The Q&A Archives: Starting a Container Herb Garden

Question: I was wondering how to plant an herb garden in plastic pots? I was planning to put them randomly in the sun. I live in an apartment and cannot dig up the yard. How deep do the pots have to be, how wide, and how far apart should I plant? Basil, oregano, sage, parsley, cilantro, rosemary and lavender. Thank you so much for your time. Issy Long Island, NY

Answer: I recommend growing your herbs in pots at least 10"-12" in diameter and 8"-10" deep. Use a rich potting soil that will hold moisture well. The spacing between plants depends on their mature size; for instance, there are small, bushy basil varieties andtall, lanky ones. Check the recommendations on the seed packets or with the nursery where you purchase your plants. Potted plants can stand some crowding so long as they are well fed and watered (4"-6" between plants). If you plant to keep your perennial plants (rosemary, oregano, lavender and sage) year after year, they will spread with time, so use only two plants per pot. They will need a sheltered, lighted place to spend the winter, so you may want to grow these in smaller pots that will fit in your apartment!

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