Thursday, March 31, 2011

Herb garden

I love Southern California winters (and early spring). My front-porch container garden is growing beyond my wildest dreams. It's only going to last until around June though, when sizzling weather will force everything into the more protected back patio. But I'll enjoy it for now.
I changed this area from a 10x10x12-foot triangular, flat, 4-foot-tall shrub to a protected space big enough for about 25 different herb, vegetable and flower species in containers. I've got oregano, mexican oregano, chives, garlic chives, rosemary, rue, chervil, savory, viola (edible flowers), parsley, basil, English thyme, lemon thyme, pineapple sage, jerusalem sage, sage, 5 strawberries, sweet marjoram, dill, cilantro, a bunch of lettuce, radishes, spearmint and a tomato.
Couldn't do without? The chives, cilantro, lettuce, strawberries, oregano, parsley, rosemary and -- definitely -- the sages (gorgeous flowers).
Just for fun? Chervil, savory, rue, dill (don't really like it), radishes and thymes.


  1. that looks wonderful, it must smell wonderful too!

  2. It does smell wonderful! Especially the sage that flowered for the first time (after returning from the brink of death).
    ps Thanks for visiting!

  3. Beautiful! Those chives are perfect for picking.

  4. Wow, what a difference a year makes! Your garden is rockin' Renee!

  5. Thanks, dude. We have to have you guys out here before it gets too hot. (And then you can help me with the composter thingy. :)

  6. I have a few questions based on my container herb failures. First what kind of soil mix do you use? Second,how do you keep the plants cool with such small containers during the summer? And last, how do you keep the cats and birds from tearing up your herbs?

    Thanks for your insight.

  7. Soil mix: I get bags from Moller's called Foxfarm OceanForest Potting Soil. I keep a small rock in the drainage hole; I think it makes the water drain more slowly and keeps the moisture inside longer. I repot often when plants outgrow their situations.

    Keeping plants cool: I keep all my container plants clustered out back under patio umbrellas, which stay open all summer. The plants never get direct sun. Water every morning. On the hottest days I water twice a day, and it stays nice and humid back there. I still lose a few!

    Cats and birds: Don't know why, but I have never had a problem with other species, just small humans.

  8. I will try moving mine to a more shady area. Last year I put them in a place with afternoon sun but the herbs still had a ton of morning sun.

    I have not tried the Moller's Potting soil, but I need to. I used their mulch in 2 boxes last summer and a Lowe's mulch in 2 boxes, and just compost in the rest of my garden and the 2 Moller's ones used about 30 to 40% less water than all the other boxes. I never knew how much difference the type of mulch made.

    Well, I look forward to watching this blog, as I am constantly trying to improve my food production with no chemicals, while lowering my impact on the world.