once October hits.
The Scoop on Seeds
You’ll find that some herbs are easy to grow from seed, while others are best to purchase already growing. Basil, cilantro, parsley and chives are good choices if you’re looking to plant from seeds. Rosemary, sage, thyme, bay and the up-and-coming stevia plant are best when sprouted by the pros. Buying plants can be cost-effective, too. “If you can pick up a plant for a few dollars, it might be easier than paying for seeds,” says a Pleasant Valley gardener. Make sure to wash your plants once you get them home.
Some Like It Hot
Basil is a big fan of the heat, so planting in the summer months is your best bet. Other herbs such as peppermint, oregano, thyme, and parsley can handle a cold night, so plant these if you’re raring to go early in the season. If the temperature gets below the 40s, take your herbs inside for safe measure.
Mix It Up
Herbs don’t mind roommates. If you’ve got a larger sized pot, feel free to throw in a mix of your favorite herbs. Once they start growing, you’ll have your own grocery store selection all in one place.
Sprout in Style
No need to go out and buy fancy pots for your herbs. Most aren’t snobby and will live in just about anything. Old pails? Perfect. That fishbowl Mr. Goldy (R.I.P.) left behind? Go for it. Spice up your old objects with a layer of chalkboard paint (found at your local craft and hardware stores) and some chalk. Decorate your tiny chalkboards with plant names, doodles, or friendly reminders (water me!).