Denver Herb Garden
My First Herb Garden
My decision to start a small herb garden came after watching the documentary, “Cowspiracy”. The film focuses on major sustainability issues in the industrial farming industry. Having no gardening experience prior to this I decided an herb garden would be the first baby step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. My hope is that if I can raise six herbs in small pots for a couple of months, then I will be capable of growing my own herbs and vegetables in the future. First things first, I decided what herbs would be best for this project. After going through some common recipes that I use throughout the year I decided that cilantro, parsley, thyme, sweet basil, oregano, and chives would be the best herbs to start with. After some online investigation and a quick trip to the local Home Depot I was amazed at the minimal effort and expense involved in growing a small herb garden! I ended up buying six seed packages that were around $1.75 apiece. The price reflects a couple key characteristics that i wanted in my garden. Firstly, I only wanted to use non GMO seeds due to my concerns over the types of health risks associated with them. Secondly, I chose to use organic seeds because they contain greater amounts of nutrients and taste better, in my opinion. I proceeded to buy some organic mulch, which was only $6.99. (and I still have ¾ left after planting the seeds!). I wanted to make sure that potting and repotting these plants would be easy if i decided to expand my garden, so I invested in 6 biodegradable, seedling peat pots that sit inside the clay pot and eventually decompose with time. These were only $2.04. Lastly, I purchased the pots themselves. I found these affordable clay pots that were only $2.27 a piece. This included the clay pot and the water holder that sits beneath the pot.
What I spent to get started:
- Home Depot
- Jiffy Organic Mulch – $6.99/ bag
- Jiffy Peat Pots – $2.04/ 6 pots
- Clay Pots – $2.27/ set
- Seedlings – $1.75/ packet (depends on herb, but price is around this)
- Water – Minimal depending on how many plants and water requirements
Common Instructions for the herbs I planted
Cilantro – In mild climates, cilantro likes full sunlight, but it does not like direct heat. When growing, you can sow outside as long as the frost is gone for the season. After it begins growing, plan on depotting in the earth; it grows a long tap root and needs space. When it begins to heat up, give the plant some shade; they are very sensitive to changes in weather.
Parsley – Many say that parsley is difficult to begin the germination process. I found that it was the easiest herb that I dealt with, but some recommend beginning the seedling indoors in your pot, and watering the seeds with warm water. They like sun once put outdoors, and they will also grow with a bit of shade.
Thyme – Begin growing thyme indoors in the spring. Plant them towards the surface with little covering. When germination occurs, then you may move them outside, but make sure they do not get an excessive amount of water. They like more sandy soils, rather than saturated.
Sweet Basil – They enjoy a lot of sunlight, and moist, yet well-drained soil. It is best to begin these inside 6 weeks before moving them outside. Make sure to plant these about ¼ in. deep in the soil.
Oregano – You can start these 6-10 weeks before the last frost. They love the sun and warm weather! They don’t need as much water as some of the others, so only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. It is better to water them once and let them easily drain.
Chives – These guys love full sunlight! Especially if you are in the South or Southwest, let them grow in the sun. They don’t need a lot of help except for watering when soil feels dry to the touch, but make sure that it is well-drained!