Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Transportable Herb Garden

Just had to share this nifty little idea for a transportable herb garden - Job #4 in my recent  "7 Tasks in 7 Days Challenge".

Now as I mentioned,  here in the Valley we are blessed with lovely warm, sunny days - just perfect for growing all sorts of things.   Only problem is that much of my garden is shaded by a canopy of palms and rainforest trees/shrubs which makes the growing of herbs and vegetables a little bit tricky.  

You see, herbs and vegetables need (at least) 5 hours of sunlight a day so I needed to devise a plan whereby I could position my herbs to take full advantage of all that beautiful sunshine.  So for me, the obvious choice was container planting.

Step 1 :  Selecting the Container.
Now I really dislike plastic pots but I needed a container that was lightweight enough for me to be able to move around.   I toyed with the idea of a wooden barrel or a large terracotta planter but I figured that once the soil was added they would just become too heavy to move.  

However whilst wandering through Bunnings I caught sight of this galvanised Drinks Cooler and immediately saw its potential.   Not only is it lightweight and deep but it also has handles - great for being able to grab onto.    

Better still, it only cost $14!


Step 2 :  Good Drainage
With my trusty drill in hand (how I love power using power tools!) I quickly set about drilling some draining holes in the base of the container.   (Unfortunately the battery pack on the power drill decided to "die" at about this stage so I had to end up using a good ol' hammer and nail to finish the job).

Step 3 :  Soil Mix
Previous experience has taught me not to skimp on potting mix.  ALWAYS use the best potting mix you can afford  - preferably something with water crystals and a complete plant food.   The cheaper potting mix just doesn't seem to have all the nutrients the better quality mix has.

Fill the container right up to the top and pack the mix down well.   You don't want the mix to be loose otherwise it will drop down too far after a couple of weeks.

Step 4 : The Plants
Decide what herbs you want to plant.  I guess it really depends on what herbs you use regularly in your cooking.   I can't ever remember using Tarragon - so therefore can't see the point of growing it.  However I do use a large amount of Basil and Parsley - so they were obvious choices for me.

I decided to go for Coriander;  Dill;  Basil;  Parsley;  and Thyme.   I bought the smaller size pots - (around $3 per pot). 

Step 5 : The Planting
Space the plants out evening around the perimeter of the container and then put one of the larger growing plants in the middle.   Plant them to the same depth in the container that they were in their little pots.  

I ended up putting Coriander in the middle of the container because it likes to spread out a bit.

Step 6 :  Fertilizer Even though my potting mix had a complete plant food in it - I also added a couple of handfuls of a Starter Fertilizer just to help it along a bit.  

And I also gave it a drink to Seafood solution just to lesson the shock of transplanting the seedlings. 

"Miracle-Gro" is my all time favourite Seafood solution.  It just gives everything such a boost and comes in a concentrate so it is not expensive to use.   I usually give my plants a seaweed drink every 3-4 weeks.   It smells a bit like fish actually.  Dixie Chick and Dolly P get quite excited when I start spraying the seaweed around!

Step 7 : Mulching
Final step is to give the plants a good layer of mulch.  I use sugar cane mulch which comes in a bale.  I put a good thick layer around the seedlings.  It really is fantastic in retaining moisture in the soil and keeping the roots cool.   It also reduces the soil splatter effect when watering!
So there you have it - my Transportable Herb Garden.  

I've popped it on a little table on my side verandah where it catches all the early morning sunshine.  It looks so fresh and lovely and glistening.    Fragrant, delicious little green jewels basking in the sunlight.

Posted by Picasa


  1. What a great Garden Project, we just did our Spring cleaning on the Front yard filled up a few trashcans, still have the back to tend to. Love your Blog, I am your newest follower, stop on over some time and say hi! oxox, Diane

  2. This is brilliant!! I was just looking at these drink containers the other day at the shops and wondering how else I could utilise them...I never thought to drill holes in the bottom to turn into planter boxes :)

  3. Wow, you really have had a busy holiday. (just been catching up after some time away). That drinks cooler is a great find and perfect for your herbs.


Thank you so much for visiting my little corner of the world and leaving a comment. XX S

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.