Creating A Container Herb Garden On A Shoestring

Are you interested in starting your own kitchen garden? Growing herbs on your windowsill, balcony or patio is a great place to start, as they are quick and easy to grow. Growing your own herbs can be cheaper than buying potted or cut herbs, and they come with the added satisfaction of eating something you've grown yourself. Here are a few suggestions for starting your own herb garden when you're on a tight budget:

Pots And Soil

Buying pots and soil from your local garden centre can be expensive, but you can often get these supplies from an online shop for a fraction of the cost. So, don't let the initial outlay deter you from starting your own herb garden.

Once you've got hold of a few cheap pots, have a chat with your green-fingered neighbours or friends. They may have some topsoil available and will likely be glad to have someone take it off their hands.

Topsoil is often discarded when a gardener digs a new plot as they add compost to the existing soil and have no need for the leftover topsoil. If you can get some free topsoil, you'll be able to save on costs by buying a small bag of compost or manure and mixing one part compost with one part topsoil to create a nutrient-rich potting mix.

Seeds And Cuttings

Seeds often come in packs of several hundred, so instead of buying a dozen different kinds of seeds, consider hosting a seed swap party with other keen gardeners. You'll be able to secure a greater variety of seeds without blowing your budget.

Another budget-friendly way to get your herb garden started is by taking cuttings from existing plants. Many herbs, including rosemary, mint, sage, and basil, grow well from cuttings that are at least 12cm long. You can obtain cuttings from an existing store-bought plant if you have one or ask a green-fingered friend. Gardeners are often happy to share with other gardening enthusiasts.

To establish a root system on a cutting, simply place it in a glass of cold water by a sunny windowsill and change the water each day to keep bacteria at bay. Roots will start to appear within a few days, and the cutting should be planted in soil when the roots reach 1-2cm in length.

Choosing Your Herbs

When you're just starting out, the last thing you want to do is spend money on herb seeds that never seem to grow. Some herbs are easier to grow than others, so consider these three hardy varieties:

  • Rosemary - This bittersweet herb is delicious with lamb or added to focaccia.
  • Lemon Verbena - Use this citrusy herb to liven up green salads.
  • Mint - Make your own mint tea or Tabbouleh.

As you can see, starting your own herb garden doesn't have to be expensive. For more information, contact a business such as Wentworth Falls Pots.