Don't you just love cooking and baking using fresh herbs? This easy to set up Stacked Herb Tower ensures that I have fresh herbs throughout the year. You don't have to have a big garden space...in fact you don't even need garden space to set up a herb tower.
During a recent storm, almost my entire vegetable garden was damaged, the fragile herbs were completely either washed out or destroyed. I have started planting out new veggies and in the process of repairing my garden....but decided on planting the herbs in a more protected area. Herbs tend to be a bit more delicate than vegetables and need some protection against the elements.
For this reason I decided on potting the herbs close to my kitchen, where it is bright, warmbut slightly sheltered. Now there will be no damage to it during the extreme weather.
Vertical gardening like the stacked herb tower saves space and ensures that you can grow any herb and as many as you like in a small space like a patio or deck. You can even grow it indoors if you have sufficient light. It is cheap and easy to build.
BUILDING YOUR STACKED HERB TOWER
I did not go out and buy any special pots for this project but just chose 3 unused and those without my dogs teeth marks. Gosh it is crazy how my dogs chew on every plastic pot in the garden.
Work in the area where you plan to keep your herb tower. You could place your stacked pots onto a strong and sturdy table or stand for more height.
Fill the biggest pot with a mixture of good potting soil and compost. Place the middle sized pot onto the soil and keep it centralised or push it to the edge. Fill it about ¾ with potting soil and compost and repeat with the smallest pot placed at the top.
Choose herbs which you usually prefer to use in your cooking. You can start it from seed or get a variety of herbs from your garden center. My favourites are usually Sweet Basil, thyme, peppermint and scallions or spring onions.
Make certain that the water loving plants are placed in the largest pot at the bottom and the drought resistant are at the top.
You can also grow baby vegetables in this type of planter, like I have chosen here to grow baby tomatoes in the largest pot at the bottom. Since I have placed the stacked pots onto a stand, it has some height and so the tomatoes will tumble over the pot as they grow.
I paired the tomatoes with the basil at the bottom of the pot as they are companion plants. Basil and tomatoes, are both warm-weather plants that do well in containers, and have similar requirements for light, soil, temperature and water. Basil also improves the growth and flavor of tomatoes, and may help to repel harmful pests.
I stuck in a few scallions/ spring onions on all three tiers as they really help repel harmful insects that could harm your plants. Scallions are extremely easy to regrow from shop bought. After you have chopped off the green leafy section, just place the white end into some water to allow it to root for about 3 days. Then simply make a little hole in the soil and place the end with the roots in. It will continue growing.. And then cut the green as you need for your cooking and it just grows back. . It is absolutely amazing.
In the middle pot, I put in thyme and peppermint. I use thyme in curries and stews. Peppermint adds a refreshing flavour to my morning cup of tea.
At the very top pot is the rosemary and my chamomile with its beautiful leaves and flowers to brew for a relaxing and calming tea.
Use decorative pebbles as mulch and watch your beautiful herb garden grow.
CARING FOR POTTED HERB TOWER
Potted herbs require about 6 hours of sunlight a day to grow and to give off their distinct flavour. If you are growing it indoors then it will do best near a south facing window. You could also supplement it with fluorescent lamps or a grow light, during the winter months. Your garden center will be able to advise you on these type of lights.
Use good quality potting soil for your herbs. Do not use soil from your garden, it is way too dense and heavy to use in a pot and also dries out too quickly.
Container plants dry out faster than garden plants, but make sure not to over water as this could lead to root rot. To check whether the pot needs watering poke your finger in the soil. If it feels moist, it’should be okay and when it feels dry, you should start watering If you have tomatoes in the pot, it should be grown at the bottom, where it can be watered individually as herbs require less water compared to any vegetable that is planted in the pot.
And that is it, easy, versatile and fun. It may appear a bit empty when you just place your plants in. But herbs grow very fast and in a few weeks you will be rewarded by a beautiful harvest of herbs. Enjoy watching your herb tower grow, inhaling the delicious herb fragrance and picking fresh herbs and vegetables daily from your own little garden space.
Oh by the way, meet Muffin, always curious about whatever I am working with in the garden. Here she is lounging in her favourite place, on the step in the warm sun. Giving me that 'do you have to be so noisy mum' look I think that I disturbed her by changing around the potted herb tower, which I was working on.....Sorry about that Miss Muffin...I will try to work quietly from now on.?