I'm just going to put this out there -- I'm a total container gardening failure. Over the years, I've shared several posts about how I've started an indoor herb garden. Some of you may have even wondered why there were no follow-up posts...
The truth is: I completely and utterly suck at nurturing a tiny seed into a thriving herb plant indoors. Outside? No problem. But my indoor sprouts just seem to shrivel up and wither away, and I've yet to pinpoint the exact problem. Too much water? Not enough water? Too much sun? Too little sun? A cold draft? Sigh, I just don't get it.
So when Walmart asked me to share some tips for planting an indoor herb garden, I felt a little inauthentic trying to portray myself as an indoor herb gardening guru. I almost decided to choose another option, BUT after thinking it over, a bit of inspiration struck. So I decided to give it another shot!
What am I doing differently this time? Two things:
1. I used a container that is easily transported from indoors to outdoors and back. Actually, if I'm being honest, this was totally unplanned. Originally I was just going to use a terra cotta planter that I already own, but as I walked into Walmart, I spied the most adorable Better Homes and Garden utensil caddy.
It dawned on me that the galvanized steel and 6 compartments would be perfect for planting herbs, and the wooden handle makes it super easy to carry it out of the house and back in, depending on the weather.
P.S. You really must check out the whole line of galvanized ware from Better Homes and Gardens... I'm totally smitten!
2. I purchased herb starters from the Garden Department. Yep, instead of trying to grow my herbs from seed, I figured caring for nearly mature plants would be a heap simpler!
Walmart actually had a great selection available already. I snagged rosemary, sage, oregano, parsley, and thyme. I really wanted a basil plant, and I did end up finding one in the produce department. It was a little sad looking, but I think with some love and care, it will flourish.
Planting my herbs in the utensil holder was simple enough. I started by adding some gravel to the bottom of each section to help with drainage. I'm pretty sure it would be easy enough to drill some small holes in the bottom instead, but the gravel seemed like the simplest option -- and I'm all about simple and easy!
For most of the herbs, I could just peel off some of the biodegradable pot and squeeze the whole thing down into a square. I filled in any gaps with potting soil. The basil plant was quite a bit smaller than the others, so I did need to add addition soil before setting it in, and I needed to fill in quite a bit more around it.
I gave the planted herbs a small drink of water and voila -- not only can I move my little herb garden around easily at will, I can actually start using small cuttings from it right away!
Sometimes the appearance of my favorite fresh herbs in the produce department is a bit questionable, so I'm thrilled to have a better option ready to use. And truthfully, each plant already yields about three times what I'd get in one of those small plastic clamshell containers for about the same price, so it's a more frugal option by far. I can't believe I didn't think to try this sooner!
What's your biggest challenge with an indoor herb garden? Find more helpful gardening hacks on Walmart.com.