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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Herbs in Pots

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efirvin
memart1
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Post  memart1 5/27/2012, 5:14 pm

I have four matching pots in graduated sizes (12-3/4", 10", 8-1/2", and 7" in diameter) I thought they would look nice on my deck with herbs in them. What do you suggest? I was thinking of sweet basil, chives, moss curled parsley, and thyme. Is the small planter too small? What are the sizes of the plants? Naturally I would want the biggest plant in the biggest pot, etc. Really I can get more of the planters as I have a ceramic shop and can pour as many as I want. Do you suggest a drainage hole and a plastic plant saucer or a plate underneath the planters? I will be making these planters myself. Should I make all four in the larger size? Ideas please.
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Post  efirvin 5/27/2012, 7:21 pm

memart1 wrote:I have four matching pots in graduated sizes (12-3/4", 10", 8-1/2", and 7" in diameter) I thought they would look nice on my deck with herbs in them. What do you suggest? I was thinking of sweet basil, chives, moss curled parsley, and thyme. Is the small planter too small? What are the sizes of the plants? Naturally I would want the biggest plant in the biggest pot, etc. Really I can get more of the planters as I have a ceramic shop and can pour as many as I want. Do you suggest a drainage hole and a plastic plant saucer or a plate underneath the planters? I will be making these planters myself. Should I make all four in the larger size? Ideas please.

Since the chives and thyme are perennials you may want to put those in the largest pots and can move them inside when the weather turns cold. Basil and parsley will grow nicely in pots too but you may limit your harvest if the pots are too small.

It is so nice to have fresh herbs for cooking!
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Post  floyd1440 5/27/2012, 8:21 pm

[quote="efirvin"

Since the chives and thyme are perennials you may want to put those in the largest pots and can move them inside when the weather turns cold. Basil and parsley will grow nicely in pots too but you may limit your harvest if the pots are too small.

It is so nice to have fresh herbs for cooking![/quote]

I was considering grow some herbs in pots as well and basil and chives are the ones my wife uses most but leaning more towards basil as she uses it in just about everythingand would like to have a steady supply all year.

To continue getting basil in the winter months I was thinking of putting them on shelves with lights? Guess it would be worth a try...

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Post  herblover 5/28/2012, 11:53 am

I would put thyme in the largest pot by itself; it will easily fill it in a year or so. Chives are also perennial but not an aggressive spreader and could share space with something else. I have rosemary and 2 parsley plants in a pot and put my basil (which I grow as an annual) in planters with geraniums since they have similar requirements.
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Post  floyd1440 5/29/2012, 7:01 pm

herblover wrote:I would put thyme in the largest pot by itself; it will easily fill it in a year or so. Chives are also perennial but not an aggressive spreader and could share space with something else. I have rosemary and 2 parsley plants in a pot and put my basil (which I grow as an annual) in planters with geraniums since they have similar requirements.

So if I grow just chives and basil in a 3 foot long box, would you plant them 1 foot apart say one basil, one chives, one basil? Or could I do more or less....

Just checked I have 2 of those boxes...
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 5/29/2012, 9:32 pm

Chives can be a bit of a thug if they love the pot they're in, and will crowd out more tender plants, like basil. Personally, I put a batch of chives in the center of a 24" BIG pot on the deck. Around the chives, I plant three to five pansies, then plant thyme around the rim. Pansies for pretty color and edible flower addition to a salad; chives for--well you know; and the thyme bursts over the edge of the pot to fill in the look: chives--upstanding; pansies--color; thyme--rounded, trailing shape. Don't forget, when the chives put out flowers, they're great for garnish, and the tiny purple petals look good in a mixed salad. A medium-size pot full of different colors of basil is stunning all by itself: Genovese large leaf basil for your tomato sauce and pizza; purple basil for marinating in vinegar for salad dressing; a bit of Thai basil for Pad Thai. Put this pot in the warmest part of your deck or patio. Okay, I'm out of ideas, someone else? Nonna
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Post  herblover 5/30/2012, 8:49 am

I love your aesthetic Nonna! While I have never had chives be overly aggressive, basil can be. I have grown basil bushes when they are in a happy spot. Do you have any issues with the flovors of the basils commingling planted that way? A couple of other ideas for chive blossoms; infused vinegar which has a delicate pink color and herb butter. I have made and froze 2 pounds of it for the winter. Chives will only bloom once a season but you can harvest the stems all season.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 5/30/2012, 1:32 pm

No, herblover, I've never noticed a transfer of flavors from one variety to another, unless they flower and are pollinized with pollin from another variety, and you carefully saved the hybrid seeds, planted them and........well, you know. Personally, I purchase fresh seed every year and plant in succession about 3 times through the summer. The last pot is brought into the sunroom when it starts getting too cool, and I baby it as long as possible. Then we're back to using up the frozen pesto base made in the summer, or buying (at exhorbitant price) some at the store. And in this vein: has anyone grown basil under grow lights through the winter?
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Post  javaaddict 5/30/2012, 2:41 pm

Rosemary grows really well in a pot, and you can bring it in over the winter and use it for all of those awesome savory meat dishes when it's cold. Smile

I completely agree about putting chives in a BIG pot by themselves. They are brutal. Mine are in a pot, they are the least work of any plant I have. I leave the pot outside all winter, and when spring comes, they pop right back up, no work involved.

I would also recommend mint in a pot. It's a weed, and if you let it get anywhere near soil in a bed, it will try to conquer the world.

I have parsley in a pot this year, it's doing well. I'm also going to try tarragon in a pot, if I can find a plant. I've been craving it like crazy and I hate paying for it at the grocery.

Good luck with your herbs!

OH! Basil in a pot - I have 40 basil plants in my SFG, I thought that was so funny! LOL I know not everybody loves it as much as I do though, so if you just need a bit a pot will be just fine.
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Post  herblover 5/30/2012, 2:44 pm

I agree about mint; it is an aggressive spreader. i do have rosemary in a pot with a couple of parsley plants. All survived our very mild winter and have come back nicely. I usually grow rosemary as an annual; I am hesitant about bringing them in due to lack of space and cats.
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