Gardening in a small space is as rewarding as it is
challenging. These six herbs are chosen because they are not the space
hogs some of their counterparts are. For instance, Italian Oregano
remains an upright shrub whereas Greek Oregano spreads by runners and
quickly takes over a container or small space.
Planting in a small garden is obviously different than
planting in a container. Plants in a garden have access to more soil
than plants in a container do, so they can stay in one place longer. When
planting into the ground, it is important to give plants enough space in
between to accommodate several years' growth. In each of the
plant descriptions below, we give you spacing recommendations for garden
planting as well as container size recommendations.
When planting in a container, be sure
to use high-quality potting soil with organic fertilizer mixed in. Both
the plant and the potting soil should be moist before planting.
The six plants in the Small Space Garden Collection can
be combined in one or more containers. The container should hold about six gallons of soil.
Be sure to watch that one of these plants does not crowd out the other. More
than likely, this kind of container planting will need repotting at
the beginning of the next growing season.
Repotting helps your plants avoid becoming root bound. (All plants
grown in containers will eventually become root bound.) Plants that are root bound
may begin to show signs of stress like yellowing or wilting after they have been
in the same container for a while. To discover this before it becomes problematic,
check the root zone periodically. If soil is loose when you poke around
in it, then the plant's roots still have room to grow. If the soil is
hard to penetrate, then repotting is necessary.
Repotting can take one
of two turns. The first is root pruning. Plants may be root pruned and repotted into the same
container with fresh soil. At least one-half of the new container should
be new soil. About two weeks before root pruning and repotting, you
should prune the tops of the plants you want to repot. Needless to say, this
type of repotting takes more skill than
just repotting into a larger container and plants can be damaged or die
if root pruning is not performed correctly.
The second repotting method is to move the plant to a larger container.
The new container should be large enough to keep the plant happy for another long period
of time. For example, a gallon-size root bound plant can be moved
to a three gallon pot.
Growing plants outside in containers also means their roots are
not protected by the natural warmth of the soil like they would be if
planted in the ground. Growing zones indicate the lowest minimum
temperature a plant can endure when established in the ground and are
listed with each plant. If your zone is the lowest one listed, please
take extra care of container-grown plants. This may mean moving them
near the house for warmth or into the house if the cold is extreme.
Container-grown plants that are kept outside should be monitored throughout
the winter for moisture. A dry plant does not tolerate cold as well as a
Click on the name of the plant for more on growing and
using each herb.